Navigating the global market

Since the financial crisis hit the adage to ‘export or die’ has never been more applicable to Irish companies and the CEOs who lead them, writes Deloitte’s David Hearn.

In a recent Deloitte survey, Irish CEOs signalled a major boost in business confidence for 2014 with nine out of 10 CEOs feeling more confident in the performance of their business. Throughout the year trends have generally continued to be positive although it’s hard to imagine a time where there has been so much change, opportunities and risks, facing CEOs. The first trend of note is the emergence of another billion consumers. Extreme poverty has been in steady and meaningful decline over the last 20 years − both as a percentage of global population and in absolute numbers. This is giving rise to a greatly expanded ‘consuming class’. The challenge for many Irish companies is, however, that most of this growth will take place in parts of the world they have not traditionally served in a large scale way. It is in the emerging markets of Asia, Africa, and Latin America where the growth will occur. Understanding the complex demands of this diverse cohort will be a difficult task but given their scale and contribution to overall global growth in consumption, the task is an essential one.

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