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Cross the Rubicon

Helping Your Company Sell Into, Raise Capital From, and Find Partners in Emerging Economies

Cross the Rubicon - Helping Your Company Sell Into, Raise Capital From, and Find Partners in Emerging Economies

Wishing for Happier Times

Amidst what appears to be a growing drum-beat for war with Iran, a recent Foreign Policy on-line pictorial titled “Once Upon a Time in Tehran” captured my attention and, if I am honest, a bit of my hope as well.  In the din of opinions about what we should do with Iran (certainly not the topic of this blog), the Foreign Policy reminded me to wish for happier times between Iran and the West.  When that moment ultimately comes (hopefully peacefully), Iran will be an emerging economy with a strong cultural history of a vibrant middle class.  The pictures show the beauty of Tehran, the Persian culture, and a handful of Western brands like Pepsi that have historically been successful selling to the Persian market.  Several brands, including Coke and Pepsi, currently sell into Iran through non-US franchises, but the challenges of connecting with the Persian market in the face of possible hostilities from western powers will be an awkward balance to strike once peace comes.  Think this is an outlandish thing to hope for?  Then let me suggest you haven’t thought enough about what it is like to market in Vietnam as an American or French company.  Regardless of the commercial opportunities this blog is focused on, let’s all hope for a peaceful resolution to a crisis that could easily spiral out of control and ignite the Middle East, drive a new energy crisis, and likely throw economies around the world into recession.

 

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Bag of Links

For our readers’ pleasure, some relevant reading and video on the topic of what is happening in emerging economies in early 2012 follows:

From The China Observer, How Diageo is differentiating its brand of whiskey in China.

Over at the Financial Times’ superb Beyond BRICs Blog, a review of Unilever’s results from Brazil and Russia, with a note of caution from the company about what they see as headwinds in emerging economies in general.

From the same FT blog, what the British firm Burton’s Foods needs to do in order to successful launch its Wagon Wheel food line in Russia.  Hint:  localization will always matter, finding the right partners even more.

US e-Tailer Amazon.Com announces its plans for entering India via Junglee.com, suggesting on-line retailers might have another advantage over brick and mortar companies in India.  Does this mean a multi-brand e-Tailer can be 100% foreign owned in India, but a multi-brand traditional retailer cannot?

Pepsi’s earnings make note of double-digit growth in a variety of emerging economies, while today the company announces job cuts in what the CEO calls a “transition year” for the company.

Everyone gulps over China’s most recent rate of inflation, hoping this is explainable by the CNY celebrations.

Pay attention to Nigeria as one of the pivotal African states where multinationals are eager to see the country further stabilize, successfully deal with Islamist terrorism in Ibadan and Kano.  Watch as YUM! Brands further expands into the country.

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