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Global Future - The Next Challenge for Asian Business





Book: 'Global Future - The Next Challenge for Asian Business'

Authors: Arnoud De Meyer, Pamela C.M. Mar, Frank-Jürgen Richter and Peter Williamson

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd, 2005

ISBN: 0-470-82130-2

Leader Values

Many experts are describing the 21st Century as ‘the Asian Century’, and the global business community is increasingly looking to Asia as the source of the world’s future global corporations. But which companies are likely to become the global giants of the future? And how should an Asian company take the global leap? Succeeding in the world market means more than just repeating your home market activities on a larger scale. It requires a totally different mindset and new organisational capabilities.

Authors De Meyer, Mar, Richter and Williamson are authorities on Asian business globalisation, and have drawn on additional experts to assemble this definitive analysis of the challenges of globalisation. They categorise Asian businesses into three groups, according to when they went global. The so-called Pioneers, like Sony, Kikkoman and Samsung, started globalising over 20 years ago; the Builders, like SingTel, started about 15 years ago; and the Newcomers, like China Netcom, began within the past five years.

These different groups of companies have reached different stages in consolidating their global position. But more importantly, they face different challenges as they move into the future. In some respects, the path should be easiest for the Newcomers. After all, they have successful role models to follow, the world has learned to value Asian products, and there is a growing pool of trained, experienced and recruitable Asians living overseas. But of course, the world is changing and each company has its own challenges to face – so they can’t simply replicate the approach of the successful Pioneers.

Global Future includes sections written by the CEOs of nine Asian companies at different stages of globalisation. They illustrate that some of the key factors for successful globalisation are: having a clear strategic intent to go global, developing a unique concept, building a defendable portfolio of assets and capabilities, consolidating successes and learning from each step along the way. These case studies are well worth reading – but if you are too busy and just want a few sound bites, you can just read the convenient “Takeaway” summary for each one.

Companies planning to go global are urged to follow a structured, three-step model called the “Globalisation Staircase”. Climbing this staircase starts with laying down the appropriate infrastructure, then building the necessary capabilities, and finally achieving sustainability. Companies that take each of these steps in sequence are much more likely to succeed in the global market.

As you would expect, China and India get a lot of coverage in Global Future, though the challenges and opportunities for the rest of Asia are analysed as well. The authors see China as “the source of the leading contenders to become industry’s dominant global players”. China Netcom and ICBC are used as illustrative case studies in the Newcomers category, and companies like Haier and Lenovo are highlighted along the way.

This is essential reading for all Asian corporate tigers preparing to take the global leap – and also for Western companies who want to understand the challenges that the Asian Century holds in store.

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