Within twenty years the combined GNP of the BRIC countries is forecast to overtake the current G7. A new world of consumers is making its presence felt as middle classes in emerging markets will accelerate past those in the west. These countries are embracing globalization and have generally come out of the recent global downturn well, providing multi-nationals with their greatest growth opportunities. One in ten of the Fortune 500 companies is already headquartered in an emerging economy.
The march of globalization does not mean that international expansion into developing markets has become any less of a commercial or cultural challenge. Success in these next-generation markets depends today far more on quality of leadership than other factors such as low-cost labor or availability of natural resources. Leadership skills will continue to be severely tested by the need for unconventional thinking, capacity to navigate through adversity and doggedness to overcome man-made obstacles. Opportunities will be there for those with courage to take them to leap-frog rules, systems and processes that have worked in mature markets.
The Talent Gap
There has been much written on the challenges of finding indigenous executive talent in these markets with the skills and experience to help organizations take the lead. There is a continuing imbalance between growing demand from both local and international organizations for talent with international business experience and local supply which is expanding but almost universally failing to keep pace. If one accepts that, at least for the next 5-10 years there will continue to be a gap, then there will be an ongoing requirement for executives imported either from developed markets, including returning diaspora, or from more evolved emerging markets like India and Brazil from which talent is already beginning to be exported.
Finding the Right Talent
Board’s succession plans made in Europe and the United States increasingly see emerging markets experience as a critical stepping stone to future global leadership positions. Given the cultural challenges of working in these markets, conducting a thorough assessment of potential recruits is critical to minimize the enhanced risk of failure that many companies have experienced. The resultant churn brings significant costs (both tangible and intangible), lowers company morale and damages reputations.
We work with both multinational and domestic organizations in emerging markets, providing:
- Identification, assessment and recruitment of candidates for senior leadership roles, including where appropriate, psychometric tests and in depth behavioral interviews
- Evaluation of current and desired organizational culture in the particular market or globally, combining quantitative analysis, interviews, research and deep industry intelligence
- Evaluation of the fit of key executives to the new culture and identification of areas of potential concern
- Review of existing management team against external benchmarks and the strategic objectives of the organization