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全球商界4大急先锋

Josh Dawsey 2011年07月13日

从印度古尔冈到美国盐湖城,这些全球最佳新兴商业城市见证了本文所述四位高管和创业者的成功之路。

乔希•詹姆斯    

年龄:38岁

城市:美国犹他州盐湖城

    “第二硅谷”正迅速成为盐湖城的非正式昵称,因为许多加利福尼亚州的高科技企业——包括Adobe公司、易趣网(Ebay)、甲骨文公司(Oracle)、Twitter和美国艺电公司(Electronic Arts)等——都在这里扩大了业务或设立了新的部门。

    而且,他们有充分的理由这么做。毕竟盐湖城的税率全美最低,并且犹他大学(University of Utah)是美国最著名的成功创业者摇篮。布鲁金斯研究所(Brookings Institute)称该地区工作人口的生产效率在美国居于首位。

    此外,该地区到处都是充满雄心壮志的年轻创业者,梦想着有朝一日能成为下一个乔希•詹姆斯。

    二十世纪九十年代初,现年38岁的詹姆斯在就读伯明翰杨大学(Brigham Young University)期间成立了Omniture软件公司。该公司位于盐湖城郊区,之后规模扩大到2,000多名员工,并与美国在线(AOL)、沃尔玛(Wal-Mart)、美国运通(American Express)和福特(Ford)等公司建立了合作关系。

    2009年, Adobe公司斥资18亿美元收购该公司。但被称为“技术宗师”的詹姆斯却表示,他当时觉得出售Omniture并不是什么令人激动的事;不过,“投资者对Adobe公司给出的价格非常感兴趣,而面对能在一夜之间为他们带来100%收益的机会,作为公司经营者,很难提出反对意见。”

    目前,在Adobe短暂工作一段时间之后,詹姆斯决定从头再来。最近,他收购了商业智能公司Corda,并计划在7月13日为这家120人的公司更换字号。

    詹姆斯表示,他希望“改变商业智能发挥作用的方式”。他认为即便在日益数字化的时代,CEO们依然无法直接获得实时信息。

    詹姆斯表示:“CEO必须依赖IT部门提供信息,但这些信息之前都经过他们的修改、筛选和编撰。好像所有人都接受了一个事实:CEO只能坐等IT部门为他们发送报告。但实际上并不是只有这一座独木桥。”

    从头再来对于詹姆斯个人来说也是一个挑战。他曾公开表示自己喜欢创立公司,白手起家。

    詹姆斯表示:“我当初离开Omniture时,收到了400多封员工发来的电子邮件,他们都说,这是他们工作过的最优秀的公司。我希望能再造一家这样的公司。”

 

Josh James

Age: 38

City: Salt Lake City, Utah

    Salt Lake City's unofficial nickname is quickly becoming the "Silicon Slopes," as several California tech companies -- including Adobe, Ebay, Oracle, Twitter and Electronic Arts -- have expanded or opened facilities there.

    And why wouldn't they? The city's taxes are among the lowest in America and the University of Utah leads the nation's universities in creating successful start-ups. The Brookings Institute calls the area's workforce the most productive in America.

    The region is also slammed with young entrepreneurs who want to be the next Josh James.

    James, 38, founded Omniture, a software company, during his days at Brigham Young University in the early 1990s. The company -- based in the suburbs of Salt Lake City -- grew to more than 2,000 employees while working for AOL, Wal-Mart, American Express and Ford.

    The company was bought by Adobe in 2009 for $1.8 billion in cash. The tech guru said he wasn't excited to sell Omniture, but the offer was "something our investors were interested in, and it's difficult to make an argument that you shouldn't give them a 100% windfall in one day."

    Now, after a brief stint working for Adobe, he's starting anew. James recently bought Corda, a business intelligence company, and plans to unveil a new name for the 120-employee company on July 13.

    James says he wants to "change the way business intelligence works." He said CEOs often lack direct access to live information, even in an increasingly digital world.

    "You're beholden to IT people getting you the information that's been massaged and cleansed and spun," James said. "Everyone has kind of resigned themselves to the fact that you have to wait for IT to send you a report. But it doesn't have to be a one-way street."

    It's also a personal challenge for James, who admittedly loves building companies and starting from scratch.

    "When I left Omniture, I had over 400 emails from employees saying this was the best place I've ever worked," James said. "I want to do that again."

路易斯•穆尼奥斯

年龄:51岁

城市:哥伦比亚波哥大市

    哥伦比亚咖啡在全球的代言人是一位名叫Juan Valdez的咖啡种植园主——这是为推销哥伦比亚最著名的出口产品而虚构的一个人物。而Juan Valdez咖啡的代言人则是51岁的CEO路易斯•穆尼奥斯。

    五年前,为提高哥伦比亚原产咖啡的收益和声誉,哥伦比亚咖啡联合会(Colombian Coffee Federation)创建了Juan Valdez公司。超过500,000家咖啡制造商都将Juan Valdez作为主打品牌,其中20,000家持有该品牌的少量股份。

    Juan Valdez公司位于哥伦比亚繁华的首都波哥大,2010年公司总收入达4,700万美元。目前,该公司的业务遍及七个国家,并拥有164家独立商店,公司产品在2,000多个零售市场中均有销售。

    穆尼奥斯表示:“Juan Valdez最初只是作为哥伦比亚咖啡的象征,而现在它已经成为一个真正的品牌。”

    与此同时,由于波哥大拥有优秀的年轻劳动力,同时政府推行了利于商贸发展的政策,麦当劳(McDonald's)和花旗银行(Citibank)等跨国公司也都在该市设立了办事机构。

    要在全球推广Juan Valdez品牌,尤其是在全球经济衰退的背景下,面临着诸多困难。穆尼奥斯表示,越来越多的人选择批量购买咖啡,在家中冲泡,而放弃购买价格昂贵的软饮料。他认为,这与哥伦比亚市场恰恰相反,哥伦比亚的咖啡爱好者仍然热衷于尝鲜。

    穆尼奥斯表示,正因为如此,Juan Valdez“改变了策略,转而拓宽零售市场。”公司在美洲增加了机场零售点,服务于进进出出的乘客。他表示,公司也在研究亚洲市场,并与墨西哥和中美洲国家建立了合作伙伴关系。

    穆尼奥斯表示:“目前,我们的发展情况还不错,而且增长稳定。我们还在思考,并正在为市场增加价值。”

 

Luis Munoz

Age: 51

City: Bogota, Colombia

    The worldwide face of Colombian coffee is Juan Valdez -- a fictional coffee grower created to market the nation's most famous export. And the face of Juan Valdez is 51-year old CEO Luis Munoz.

    Juan Valdez is a five-year old company created by the Colombian Coffee Federation to boost revenue and prestige for Colombian grown coffee. More than 500,000 coffee producers -- with about 20,000 owning small shares of the company -- are represented by Juan Valdez Coffees.

    Based in Bogota, the country's booming capital city, Juan Valdez brought in $47 million during 2010. It now operates in seven countries, has 164 standalone stores, and is sold in more than 2,000 retail markets.

    "Juan Valdez went from just being a symbol of Colombian coffee to being a real brand," Munoz said.

    Meanwhile, multinationals such as McDonald's and Citibank are moving offices to Bogota for its young, talented workforce and business-friendly government policies.

    Taking the Juan Valdez brand worldwide -- especially in the midst of an economic recession -- has brought challenges. More people are buying coffee in bulk and brewing at home instead of purchasing pricey solo drinks, Munoz said. That contrasts with the Colombian market, where coffee drinkers are still mesmerized by novel drinks, Munoz said.

    So Juan Valdez has "changed strategy and become more present in retail points," Munoz said. The company has added airport locations in America for travelers on the go. Juan Valdez is also studying the Asian market and creating partnerships in Mexico and Central America, Munoz said.

    "So far we're doing well and growing steadily," Munoz said. "We're thinking, dreaming and adding value to the market."

贾扬•辛格

年龄:37岁

城市:印度古尔冈市

    印度的古尔冈曾经是首都新德里一个默默无闻的郊区,而最近几年,这里已经成为一个商业中心,到处都是正在筹备的新店铺,热火朝天的房地产开发项目,以及新建的高档餐厅。37岁的创业酒店顾问贾扬•辛格在这里如鱼得水。他在古尔冈成立了服务业咨询公司——国际饭店合伙公司(International Hospitality Partners)。

    辛格表示:“几乎每10到15天,古尔冈的面貌就会发生新的变化。到处都是热火朝天的建筑工地。所以,选择在这里落脚完全符合我们的战略需要。”

    目前,IHP正在充分利用家乡经济腾飞的良机,帮助酒店、饭馆、企业餐厅和其他服务类公司招聘和培训员工。公司甚至会帮助客户设计必要的设施,甚至包括菜单的设计。辛格还与一位合作伙伴成立了一个葡萄酒中心,专门培训侍酒师和葡萄酒专员。仅仅几年前,印度人对葡萄酒专员这个职业还闻所未闻。

    辛格曾在泰姬酒店集团(Taj Hotel group)担任过四年营销总监。IHP可以完美结合他的专业知识和企业家的直觉。十年前,他曾尝试涉足网络领域,成立了一个名为Razorfinish.com的旅游折扣网站,不过最终未能取得成功。

    尽管IHP的业务已经足以让辛格忙的团团转了,不过目前他依然在与其他酒店进行谈判,希望寻求机会利用技术来改进饭店业务。去年,他成立了一家求职网站,专门面向需要招聘厨师的饭店。他希望这个网站能在一年内实现盈利,招聘新员工的公司将是该网站的主要利润来源。

    辛格认为:“你不能只看到目前的成功,而要主动寻找机会,并敢于承担商业风险。我们的一切成功都有赖于冒险。”

 

Jayant Singh

Age: 37

City: Gurgaon, India

    In recent years Gurgaon, India -- once a sleepy suburb of New Delhi -- has emerged as a business center in its own right, bustling with corporations setting up shop, ambitious real estate developments, and new upscale restaurants. The city is the perfect market for 37-year old Jayant Singh, an entrepreneurial hotel consultant who launched International Hospitality Partners, a service-industry consultancy in Gurgaon.

    "Every 10 or 15 days, the entire landscape of Gurgaon is changing. There's some kind of construction happening around at all times," Singh said. "So it makes perfect strategic sense for us to be there."

    Today, IHP is capitalizing on the business boom in its home city by helping hotels, restaurants, corporate cafeterias, and other service-sector companies hire and train employees. The company also will help its customers design their facilities, even help plan menus. Singh and a partner also opened a wine center to train sommeliers and wine stewards, a profession that was almost unheard of in India just a few years ago.

    For Singh, who worked as a marketing executive for the Taj Hotel group for four years, IHP is the perfect vehicle for combining his expertise and his entrepreneurial instincts. A decade ago, he tried his hand as a dot-com founder, launching a discount travel website called Razorfinish.com that ultimately failed.

    And while IHP has more than enough business to keep Singh hopping -- he's currently in negotiations to manage other hotels -- he's still pursuing opportunities to use technology to improve the hospitality business. Last year, he started a job search website for restaurateurs looking to hire chefs. He hopes the website will be profitable within a year, with revenues from firms looking for new employees.

    "You cannot think of short-term success," Singh said. "You have to see where the opportunities lie and take business risks. Everything we've done successfully came from taking a risk."

乔希•威廉姆斯

年龄:31岁

城市:德克萨斯奥斯汀市

    长期以来,奥斯汀市一直以其奇特的文化和浓厚的音乐气息而闻名,而随着诸多创业企业和高科技公司涌入这一座美国科技最发达的城市,这里也迅速成为新的商业中心。

    比如奥斯汀每年举办的“西南偏南”音乐节(South by Southwest festival)最开始是一项纯粹的音乐活动,后来衍生出了一个小型多媒体峰会,去年仅其科技活动便吸引了20,000人参加。过去20年,奥斯汀的人口增长了一倍。德克萨斯大学(The University of Texas)培养出大量优秀的创新人才,在全世界都具有较高的竞争力。而且,该市不征收州所得税。

    总而言之,对于乔希•威廉姆斯和他在2008年成立的社交媒体创业公司Gowalla来说,奥斯汀是最理想的地点。

    威廉姆斯表示:“不论是创业还是生活,奥斯汀都是美国最迷人的城市之一,唯一可以抱怨的或许就是华氏105度(40.56°C——译注)的气温。”

    威廉姆斯是在太浩湖旅游时,产生了创建Gowalla的灵感。当时他用手机拍摄了一张低空云团的照片,希望与他的父亲分享。当时的优美画面启发了威廉姆斯,他希望能创建一项社交媒体服务,允许用户查看业务、收录美好记忆,并与朋友保持联系,这一想法在一年后趋于成熟。

    目前,Gowalla拥有超过100万用户和33名员工,但依然远远落后于同行Foursquare。Foursquare公司目前拥有超过1,000万用户和约70名员工。不过,威廉姆斯的目标是用户数量“突破1,000万”。

    但Gowalla公司正面临艰巨的挑战。这项服务在城市地区颇受时尚、年轻的专业人员欢迎,但在较小的城市和美国偏远地区却遭到冷遇。

    威廉姆斯表示:“早期用户非常了解Gowalla或者Foursquare的服务。现在的问题是,我们如何走出旧金山、奥斯汀和纽约,并在世界其他地方得到更多主流消费者的认可?”

    译者:刘进龙

Josh Williams

Age: 31

City: Austin, Texas

    Austin -- long known for its quirky culture and stellar music scene -- has surged in business circles, as startups and tech companies flock to one of America's most technologically advanced cities.

    Consider this: the annual South by Southwest festival, which started as a music event and later spawned a small multimedia summit, attracted some 20,000 attendees last year to its tech affair alone. Austin's population has doubled in the past 20 years. The University of Texas provides a talented crop of innovators that compete worldwide. There is no state income tax.

    In other words, it is the perfect place for a social media startup like Gowalla, founded in 2008 by Josh Williams.

    "It's one of the most fantastic cities in the United States, both from an entrepreneurial perspective and just as a wonderful city to live in," said Williams. "The only thing to complain about is the 105-degree weather."

    Williams' inspiration to create Gowalla came during a trip to Lake Tahoe, where he snapped a camera phone picture of a low-hanging cloud and wanted to share it with his dad. The picturesque scene inspired Williams to create a social media service that would allow users to review businesses, document memories, and keep in touch with friends, which came to fruition one year later.

    Gowalla now has more than 1 million users and 33 employees, though it lags behind Foursquare, which has more than 10 million users and about 70 employees. Williams' goal is "north of 10 million" users."

    But Gowalla faces a formidable challenge. The service is popular in urban areas with trendy, young professionals but struggles in smaller cities and rural America.

    "The early adopters certainly knew what Gowalla or Foursquare was," Williams said. "Now, it's how do we move beyond the San Francisco, Austin, and New Yorks of the world and develop a more mainstream understanding?"

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