Monday, March 20, 2006

China’s Future, Your Strategy

by Rohit Talwar, CEO, Fast Future
A contribution to the
Summit for the Future - May 3-5, 2006

The Asian Development Bank has forecast that China could be the world’s largest economy as early as 2025. Given an event horizon of less than 20 years, how should we be responding?

Could 2006 be the year when individuals, companies and governments across the planet will start to embrace the likely breadth, depth and style of long-term impact China could have on everything from investment flows through to scientific research and voting models for the United Nations?

I’m in the midst of writing a book on China’s future and thought I’d take the opportunity to draw on the interviews and research to date to share some of the key views emerging. In the thought piece below I’ve tried to outline some of the key perspectives emerging on China’s future and posed a series of critical starter questions for those charged with developing China Strategies for their organisations.

A Nation on the Move
The question should not really be “why take notice now?” – but rather “Why have you taken so long?” Wherever one looks, the evidence is inescapable that China is a country on a rapid development path. When reviewing official statistics, government plans, investment commitments, analyst projections and company forecasts, three key macro drivers emerge:

1. China’s growing economic power and presence in global markets
2. Development of domestic consumption
3. An increasing capacity for innovation.


Faced with these differing perspectives, for those responsible for China, the priority should be to focus on accelerating the internal learning process, with the aim of answering at least the following five questions:
- What are the size, shape and outlook for our sector in China?
- What are the relevant government plans and policies that apply to the sector?
- What are the broader ‘environmental’ factors that could affect our business and our ability to operate in future?
- What have we learned from our own experience in China? / Who do we know with experience of the China market that we can learn from?
- How do we create a learning dialogue on China inside the organisation?

There may be an understandable temptation to start with an analysis of competitor activity in China. However, a broader analysis of the market and operating environment may provide useful lenses through which to assess competitor actions.

Entering the Chinese market may feel like trying to mount a moving train while blindfolded. Developing early insight may just free up one eye!

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The Web of Entertainment

by Evalueserve - Knowledge Partner of the Summit for the Future, May 3-5, 2006

By redefining the way people receive and distribute information, the Internet has provided a new dimension for people to express themselves freely. This has been further facilitated by tools such as Blogs and Podcasts, which enable people to share their opinions, ideas, etc., without bothering about how to reach the end audience. The Internet has acted as a catalyst for the development of new means of entertainment, such as mobile phones, IP TV, online games, iPod, etc. Today, it has become an invisible web woven around our lives on which we depend for all our requirements, whether it be entertainment, information or communication.


The growing stress levels have increased the significance of entertainment like never before. This has been further facilitated by tools such as Blogs and Podcasts, which enable people to share their opinions, ideas, etc., in a fast and cost-effective manner. There was a time when media and entertainment were restricted to newspapers, magazines, journals, radio, television and cinema houses. However, the advent of the Internet completely changed the way people receive and react to information. It gave ordinary people the opportunity to share their ideas, experiences and opinions with others sitting across the globe. The growing popularity of the Internet created demand for fresh content. A part of this demand was met by the users themselves through tools such as blogs and podcasts. While blogs allow the author to voice his/her opinion on any topic without having to chase the conventional publishing media, podcasts allow users to publish and distribute audio content over the Internet. Both these mediums are becoming increasingly popular among the online audience and are expected to play a more crucial role in the future.

The Internet not only helped people express themselves more freely, but also led to innovations in technology. Today, it is being used as a medium to distribute video, audio, games and other types of entertainment content. The availability of new content over the Internet will provide a boost to the IP TV market in Europe, which, is currently in a nascent stage.

Competition and advancements in technology have also led to the introduction of new gadgets, such as advanced mobile phones, iPod, etc. These gadgets further provided an impetus to firms engaged in creating and distributing mobile content. Today, the mobile content market is not just limited to ring tones and wallpapers, but includes mobile TV, audio and video content, games, software, etc. The ubiquitous cellphone has now become a complete entertainment provider. The latest trend is airing TV programmes on 3G mobile phones.

With such exciting developments taking place, the future no wonder will have many surprises in store. For instance, blogs will complement topics published in the traditional media and will provide users with a different perspective based on the views of the online audience. They are also expected to be used by marketers to gauge consumer behaviour. The print media will become more aggressive and try to retain users by making its presence felt more strongly by offering innovative services. All these developments are likely to benefit the consumer making him ‘the king’!

You can download the full article as a *.pdf: click here

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Life Science - Summit for the Future Special Report

by Evalueserve - Knowledge Partner of the Summit for the Future, May 3-5, 2006

Biopharmaceutical Outsourcing – Moving to Centerstage

Biopharmaceuticals is the most upcoming segment of the pharmaceutical industry due to the evolution of biotechnology. This has resulted in highly efficacious products that aim at providing cures for life-threatening, difficult ailments, which have been difficult (well nigh impossible!) to treat. This industry is keeping its nose to the grindstone to reach the pinnacle. Certain factors, like increasing costs, complex regulatory issues, high prices, tremendous competition, etc., are forcing companies to improve their operational efficiency and productivity. Outsourcing has become a strategic imperative for companies in their quest to improve their efficiency and productivity.


What’s in Pipeline?

The increase in biotechnology products may result in an increasingly outsourced manufacturing market. Many new biotechnology products are in the pipeline at different stages of development and is estimated that approximately 240 new biotechnology medicines would reach the market by 2007. Out of these, some blockbusters are also expected. This could see demand for bio manufacturing outpacing the supply, resulting in companies preferring to outsource their manufacturing processes.

The proliferation in patent expirations may lead to increase in outsourcing. It is estimated that by 2006, biologics patents worth USD 10 billion will expire. The companies will be under pressure to focus more on their core competencies to develop newer products and also to outsource the manufacturing of the generic products to reduce costs. Moreover, a company would strategically view the outsourcing as a viable option, so as to manufacture the patented products also in a cost efficient manner.

Also, the biogeneric products require more trials compared to their counter part in the non-biotech sector to meet the safety issues and address the problems of bioequivalence. A slight variation in manufacturing process such as change in the culture media or growth conditions, can significantly impact the safety or the immunogenecity concerns of the product. This may lead to a requirement of new clinical trials to validate the process, which will be associated with high costs. With limited R&D facilities the generics firm may either seek partnerships or turn to outsourcing.

The process of developing guidelines in the field of bio generics will be slow since it is subjected to considerable legal interpretations on safety and technical concerns. In the US, there has been mounting pressure on regulators from the US Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), insisting that safety concerns to be addressed and debated before any guidelines for generic biologics were issued. Biopharmaceutical and biotech companies seem to be uniquely positioned to adopt outsourcing, both at home and offshore but to some extent the potential benefits will be overshadowed until the safety and technical concerns are satisfied. However, for the present, prepare to take a ‘wait and see’ approach, awaiting further developments in the industry in the years to come.

Read the full article: click here