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Are emerging markets driving the future?

August 27, 2012

Vinod Kumar   

Former Managing Director and Group CEO Tata Communications

It is important to me that I’m constantly reviewing and evaluating milestones and the goals we set in our business. The path we set out and the goals we pursue are important to how we function on a daily basis. I like the data and I like to get an understanding of the business environment from all angles. In emerging markets, where the market landscapes vary so much, it’s even more important to be close to my contemporaries.

That is why we conducted a global survey on what the C-suite thought about emerging markets. The results revealed that 84% of emerging market business leaders are now looking to other emerging markets for growth and best practice. This is something we are seeing more and more, both within the space we operate in and within our customers’ businesses. As emerging markets look for examples of best business practice, they are no longer only looking to the developed markets to show them the way. Before now, it’s mostly been one-way traffic with developed markets fitting their practices to the emerging ones. This approach hasn’t always best served the business needs for these markets and I think it’s great to see that 84% of business leaders in emerging markets are now looking to their peers for the insights they need to tackle the next stretch of years ahead of them.

Across each and every emerging market there are many diverse and dynamic lessons to be learned. But, interestingly, not all emerging markets are looking to learn the same lessons. Shared experience is something that we found in some parts of the research but not in all.

There seems to be a mutual understanding of the challenges faced in different markets, but the research showed the remedy to these challenges isn’t universally the same. For example, Chinese business leaders led other emerging markets in looking for lessons related to innovation, while Indian business leaders led in interest of cost management. Middle Eastern business leaders were focused on learning more about global expansion strategies.

The collaborations we see being born today, based on this eagerness to look to other emerging markets for knowledge, are going to be the vision of global businesses in the coming years. They will be born from emerging markets and built on collaboration with peers across other innovative developing markets. Personally, I think this makes for a pretty exciting future indeed.

Take a look at our Connected World report for further data and insights and let me know what you think of this topic.