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商业 - 2013财富全球论坛

企业全球化须审慎

David Whitford 2013年06月09日

全球化依然是个热门话题,不少公司都希望走出去。但百威英博啤酒集团CEO、前家乐氏CEO等参加财富全球论坛的商界领袖则指出,全球化并不适合所有的公司。

    百威英博啤酒集团CEO薄睿拓

    周五,在2013年财富全球论坛“进军全球市场战略”分会场,主持人杰奥夫•科尔文【《财富》杂志高级编辑】一开场就向台下的观众提出了两个问题。首先,你们中有多少人在国际公司工作?大多数听众举起了手。第二,你们中有多少人所在的公司渴望国际化?其余人都举起了手。

    但是,这场分会最出人意料的收获是什么?全球化这个想法想法不一定总是件好事。推进需要审慎。

    巴塞罗那IESE商学院的全球战略教授潘卡基•格玛沃特指出,很少有公司能够真正做到业务覆盖全球每个角落;除了可口可乐(Coca-Cola),很难再想出第二家。格玛沃特表示,大约90%的美国跨国公司运营覆盖不足20个国家,即便是在有业务运营的国家,可能也只是在一、两个重要城市。

    比如,百威英博啤酒集团(Anheuser-Busch InBev)在全球24个国家有办事处,但CEO薄睿拓表示,他的公司不必无所不在。为什么?主持人科尔文问到。非洲有10亿人口,天气炎热。听起来像是一个卖冰镇啤酒的好地方。

    “因为我们信奉专注,”薄睿拓说。非洲市场正在增长,但没有像中国这么快,且人才稀缺——战线拉得太长,“到最后只会收获寥寥。”

    前家乐氏(Kellogg)CEO卡罗斯•古铁雷斯曾在小布什时期出任美国商务部长,他的很大一部分工作就是帮助美国公司进行海外扩张。他分享了两点经验。第一,扩张进入印度和中国这样的大市场时下可能很流行,但通常更明智的做法是先拓展离本国较近的市场。事实上,格玛沃特指出,60%的美国公司首次向海外扩张时会选择加拿大。

    古铁雷斯的第二点经验是:和前美国国务卿玛德莱娜•奥尔布莱特一样,他推崇那些“走错市场做对事”的公司。“常常有这样的情况,如果你去了一个其他人不敢去的国家,”古铁雷斯以家乐氏早年的南美市场经验为例。“坚持20年后,你会发现,自己已经拥有了巨大的优势。”

    古铁雷斯认为,海外运营的最大挑战是“跨越文化鸿沟”,但这在建设强大公司文化时也会成为一项巨大的优势。早年他在家乐氏工作时曾被派遣到加拿大,让古铁雷斯郁闷的是,没人问起他之前在墨西哥的工作情况。他想,他们可能先入为主地认定,一个发达市场没有什么可以向一个欠发达市场学习的。“除了文化好奇,再没什么溢美之词,”古铁雷斯表示。“尽量把它打造成为公司文化的一部分,这样,人们就能感到自己的重要性。”(财富中文网)

    译者:早稻米

    At the start of Friday's session on global go-to-market strategies at the 2013 Fortune Global Forum, moderator Geoff Colvin asked the audience for two shows of hands. First, how many of you work for global companies? That covered most of us. Second, how many of you work for companies that aspire to be global? That covered everybody else.

    And yet -- the surprising takeaway from this session? Going global is not always a good idea. Proceed with caution.

    Pankaj Ghemawat, professor of global strategy at the IESE Business School in Barcelona, pointed out that very few companies really do operate in every corner of the globe; apart from Coca-Cola (KO), it's hard to think of one. According to Ghemawat, about 90% of U.S. multinationals operate in fewer than 20 countries, and even in countries where they do have a presence, they may be in only one or two key cities.

    Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), for instance, has offices in 24 countries worldwide, but CEO Carlos Brito says his company doesn't need to be everywhere. Why aren't you in Africa? Colvin asked him. It's a billion people, it's hot. Sounds like a good place to sell cold beverages.

    "Because we believe in focus," Brito said. Africa is growing but not as fast as China, and talent is scarce -- stretch it too thin and "at the end of the day you accomplish little."

    When former Kellogg (K) CEO Carlos Gutierrez was U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President George W. Bush, a big part of his job was helping U.S. companies expand overseas. He shared two lessons. One, it may be fashionable to expand into huge markets like India and China but it's often smarter to start closer to home. In fact, Ghemawat noted, 60% of U.S. companies entering foreign markets for the first time begin with Canada.

    Gutierrez's second lesson: like former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, he admires companies "that do great business in bad zip codes." "Very often if you go to a country where others are fearful to go," Gutierrez said, citing Kellogg's early experience in South America, "20 years down the road you'll find you have a tremendous advantage."

    According to Gutierrez, one of the greatest challenges of operating overseas -- bridging the cultural gap -- can also be a great advantage in building a strong company culture. When he transferred to Canada early in his career at Kellogg, Gutierrez was dismayed that no one asked him about his experiences at his prior posting in Mexico. He thinks they probably assumed that a developed market had nothing to learn from an underdeveloped market. But "there is nothing more flattering than cultural curiosity," Gutierrez said. "To the extent you can make that part of your company culture, it goes so far toward making people feel important."

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