Looking to Emerging Markets for Growth
I don’t remember the exact number of conferences I have attended over the course of the years. I could say The High-Growth Markets Summit that took place in London last month was just another one to add to my list, but this time it was different. As a member of a panel discussion on SMEs and emerging markets, I had the chance to sit on the other side of the fence and take part in the actual conversation.
What struck me the most wasn’t the high profile of participants, with the likes of former Brazilian president Lula, but rather the quality of the conversations, the insightful viewpoints and genuine interest in succeeding in the global arena.
It all started earlier this year; FedEx Express in EMEA commissioned a study with the Economist Intelligence Unit on European SMEs and how they are investing in emerging markets. What we found was that interest in emerging markets has been growing steadily, with both companies and investors seeking new opportunities there.
It was exciting to find out that almost 90% of the SMEs surveyed for this report are planning to do business in emerging markets in the coming year. Where? According to the study, the top-10 emerging markets are: China, Brazil, India, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Poland, Czech Republic, Morocco, Romania and Turkey.
Another interesting fact, the onset of the financial crisis has had an unexpected positive effect: far from slowing this growth process, it has actually served to accelerate it.
I had the chance to showcase these findings during the panel discussion at the conference, as well as the FedEx value proposition for small and medium sized businesses. Although some of the other panelists called for caution, FedEx stood optimistic and enthusiastic about the future. Yes, growth is slow, but as Einstein once said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”. This is precisely the spirit of entrepreneurship that has guided FedEx over the years.
Personally, I wouldn’t let the environment of economic uncertainty cast a shadow over us. My 28 years of experience with FedEx had made me positive-minded when it comes to exploring new opportunities. We can’t deny there are always going to be challenges and hurdles to overcome, but we are no strangers to finding innovative ways to advance and expand. After all, our business emerged at a time where no one believed it would take off and today we’re the world’s largest express transportation company.