Beyond Asia: strategies to support the quest for growth
Setting the scene: Asian companies' expansion quest
Rapid-growth markets from Asia represent the fastest-growing economic region in the world.
Asian business is entering a new phase. Economies in the region, including China and South Korea, have become export powerhouses and home to some of the world's largest companies.
Three of the top ten companies on the Fortune Global 500 are Chinese, while Korea's Samsung, Hyundai and SK Holdings all make the top 100.
Many Asian companies are following what Peter Williamson, Professor of International Management at the Judge Business School, terms an “inside out” strategy. Initially they focus on smaller, adjacent economies, then larger rapid-growth markets and finally developed markets.
“By starting from these adjacent markets, which fit their knowledge and business model better, they can learn from experience and then move on to larger rapid-growth markets, before being ready to tackle Europe and, finally, the United States.”
Companies are using a variety of strategies to move into both rapid-growth and developed markets: revising their business models and exploring growth through greater business efficiencies.
That growth path isn't necessarily a smooth or linear one. In the April 2012 Asia- Pacific edition of our Global Capital Confidence Barometer, 48% of the respondents said they were focused on growth (vs. 52% globally), while 46% were focused on maintaining stability, consolidating gains made over recent years.
Of course, the picture is not uniform across Asia: the Global Capital Confidence Barometer shows companies in China with a relatively greater focus on maintaining stability, with those in Southeast Asia and Korea more focused on growth.
Fast facts: Asia: