Thursday, June 21, 2007

Translating the "Huge" Opportunity into Actionable Forecasts

Market research firms and the business media have finally caught the emerging market bug and are yelling from the hilltops that the opportunity is “huge.” Forrester’s recent study received considerable media attention by stating that by 2015 most PC growth will occur in Brazil, Russia, India and China and the world will have 1 billion PCs in use by the end of 2008. The research says that in order to capitalize on this growth, hardware and software manufacturers will need to make a fundamental shift in their businesses and it gives nods to some of the heavily-marketed multinational initiatives.

With such compelling numbers and media attention, it is no wonder that technology companies are investing in programs targeting developing countries. Indeed, there has never been a more compelling time to invest. Senior executives no longer need convincing and emerging-market consumers are prioritizing technology spending. However, many large-scale emerging-market initiatives have failed in spite of the overwhelming opportunity, and business managers are advised to proceed thoughtfully.

Emerging markets are different and less intuitive, even for experienced business managers. Corporations that insist upon actionable analyses, sound data, and scenario forecasting will gain a competitive advantage in navigating the gauntlet of emerging-market opportunities. Business managers are well advised to apply the same sound strategic analyses to emerging-market endeavors as they would other business opportunities. Using new dynamic tools and broad sources of data, corporations can mitigate the risks associated with emerging markets and secure their share of the “huge” opportunity.

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