"...keeping you great"
Africa the Next Frontier -- the World Cup has clearly put South Africa front and center. Sir Bob Geldof did the same in a key article in the Financial Times on Monday, warning UK pension funds that they are missing out on the "last great investment opportunity left" by not investing in Africa. As he notes "200 million new consumers emerging over the next five years; 25 per cent of the world's available arable land at a time of looming food shortages; and a potential $35 billion worth of mineral deposits." And the best indication from my own intel? The Dutch are crawling all over Africa (as are the Chinese). Read this short article and then join me in launching the first Hong Kong in Africa -- stay tuned (working with some Dutch on this as well).
India Growing Faster Than China -- just back from my sold-out tour in India, I can share with you firsthand that India is on fire -- and changing daily! Even the infrastructure is dramatically improving including new highways reaching their beautiful new airports. And the incessant honking has even subsided as New Delhi prepares to host the Commonwealth Games in October. As for GDP growth, some experts see India growing faster than China this year.
India's Top Brands -- And it was an honor to have some of the leaders of the most recognized brands in my audience including Ganesh Krishnamurthy, GM for Wipro's Semiconductor Business and his team; Vikas Gutgutia, founder of the biggest brand in online flowers and flower shops, Ferns & Petals and his team; and the famous Dr. Mukesh Batra, Chairman and Managing Director of Dr. Batra's, the most recognized chain of health clinics in India. They are leaders dedicated to learning and to the education of their executive teams.
Strategy Is #1 Issue -- the other major change in just six months is their focus on strategy -- at least the audience in Hyderabad (less so up north). Six months ago, the concern was execution, but this time Strategy was the #1 focus by a factor of 3:1 over People, Execution, and Cash. This is due to Indian companies losing their sole advantage of price. Now they are facing a much more competitive environment and having to adjust rapidly.
Pricings Going Way Up -- the government just announced taxi costs are going up 40% though they are holding the line on bus fares. This is just one indication of how rising costs in India are changing the strategic landscape. Right now, the biggest battleground is in the retail sector as six major families battle for India's half billion new consumers -- and the price wars are fierce as retailers face increasing costs.
Thin Middle Management -- and I continued to encounter firms with sparse middle management. As a result, the senior leaders continued to complain about the incredible hours they are working. We are doing what we can in India to encourage the firms to add more middle managers and get senior management DNA transferred down -- the key is the monthly management meeting with all middle and senior managers (hopefully you're all hosting these critical half-day to day long educational and problem solving sessions).
Gazelles India -- and we're excited to announce that Raghoo Potinii, our partner in India, is officially taking on the name Gazelles India. We're also making plans for our first Growth Summit in India, this being our fifth (Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America being our other four -- Latin American likely happening in the next year as well).
The New Global Opportunity -- take another three minutes and scan through this June 21 Fortune piece that succinctly puts in perspective the opportunities a global $58 trillion economy provides -- this is going to be a great decade for those that take understand how to navigate the world.
Spend Less, Borrow Less -- and last, the debate in Europe and the U.S. is whether the governments are spending enough to get us out of our unemployment mess. Fortune magazine weighs in and shows how those claiming Keynes would support more stimulus are misrepresenting his position.