It’s hard to move in Egypt without being influenced by the Mansour Group – although most consumers wouldn’t know it. Whether you’re buying a phone, servicing your car, doing the week’s shop or eating at McDonalds, the Mansour Group is probably involved in the background.

Now its chairman is keen for the company to come out of the shadows. “We need to promote the Mansour Group as a global brand at some stage,” Mohamed Mansour tells beyondbrics. “It’s high time we had that kind of presence.” The question is how – and which parts of the Mansour Group of companies to emphasise. Read more

William Pinckney, chief executive of Amway India, the country’s biggest direct selling consumer goods business by sales, was released on bail on Tuesday evening after his arrest along with two fellow directors. Business leaders have been dismayed by the episode, saying it will damage investment and confidence.

It’s an odd tale that says much about the unpredictability of India’s police forces. What lies beneath is even more perplexing: the way a business regarded as entirely legitimate in the west may be viewed as an illegal pyramid scheme under Indian law. Read more

You think of a rickshaw driver as someone who ferries you from place to place, right? And the newspaper delivery man is simply the chap who brings you the morning rag. Think again.

Uninor, the Indian arm of Norwegian telecom Telenor, has become the first company to use tuktuk drivers to reach its customers. Newspaper delivery-wallas and milkmen will be next. Read more

With major EM economies slowing in 2012, regional heads of multinational companies are increasingly having to focus on their margins. As new research from the Frontier Strategy Group shows, many are considering boosting them by running some of their own distribution operations. Read more

Opening the only five-star hotel in Iraq two years ago was a bold move by any standards. Throw in marketing cigarette makers in Lebanon and distributing Shell Lubricants in Iraq, and Malia Group looks like a controversial risk-taker. Read more

Unilever, the consumer goods conglomerate, has long relied on door to door saleswomen – dubbed Shakti ammas – to sell its soaps, shampoos and laundry detergents in rural India. Now it has brought their menfolk on board. Read more