In 20 years, Asia is predicted to top half the global GDP according to McKinsey. Yes, you read that right. Already, Asia represents a third of the global economy.
For those born in the 50’s and 60’s, Asia was exotic, yet far away from being a super power. Then the Japanese economy surged, followed by the Asian tigers, followed by China, India and soon Indonesia.
But is it such a sudden rise? Although his research is nowhere near perfect, Angus Maddison created an insightful chart about the historical GDP all the way back to the year zero.
For 1500 years, India and China represented two thirds of the global economy, simply because we were all toiling our fields, earning roughly the same amount of money. China and India just had much larger populations.
Then something big happened in Europe: the industrial revolution. GDP jumped drastically. This was followed by colonialization, which had a terrible impact on both India and China, and many other countries. You can see the crumbling of power just in recent memory.
Today, it’s a different story. Asia is going back to what it feels is its rightful place. We are currently in a transition phase, where the gravity of power is moving from west to east.
But are we prepared? When you talk to western multinationals who are generating fairly hefty revenues out of Asia, they will say ‘yes’. Yet, apart from a number of large tech companies with Indian CEOs, I see very few Asian-born professionals present in C-level and Boards of Directors. Head office balances between global strengths and local needs but the global strengths often tilt towards western strategies. Asia does not yet have a seat at the table within the center of power.
Every single competitor – both local and global – is vying for the same market share in Asia. You can’t be good – you have to be the best. You have to be smarter, faster, better.
Is your strategy strong enough so that your company will lift off with the rise of Asia? Does your workforce understand this continent well enough to be able to truly balance global vs local needs? What are you doing to be better than anyone else in this most important continent of the world? Are you getting your company ready for the future?