The gravitational shift: Asian multinationals have the economic edge

Tomorrow’s battle for corporate dominance will be fought and won in the emerging markets of Asia, home to half the world’s population. The the winners are likely to Asian. As the world’s economic center of gravity shifts to Asia over coming decade, new multinational corporations will emerge to take advantage of Asia and emerging markets in ways that the established Western multinationals cannot. These multinational organizations, with cultural roots in Asia, will emerge with a strong natural understanding of Asian consumers and needs; they will possess great adaptability, responsiveness, and consumer insights – posing a threat to the many of today’s largest and most successful Western multinationals…especially those multinationals who continue to maintain their Western roots and leadership far from their customers and suppliers.

These new Asian-based multinationals—Samsung, Tata, HTC, Huawei, LG, Acer, Lenovo, Alibaba, Tencent to name a few of today’s leaders—are not interested in borrowing business models from their Western counterparts; they possess the needs of the emerging markets in their corporate veins and are not interested in the past. The shape their business models and products for the emerging markets from the inside out, drawing on organizational cultures that are unique to Asia – not cultures and organizational models derived from 50 years of multinational experience, but models that germinate from the opportunities and needs of today. The impact of this important mega trend on talent and leadership is staggering. Just in case the boardrooms of the West haven't noticed, the battle is already being won.