Why local firms are winning in emerging markets

Peter Haden
McKinsey

In this edited version of the Marketing Society's November Conference keynote speech, Peter Haden describes the size and scale of the opportunity in emerging markets. He argues that Western companies risk losing out to fast-growing local competitors and describes the skills required to compete effectively.

I have spent a lot of my career working in emerging markets. About a third of that time has been with international businesses trying to build market share and drive sustainably profitable growth. The rest has been with local businesses, nearly always family owned, with an almost limitless ambition to win. Everyone now knows the story about the emerging middle class and the growth of India and China. However, I believe the scale of opportunity is still underestimated by most companies and, more importantly, many of today's global brands are losing out to local emerging market players.

The size of opportunity