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Achieve Global Market Leadership

Despite the recent market slowdown, global challengers—rapidly globalizing companies from emerging markets that are growing more quickly than their MNC comparisons—continue to expand and succeed overseas.

Global challengers remain undaunted by the concerns of Western analysts. They know how to win in volatile and uncertain times, achieving more than 40% of leadership share in many sectors. These companies should no longer be viewed as a future threat, but instead, an inherent part of the global competitive landscape.

But global challengers will face more obstacles in the years ahead. In addition to slowing economies, they face increasing competition from both their current multinational competitors and new, homegrown rivals: the champions. These champions—nearly 1,500 emerging-market-based companies—may be smaller in size, but they are still highly profitable and fast growing. From 2005 to 2014, their revenues represented 6% of global GDP. Given their current growth rates, we expect many of these champions to become top-ten companies in their sectors by 2020.

In order to graduate to global industry leaders, global challengers and champions must focus on growth, competitiveness, and strategic M&A to build their world-class capabilities.

Five Traits Separate Leaders from the Pack

What differentiates global leaders from challengers and champions can be explained by a winning combination of five key “under the hood” attributes.

  1. Vision and Culture. It isn’t enough for global leaders to have a clear, actionable vision; they also create a culture that unifies the company and amplifies individuals’ achievements.
  2. Operating Model. A leader's operating model is not a modified version of their home market. Instead, it is built to adapt to specific markets through a globally scalable model and optimized footprint.
  3. Talent and Organization. , create opportunities for talent in new markets, and uphold strong global organization and governance.
  4. Go-to-Market Model. Leaders have a clear globalization strategy, make smart local acquisitions, and develop local partnerships to meet their needs in new markets.
  5. Innovation and Reinvention. Continuous innovation isn’t enough for global leaders—when necessary, they reinvent themselves after a major disruption or crisis.


Transforming Global Challengers into Leaders

The real obstacle for global challengers is not how to establish a presence in new markets, BCG’s Sharad Verma reveals. It is how to create a harmonized global organization.


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