The key features of Emerging Markets are changing, and in upcoming decades so will the challenges and opportunities for those seeking to do business there. That was the message of Alonso Martinez, a senior lecturer at Columbia Business School, in a July presentation entitled "Emerging Economies at a Turning Point", organized by the Santiago Center in association with Universidad de Chile’s School of Economics & Business.
As a former vice-president at the global consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, Martinez was responsible for opening offices throughout Latin America. His experience led to deep insights into how business opportunities evolve and into the skills and strategies required to engage to succeed.
The paradigm of emerging markets over the last 25 years was once defined by an ascendant China, the collapse of the USSR, a poor rural population, vast numbers of young people, exponential growth of agricultural production and soil fertility, and access to oil to fuel growth. This has changed, explained Martinez. The world is projected to have a significantly larger population in which growth rates in China become uncertain, India and Africa steadily rise along with their construction rates, urban areas grow and so do aspirations and tensions, the population ages without clear means by the young to care for them, access to food becomes more difficult as increasing incomes increases meat consumption, and oil consumption is reduced.
While these evolving factors create new challenges, in the next several decades they will also create new opportunities.