Spotlight on Business – Issue 1, 2013
Do comfort zones exist?
Businesses are drawing the same conclusion about today’s environment: expect economic volatility to be the norm and emerging markets to dominate growth. There is little option but for businesses to be risk-prudent while turning challenges into opportunities with some measure of courage and foresight.
This is true particularly for companies venturing into emerging markets. There is the risk of investing — and not investing — in these high-growth, yet often unfamiliar territories. For example, the Middle East, home to a thriving Islamic banking industry, is increasingly drawing investors who however, are still contemplative about the region's political stability.
Regardless, securing success in multiple markets will require an operating model that balances global and local empowerment. The term “glocal” is fast making its way into management vocabulary. The challenge with managing talent has, and will, become more pronounced.
Closer to home, private equity players are snapping up buys with increased deal activity in Asia-Pacific. The outIook for insurers in the region is also positive despite the demands of fast-changing regulations, of which the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act is perhaps most notable.
Meanwhile, companies in Singapore are grappling with a challenge of a different kind: productivity gains. Therein lies the stake of Singapore’s economic future in this globalized world. Many of our local companies are family-run. Is there a place for corporate governance when the business is founded on familial ties? There is. And leading family businesses know that.
Country Managing Partner, Singapore