Localisation is the secret behind the success of global brands: Nestle Exports

Doing business in emerging markets could be tricky due to lack of data and cultural differences, say business leaders

 Neha Dewan | @TheDollarBiz FIEO-Jims-The-Dollar-Business Companies that plan to go global at times overlook the need to localise their products, and this often leads to failure, revealed Rakesh Sharma, Head of Exports, Nestle India, at a knowledge symposium on “Emerging Opportunities and Risk Management in Global Business” organised by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) and Jagan Institute of Management Studies (JIMS) in New Delhi last week. Speaking at the forum, Sharma said that identifying a consumer segment that resonates with the company’s core strength is an important factor for the success of a brand in emerging markets. However, localisation is the key. “One must develop products that are suitable for the local market. Localisation is critical to access. Failure to localise is one of the most common reasons for failure,” Sharma said while citing examples on how Nestle tailors its products to suit specific local tastes and sensibilities. Sharma also highlighted how unavailability of market data and a fragmented marketplace with cultural dissimilarities can act as stumbling blocks for businesses in emerging markets. Experts from trade and industry, government organisations, educational institutes and international business support institutions were present at the symposium to discuss business challenges in a globalised economy.

Florence-Imisa-Wechem-The-Dollar-Business Florence Imisa Weche, Kenya High Commissioner

The chief guest, Kenya High Commissioner Florence Imisa Weche, spoke about the business opportunity between India and Kenya. She said, “There are vast opportunities available in Kenya in various sectors which can be tapped by Indian corporates.” She also mentioned the possibility of an exchange programme in education between the two countries as many students from Kenya travel to India for higher education. The symposium also covered two technical sessions: Doing business in emerging markets and challenges; and foreign currency valuation and risk management strategies. The first session had speakers including R.K Sharma, Head of Exports, Nestle, Sanjay Jain, Professor, Delhi School of Economics, and Tanu Singh, Assistant Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) Government of India. Ajay Sahai, Director General & CEO, FIEO, moderated the session. They spoke about emerging markets, the various challenges faced in those, and about the factors that could help in accelerating business in such markets.   The second session focused on managing challenges of exchange rate volatility. Speakers included Professor Harkirat Singh, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), New Delhi, Munish Sehgal, Ex-Treasury Head of Ranbaxy, and Nitin Kedia, Treasury Head at Aditya Birla Money, Mumbai. The symposium was attended by corporates such as Jindal Steel, Aditya Birla Money, Yes Bank and KS Commodities, among others.    

This article was published on October 20, 2014.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Oct 20, 2014 12:00 IST