订阅

多平台阅读

微信订阅

杂志

申请纸刊赠阅

订阅每日电邮

移动应用

管理

进军海外市场须三思而后行

Shelley DuBois 2011年08月19日

中国等新兴市场的确能为公司业务的迅猛发展提供大好机遇。但在进军海外市场之前,最好还是先做足功课。各国国情、商业文化迥异,如果依然坚持当初殖民主义的一套思维,必然会吃败仗。

    目前,什么才是公司最佳的增长策略?任何一位CEO的回答肯定都是“在那遥远的地方”。商界领袖们对发达国家萧条的市场已经灰心,纷纷把目光投向海外,为未来的增长寻找动力。

    正如《财富》杂志(Fortune)上周指出的那样,对于许多公司而言,进军海外确实是非常有效的途径。许多公司高管也许都认为有必要进军新兴市场,以期达到投资者对业务快速增长的期望,但许多人却错误地认为在美国本土制定的商业计划放之四海皆准。

    康奈尔大学约翰逊管理学院(Cornell's Johnson School of Management)国际与公司关系部副主任兰迪•艾伦认为,实际上,绝大多数公司在进入新兴市场,开辟新业务之前,并没有做足功课。

    新兴市场或许确实充满了吸引力,但许多公司头脑发热,误以为轻易就能在这些市场实现高速增长。所以,在兴匆匆奔赴海外市场之前,公司需要考虑以下几个关键的问题。

    金砖四国(BRIC)假象

    德勤咨询公司(Deloitte Consulting)的新兴市场专家戴维•马丁表示:“实际上,并没有所谓的金砖四国”。金砖四国是高盛投资公司(Goldman Sachs )杜撰的一种说法,指的是巴西、俄罗斯、印度和中国这四个国家。高盛认为在这四个国家开展业务的时机已经成熟。

    但金砖四国其实是一种虚假的分类。首先,自从2008年经济衰退以来,大公司对俄罗斯市场一直意兴阑珊。而且,一般情况下,不应该把国家按群体分类,因为每个国家要求的战略各不相同。即便在同一个国家,地区差异也会形成不同的市场。比如,针对中国城市与农村地区的差异,公司在制定商业计划时便需要区分对待,充分考虑从消费者偏好到交通等各个方面的因素。

    马丁说,许多公司都认为,通过精简一些功能来降低产品的价格,恰好能适合新兴市场的需求,其实这完全是一种愚蠢的想法。他说,虽然许多市场确实需要价格更加低廉的产品,但是,“根本没有那么幼稚的消费者。对于自己购买的产品究竟是几等货色,他们清楚得很。”

    君子协定?

    跟消费者偏好一样,各新兴市场的法律机制也各不相同。在美国,合同对公司的商业活动具有强大的约束力。但在新兴市场,合约协议的效果却要大打折扣。西北大学凯洛格管理学院(Northwestern's Kellogg school of management)副教授本杰明•琼斯表示,在许多市场,交易是否牢靠更多是取决于长期持久的关系,而不是一份签过字的文件。但这种关系同样会因为政局气候的变迁而受到威胁。

    安然公司(Enron)在印度的大博电厂项目就曾经遇到这种问题(当然还有其他问题)的困扰。1992年,在印度政府的支持下,安然与大博电厂(Dabhol Power Company)启动了一个价值29亿美元的电厂合作项目。然而,从1994年开始,一位反对派政治候选人持续反对安然,并获得了胜利,引发了一系列法律纠纷,最终迫使安然退出了该项目。

    除此之外,公司在国外还会面临知识产权保护的问题。比如,在中国,产权信息就很难得到保护。就在上周,中国相关部门在昆明查处了22家假冒苹果(Apple)零售店。

    琼斯建议,如果公司希望避过专利问题,可以有两种方法。第一种是采取与福特(Ford)T型车装配线相同的策略:制造商在不同工厂生产产品的组件,加大反向还原的难度。琼斯提出的另外一种方法是与当地公司或政府建立合作伙伴关系,“确保他们能成为利益共同体的一部分。”

    你并非唯一的主角

    不论采取哪种方法,新兴市场的消费者和公司正在重新审视与发达国家公司的互动模式。如果公司希望在海外业务中实行西方的经营模式,肯定会大失所望。

    埃默里大学戈伊苏埃塔商学院( Emory University's Goizueta Business School)市场营销专业的教授贾格迪什•塞斯表示:“许多发达国家依然存在殖民心态,比如‘我们在国内研发了新产品,实现了商业化,现在我们该把东西买到国外去了’。”

    殖民心态已经没有市场。实际上,许多国家要求跨国公司转变经营模式,之后才能进入他们的市场。以印度为例,印度关税法规使进口计算机组件的成本远远低于进口计算机整机的费用,这迫使制造商不得不在印度国内进行生产。

    其他美国公司也在参与这些市场的竞争。大部分大型跨国公司已经划好了自己的地盘。而中等规模公司不仅希望能在新兴市场中分得一杯羹,也在人才领域展开了激烈竞争。

    例如,德勤的一位客户计划在未来两年招聘20,000名中国员工。马丁告诉这位客户:“我曾与你的三位竞争对手进行过交流,也了解了另外四家。符合技术要求的工人有没有20,000名我不能肯定,但我可以肯定地告诉你,这样的工人总计肯定不到120,000人。”

    马丁称,这样的发现无异于兜头一盆凉水。谋求海外扩张的公司在行动之前最好能经历一次这样的洗礼。

    翻译:刘进龙/汪皓

    Ask just about any CEO about the best growth strategy, and you'll hear about faraway places. Business leaders, frustrated with sluggish developed markets, are looking abroad for future growth.

    This can be a great approach for many companies, as Fortune pointed out last week. But while executives may feel the need to enter emerging markets to grow as fast as investors want, many mistakenly assume that a U.S.-born business plan will succeed abroad.

    In fact, an overwhelming majority of companies enter emerging markets without doing their homework before setting up shop in other countries, says Randy Allen, associate dean for international and corporate relations at Cornell's Johnson School of Management.

    Emerging markets may be attractive, but companies looking for an easy growth spurt are getting in over their heads. There are a couple of key points to consider before rushing abroad.

    A BRIC imagination

    "There is no such thing as BRIC," says David Martin, an emerging markets specialist with Deloitte Consulting. BRIC, a term coined by Goldman Sachs (GS), refers to the pack of countries -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- considered ripe for new business.

    But BRIC is a false grouping. For one, Russia has been much less exciting to big business since the downturn in 2008. And, in general, countries shouldn't be clumped together because each requires a distinct strategy. Even within countries, differences between regions make for different markets. The differences between, say, urban and rural areas in China require distinct business plans that take into account everything from consumer preferences to transportation.

    While many companies think that making their products cheaper by removing features is the equivalent of tailoring them to emerging markets, Martin says, but they're wrong. While some markets may demand less expensive products, "you don't have unsophisticated consumers," he says, "they know what they're getting."

    Word is bond?

    Like consumer preferences, local legal systems in emerging markets can vary. In the United States, the contract is a strong binding force for businesses. But contract agreements in emerging markets can bend. In many markets, the strength of a deal depends more on a long-lasting relationship than a signed piece of paper, says Benjamin Jones, an associate professor at Northwestern's Kellogg school of management. Even those relationships can be jeopardized by fluctuations in the political climate.

    Enron suffered from this problem (among other things) with its Dabhol power plant in India. In 1992, the company began a $2.9 billion power plant project with the Dabhol Power Company, backed by the Indian government. Starting in 1994, an opposing political candidate ran on an anti-Enron platform, and won, setting off a legal back-and-forth that ultimately forced Enron to pull out of the project.

    Companies are also facing difficulties with intellectual property rights abroad. In China, for one, proprietary information is proving hard to protect. Just this past week, Chinese authorities have identified 22 retail outlets in Kunming city copying the the iconic Apple store .

    There are a couple of ways that companies are trying to sidestep patent issues, says Jones. One is the same tactic used on the Ford (F) Model-T assembly-lines: manufacturers build parts of products in different facilities, making them difficult to reverse-engineer. An alternative method is to form partnerships with local companies or governments, Jones says, to "make sure they have some skin in the game."

    You're not the only show in town

    Either way, emerging market consumers and businesses are redefining the terms of engagement with companies from larger economies. Companies looking to slap a Western business model on operations abroad are going to be sorely disappointed.

    "Many advanced countries still have a colonial mindset, of 'we invent here, we commercialize it, and now it's possible to market it there,'" says Jagdish Sheth, a professor of marketing at Emory University's Goizueta Business School.

    The colonial mindset won't work anymore. In fact, many countries require multinationals to transform their business models to gain access to their market. Take India, which has tariff laws that make it much easier to import computer components than finished computers, which pressures manufacturers to produce in their country.

    Other U.S.-based companies are competing for these markets too. Most big multinationals have already staked their claim. Now, medium-size companies are scrambling not just for a piece of the action, but for talent as well.

    For example, one of Deloitte's clients outlined plans to hire 20,000 Chinese employees over two years. "I've talked to three of your competitors," Martin told the client, "and I've read about four others. I can't tell you there aren't 20,000 people with the skill set you need, but I can tell you there aren't 120,000."

    It was a wake-up call, Martin said. For companies who are eyeing overseas expansion, it's far better to have one of those before you make the leap.

我来点评

  最新文章

最新文章:

500强情报中心

财富专栏