Posts Tagged ‘Global Commerce’

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Best new jobs (in the not so distant future)? Inquire with the companies playing in the world’s emerging economies…

April 6, 2010

At the beginning of the year I wrote about the tremendous growth that will occur outside the US. Both business (Goldman Sachs) and world policy institutions (International Monetary Fund) have  presaged the new world financial order that will have the rapidly growing emerging markets like Brazil, Russia, India & China (BRIC) equaling the GDP of the current G7 within the next fifteen to twenty years.

An indicator that American business has embraced this thinking are the actions of two of the US’s preeminent fast food chains, MacDonald’s and Yum Brands (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut & KFC).

Yum Brands has just opened its first Taco Bell in India while it has already established roughly 230 Pizza Hut & KFC outlets there. With a heady adherence to cultural issues in India, the company is making its offering spicier with a large selection of vegetarian foods and will not serve beef—which many Indians will not eat for religious reasons.

With 230 of its 250 non US outlets in India (is that an eye-opening stat, or what?), Yum is targeting to have over 1,000 total  restaurants there by 2015—that would be over 400%  growth in just five years—wow.

MacDonald’s has had a foothold in mainland China for twenty years now (60,000 employees in over 1100 outlets) and has just established its first Hamburger University in Shanghai (first in China & seventh worldwide) to train and develop new generations of managers.

Why in China? Well—not surprisingly—China is MacDonald’s fastest growing global market with the fast food market there expanding at an annual rate of over 10% compared with just 2% here in the US.

With that kind of market expansion MacDonald’s is hoping to double its restaurants in China to over 2000 in just three years—double wow.

And just what kind of opportunity does this present for American jobs? You guessed it—Huge! As I have noted before, the best new jobs  in America (offering the greatest possibilities for advancement and salaries—not to mention excitement and satisfaction) will come from those companies, both US and foreign, looking to capitalize on the incredible growth in the world’s emerging economies.

Want to be a part of this new global order and establish a fabulous and interesting career? Silly question, huh? Besides having or getting a good education what should you be aware of and know? Well, both Yum and MacDonald’s have a keen focus on cultural issues and so should you. No matter if you might wind up in India or China—or any other global market—my book Lies, Bribes & Peril will be a critical guide to  success.

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The Future is Now–And It’s Moved. Hang on for a heck of a ride.

January 4, 2010

Entering this New Year and this new decade there are two pieces of information. One is a “factoid” and the other a researched fact and when deliberated together, they yield an undeniable conclusion about the future of the global economy. 

First of all, consider the fact that Goldman Sachs recently issued predictions that included a forecast that’s a major league world changer; Within the next two decades (note: 17 years was the precise prediction) the major emerging economies of China, Russia, India, and Brazil (or “BRIC” countries in the wisdom of the acronym makers) will eclipse the current G-7 (U.S., Japan, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain) in terms of Gross Domestic Production or GDP. The estimates for 2009 by the International Monetary Fund had the U.S. creating about one quarter of the world’s GDP and the G-7 comprising almost 55% of it. The IMF figures assessed the BRIC countries as producing just over 15% of the world’s GDP. Wow, if Goldman Sacks is correct then what’s ahead is sure to be one hell-ova financial switcheroo’!

Next, take into consideration reports of the highest returning money funds over the last decade. While the S&P index was losing about 3.3% annually for the last decade, the most lucrative funds were all emerging market funds and each of the top five returned over eight times their investment.

The top fund, East Capital Ryssland, returned 1524%…..double WOW. To put this in tangible terms, if you had put $10,000 into a S&P index fund in early 2000 you would now have, oh around $7,000 left in that fund to date (inflationary adjustments would just add insult to injury!). Contrast that with an equal investment in the Ryssland Fund for that very same time period: you’d be looking at about $152,400 by now. Any third grader can do the math there.

Where would you have wanted your investment?

Well, in one way or another, you’re going to get an opportunity to face that kind of decision. Assessing these points together can lead to only one conclusion–this kind of humongous market disparity will continue (and YES, Webster says “humongous” is a definitely a word).  If the mercurial pace of growth in the BRIC occurs as forecast (the IMF, World Bank, etc. —all divine similar growth) then not only the best investment opportunities will be in found in these emerging markets, but these countries will be the proverbial ground zero of global commerce for at least the next two decades. Unimaginable opportunity and wealth will certainly be created.

The next Microsoft, Wal-Mart, or Toyota will almost certainly not be from a G-7 country.  And NOTE: If historians ever point to any single corporate event that could be considered to have presaged the decline of the importance of the U.S. in the global economy, it just may be GM losing the place as the #1 Global Auto Maker to Toyota in 2008 (a spot GM had held for over 70 years!).

The widely forecasted colossal GDP growth in emerging markets will result in U.S. companies focusing their attention to those countries in a way that is historically unprecedented. 

Lastly the top careers within most U.S. corporations will be built by specializing in and mastering all the emerging markets–regardless of industry.  Corporate hegemony will inevitably see U.S. companies acquired by foreign companies in far greater numbers than ever before.  No matter where you live in the U.S. and regardless of your endeavor, your life and its rapidly changing challenges will be significantly affected.

A new economic world-order is upon us. What should these revelations tell anyone who is in college now (or anyone under 40 for that matter) where their careers will most likely revolve and where their fortunes will most likely be found?

Two guesses (and the first one doesn’t count).

What skills will an individual need to compete in what is sure to be a wild, woolly, exciting and tumultuous commercial free-for-all?

The primary countries in play couldn’t be more different: history, religion, languages (India alone has 28 different dialects) and the geography literally stretches to the four corners of the earth! How in the heck will the entrepreneur, the thrill and fortune seekers of the next twenty years succeed in such diverse areas?

Traditional business acumen will be important of course, but there will be much, much more necessary to have in place and in play achieve success. Suffice it to say that new skills (perspectives really) that are not required now or even necessary in the current American marketplace will be critical.

A good start on what those perspectives are and how to develop an understanding of them can be found by reading my book, Lies, Bribes, and Peril: Lessons for the REAL Challenges of International Business. Read it and think about it and learn this: there are NEW skills and perspectives required in the future Marketplace of Now.   Add a dash of ambition, a peck of dedication and a bushel of perseverance and we are all off on an intercultural economic adventure of a lifetime for the next few decades.  Enjoy it people–it’s going to be  one heck of a (wild and exciting) ride!