Globalization has brought companies unprecedented opportunities to tap vast new markets. But there's a flip side: The challenges of coordinating manufacturing, sales and logistics in dozens of countries worldwide can be mind-boggling.
Pierre Beaudoin, president and CEO of Bombardier Inc., knows this all too well. As the world's largest supplier of rail equipment, systems and services, and the third-largest manufacturer of civil aircraft, Bombardier employs 63,000 workers in more than 60 countries. During a private conversation with the Milken Institute Associates, Beaudoin shared his insights about doing business and capturing growth in emerging markets.
Bombardier has seen a dramatic shift in global demand. Emerging markets accounted for only 11 percent of the company's sales in 2005, but today they make up over a third of new orders. Beaudoin noted how quickly China is moving to build its transportation infrastructure. He saw that same decisiveness at work when Bombardier set up an extensive new factory in China: It was up and running in just 12 months.
While the Canadian and U.S. governments generally take a hands-off approach to business, government has a much more direct relationship with industry in emerging markets - a reality that can both help and hinder.
Most of the company's engineers are still based in Germany, but just as manufacturing went global, Beaudoin feels that multinational corporations will now have to determine the degree to which their international operations can serve as a source of product innovation and design.
This event was open only to Milken Institute Associates. To join the Associates or learn more about the program, please contact Mindy Silverstein, director of the Associates, at (310) 570-4634 or firstname.lastname@example.org.