Prepare for the Next Emerging Markets

The Next Emerging Markets

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” Alexander Graham Bell

When it comes to optimizing risk management on a global scale, a great deal of attention must be paid to emerging trends on multiple fronts. Risk managers are challenged to digest, prioritize and communicate what is most important for their firms. The need to be proactively in front of external trends filtered through the business strategies of internal planning has never been greater.

Having lived through the “BRIC” explosion as the global risk manager of a multi-national technology company, I understand why so much attention was paid to the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China through much of the past decade. The impact of the business opportunity created for many organizations, including the one whose risk I managed, was amazing. As many will attest, the concurrent challenges were, in some ways, equal to the opportunity.

However, the BRIC countries’ economies are maturing and clearly now operate in many ways on an equal footing with stalwarts like the U.S., Canada, Germany and Japan. Certainly, for most globally oriented risk managers and brokers, Brazil, Russia, India, and China are a daily reality and well in hand.

I am therefore equally amazed at how little one hears in our industry regarding what is next! Clearly, globalization continues at a stunning pace. If the first round of massive and rapid globalization produced four juggernauts of economic development that most companies were desperate to tap into and at times struggled to manage, shouldn’t more attention be paid NOW to round two?

What’s Next?

Dialogue with economists and academics supports attention to this subject today. Qatar’s GDP grew at over 18% in 2011. Previously ignored, Africa’s GDP is now doubling every decade per Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

International Monetary Fund chart: World Economic OutputSo, where should one look? While there are arguments for and against certain favorites based on politics, scale and headlines of the day, there appears to be a fair amount of consensus around Mexico, Indonesia, S. Korea and Turkey. Shall we call them MIKT? Accelerating economies, increasing foreign direct investment, developing infrastructure and workforce have the countries poised for potential explosion.

Global business strategies have been seeking opportunity relentlessly and everywhere for some time. If the secret of success in life, in business and, as a subset, in risk management is to be ready for opportunity, what are risk managers and their consultative partners doing to prepare the organizations for the future? Are we ready for MIKT?

About George Haitsch

George is Executive Vice President and Practice Leader of Willis Global Solutions – North America, based in our N…
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