Emerging Markets Provide Opportunities, Challenges for International Businesses
The beauty of international business is the opportunity that comes along with expanding into emerging markets. Across the world, each country presents a unique set of risks, challenges and chances for those that are willing to grow, and a sound strategy and international insurance policies can help any company reach out into new territories.
A growing number of countries are experiencing an increase in political violence, tumbling economies and other hazards that could easily disrupt operations of international organizations. With that in mind, global companies must take a comprehensive approach to mitigate risk and other problems that could directly affect workers abroad. While international insurance is a key part of that, there are other complementary strategies that can help.
Keep an eye on the changing economy
One of the most direct influencers of business success is the economy. For international organizations, this means keeping a close eye on both local and global trends. Financial changes can present a wide range of issues for companies with employees spread across the world.
According to Reuters, the upcoming landscape in emerging markets is expected to get bumpy at times. However, this has been a fact of life for businesses with locations in many different countries.
"We have had quite a bit of currency changes, particularly in the very weak emerging markets," Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool's chairman and chief executive, told the media outlet, speaking about his company's current issues with operations in Brazil. "But let's put it in context. We've been in the Brazilian market for over 60 years and we've managed hyper inflationary periods, busts, booms, and we've never had a loss-making year in Brazil."
Given the uncertainty about the economy in certain markets, many international organizations are planning ahead - just in case. Reuters explained that companies always take the time to watch political, economic and financial changes within their countries. Despite concerns about emerging markets, many business leaders expressed optimism for operations in countries such as India, South Africa, Turkey and China.
"You will have economic growth in the emerging markets, even when there are shocks and ups and downs," Ivan Menezes, CEO of Diageo, told reporters, according to Reuters.
Be flexible when working overseas
Operating a company internationally is much different than keeping everything domestic. According to EY, keeping an open mind and staying flexible to the changes within your new country will allow you to make smart choices to better your business.
EY explained that there are several strategies to improve work abroad, including:
- Embrace cultural differences
- Assemble a unique and diverse management team
- Allow for creativity and individuality among employees
- Provide incentives for good company behavior
These measures, as well as others, will allow your organization to be more effective while operating abroad. Many different conditions can limit productivity and put a damper on your profits, but allowing your company to fully appreciate the culture of the country will help produce results. Better yet, EY stressed the importance of finding a way close any cultural gaps that form. Create a system that will allow workers to integrate into the local lifestyle, customs and trends. Dedicate resources to help workers be more comfortable living abroad, and welcome any diverse opinion into the organization. Doing so will foster collaboration and encourage teamwork among your staff members.
Above all else, consider comprehensive international insurance policies for your business. Coverage is necessary to limit the financial impact of a hazard overseas, and expanding into emerging markets can further complicate your exposure. So, analyze your existing insurance and acquire the needed plans to provide a safe, secure workspace for all your employees.
If you are interested in exploring new career opportunities abroad, make sure to visit our guide for finding international expat jobs.