Impact & Expertise

Globalization Readiness Index

BCG's Diagnostic Framework Positions Companies for Success in Emerging Markets

Rapidly developing economies present an incredible growth opportunity for those companies that are prepared to take on the challenge of globalization. Consider these projections:

  • Emerging markets are expected to grow by 6 percent annually over the next five years—four times as fast as developed markets.

  • By 2020, 35 percent of all consumer spending—about $20 trillion—will emanate from emerging markets, up from 25 percent today.

  • From 2010 through 2020, 270 million new households in emerging markets will enter the global consuming class—an increase of more than 40 percent.

However, the obstacles to operating in these high-growth markets are significant, and the skills needed to win in them are quite different from those needed in developed markets. Our most recent survey of senior executives revealed that only 13 percent feel prepared to fully capture this opportunity. 

To enable global companies to win in emerging markets, BCG has developed the Globalization Readiness Index (GRI), a tool that assesses their ability to capture the growth, scale, and cost advantages of these countries.

More than Standard Metrics

Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative factors about the company and market, the GRI looks forward to anticipate how well a company is likely to perform in emerging markets in the future. The index measures each company’s potential through a best-practice analysis of 13 critical dimensions of globalization:

  • Leadership

  • Vision/strategy

  • Governance/organization

  • Product offering/value proposition

  • Branding/marketing

  • Consumer insight

  • Sales/distribution/channel

  • Talent in emerging markets

  • Risk/regulations

  • M&A/partnerships

  • Global R&D and innovation

  • Best-cost-country sourcing

  • Best-cost-country manufacturing

Working with BCG, companies can develop a full understanding of their strengths and weaknesses within a few weeks, and then start to adjust their business model in order to win in emerging markets.

Applicable in Many Situations

The index is especially helpful in preventing companies from being lulled into a false sense of security by early success in emerging markets. For example, it can highlight weaknesses in the product portfolio and distribution capability that may not be apparent when a company is focused on the high end.

The GRI can also be used in several different scenarios:

  • Assessments at a company level identify relative opportunities compared to best practices.

  • Assessments within the company enable the comparison of performance across different regions and business units or product groupings.

  • Assessments with a select set of peers identify strengths and weaknesses compared to the competition.

Meet our Experts

michael_david_thumb_lg David Michael
Senior Partner and Managing Director 
San Francisco

David is a senior partner based in the San Francisco office, and the former global leader of BCG’s Global Advantage practice area. In this capacity, he had global responsibility for BCG's client solutions related to the world's rapidly developing economies.

David has advised a wide range of global clients on strategic and organizational issues related to winning in emerging markets. He has also advised Chinese companies on their global expansion programs. Additionally, David is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Emerging Multinationals, which includes CEOs from emerging markets companies. He has also presented a TED talk on How to Connect with the Emerging Chinese Middle Class as part of a series of talks curated by TED and BCG.

He is a coauthor of our groundbreaking Global Challengers report series and also a coauthor of the BCG book The $10 Trillion Prize, which details how companies can win over new consumers in the burgeoning consumer markets of China and India. David joined BCG's Shanghai office in 1992 and was previously the managing director of the firm's Greater China practice.  

Contact David 


Waltermann_Bernd_thumb_lgBernd Waltermann
Senior Partner and Managing Director

Bernd is a senior partner in the Singapore office and a member of BCG's Asia-Pacific leadership team.

In 2007, he established BCG's Global Advantage Initiative, a firm-wide effort designed to help multinational companies grow their footprint and improve performance in emerging market environments. A significant part of that work relates to helping clients in designing their go-to-market approach in rapidly developing economies.

Since joining BCG in 1990, Bernd has been responsible for numerous assignments for clients in the European and Asia-Pacific regions across all major industry sectors, including consumer electronics, automotive, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, financial services, fast moving consumer goods, consumer durables, media, energy, mining, and industrial goods.

Contact Bernd 

Learn More

The GRI is the cornerstone of BCG's Emerging Markets Acceleration Program (EMAP), a three-phase approach  to ensuring success in emerging markets. EMAP builds upon more than a decade of BCG's experience in emerging markets across many different topics, including leadership, strategy, product portfolio, go-to-market capabilities, people and organization functions, R&D, and manufacturing excellence.

To learn more about the Globalization Readiness Index or EMAP, please contact one of our experts by sending an e-mail to

Take the Survey

Is your company primed to succeed in high-growth emerging markets? take the survey

How to Win in Emerging Markets

Download this brochure to learn more about BCG's Emerging Markets Acceleration Program (EMAP), a three-phase approach to ensuring success in emerging

Five Practices of Successful Global Businesses

In today’s world, companies cannot simply export tried-and-true practices from developed markets. BCG's CEO discusses how companies can take full advantage of the emerging-market opportunity. more

Leading You to Global Advantage

You can find all of our insights on globalization and winning in emerging markets at bcg.perspectives. more

Globalization Publications

  • The 2012 BCG 50 Chinese Global Challengers: End of Easy Growth
  • MORE

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