BCG in the News

Fortune

How Your Company Could Be Tomorrow’s Surprise GenAI Leader

In Fortune, François Candelon, Philip Evans, Leonid Zhukov, and David Zuluaga Martínez write that the B2B GenAI industry will move towards smaller and more cost-efficient models with specific business purposes rather than large generalist models. BCG research reports that 85% of business leaders plan to increase spending on AI and GenAI in 2024, but cost of use may delay widespread adoption. High-performing specialist models can offer better data in their specific domain at lower costs. “These smaller models can, collectively, decouple performance from the cost of inference, unleashing GenAI adoption at scale,” the authors write.

Financial Times

High Construction Costs Take a Toll on the UK

In the Financial Times, BCG’s Raoul Ruparel explains why the UK faces higher infrastructure construction costs than its European peers. Research from BCG’s Centre for Growth finds that UK projects, including even basic flat road construction, are significantly more expensive than in France, Germany, and Spain. Ruparel identifies decades of under-investment and increasing demand for larger and more complex infrastructure projects as drivers behind high costs. “The focus needs to be on how we can improve right across every stage of delivery of large infrastructure projects. Pushing more money into the pipeline alone won’t address much of the root causes,” Ruparel says.

Financial Times

Luxury Brands Expand to New Cities

In the Financial Times, BCG’s Sarah Willersdorf explains why luxury brands are expanding into so-called second- and third-tier cities. While some attribute this trend to pandemic-induced spending shifts, she asserts that it was well under way prior to 2020—especially in India and China. Due to the rising affluence of certain cities in those markets, as well as social media’s influence, luxury brands have found homes in new spending hubs. These cities “have played a crucial role in driving the luxury market’s growth, contributing significantly to the sales volume of luxury brands,” notes Willersdorff.

Forbes

How (And Why) to Become Irreplaceable at Work

In her column for Forbes, BCG’s Deborah Lovich details five tips for employees to become irreplaceable at work, including being proactive about going above and beyond in one’s role to thinking about the bigger picture in order to be a helpful thought partner. Her last two pointers aim to help readers adapt to the ever-evolving workplace: invest in yourself and invest in others. These final two steps can be achieved by continuously learning new skills and building relationships with colleagues. “You are only as good as the people you work with, so invest in your team,” Lovich asserts.

Fortune

Rapid—Yet Responsible—Deployment of Generative AI

In Fortune, BCG’s Vladimir Lukić explains that companies want to invest in AI but are unsure of where to begin and how to do so responsibly. A BCG report found that 90% of CEOs are either waiting for GenAI to move beyond the hype currently surrounding it, or are experimenting with it in small ways. Lukić highlights why CEOs need to establish a GenAI game plan now: “The gap in efficiencies and customer experiences that early adopters will create will be significant and hard to overcome or to catch up with.”

CNBC-TV18

Reasons for Optimism in 2024

On CNBC-TV18, BCG’s Neeraj Aggarwal shares that geopolitics was a big topic of conversation at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos. Aggarwal believes that the recasting of geopolitical relationships will allow certain countries to grow stronger and seize new opportunities. He adds that while the global growth rate is forecast to be just 3%, many emerging markets like India expect rates closer to 7%. “I feel the world is carrying more momentum into 2024 than I felt they were carrying into 2023,” Aggarwal says.

CNBC

Upskilling Talent Is Necessary to Scale Generative AI

On CNBC, BCG’s CEO Christoph Schweizer explains that many CEOs attending this year’s annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, are focused on the future of AI. A new BCG survey of more than 1,400 C-suite executives found that 54% expect AI and generative AI (GenAI) to deliver cost savings in 2024, yet 66% of leaders are dissatisfied with their progress. “This is not primarily a tech question; it’s really a people question,” Schweizer asserts. “If you get your workforce to embrace the technology and work hand-in-hand with it, I think you’re on a path to great return on investment.”

Reuters

A New Year’s Resolution for Banks

Reuters highlights a BCG study that explains how banks can unlock at least $7 trillion in value over the next five years. While the study notes that banks are unlikely to return to the profitability levels that existed prior to the global financial crisis, they can roughly double their current valuations by pursuing growth and improving their price-to-book ratios. This can be achieved by embracing radical change rather than incremental improvements.

Forbes

New Year, New Job: Finding Joy at Work

In her column for Forbes, BCG’s Deborah Lovich encourages those in the job-hunting process to ensure that work is a source of joy. BCG research found that for companies to retain their employees, they must meet their emotional needs, such as feeling valued, supported, and respected. Lovich advises individuals to pay attention to their potential manager and the organization’s culture when deciding where to seek employment. “Work consumes an average of 50% of an employee’s wakeful hours during a typical workday. You should enjoy that time,” Lovich asserts.

Bloomberg Radio & Financial Times

A New Map for Global Trade

On Bloomberg Radio and in the Financial Times, BCG’s Tim Figures explains that global trade flows are changing as companies prioritize secure and resilient supply chains over more efficient but potentially risky ones. BCG research forecasts that world trade in goods will grow at 2.8% per year, on average, through 2032, while global GDP will grow at a rate of 3.1%. Figures tells Bloomberg that he expects to see more emphasis on regional trading blocs and less on big global trading relationships that are economically efficient but have environmental and social consequences.

The Edge Malaysia

Malaysia’s Potential as a Low-Carbon Energy Hub

Writing in The Edge Malaysia, BCG’s Dave Sivaprasad and Priyanshu Kumbhare assert that an effective hub strategy could be a game changer in building a resilient hydrogen economy in Malaysia. Hydrogen hubs, which can supply multiple industry partners simultaneously through shared infrastructure and cover a large share of the hydrogen value chain, help lower the overall cost of the gas and increase commercial viability. “A strategic regional approach with a fully integrated hub would not only address local demand but also tap into intra-regional economic opportunities,” note the authors.

Fortune

How Companies Can Benefit from Web3 in 2024

Writing in Fortune, BCG’s François Candelon, Michael Jacobides, Urs Rahne, and Katie Round emphasize how Web3 can be used to enhance a company’s existing tech stack rather than replace it. While early use cases involving virtual and augmented realities have been overshadowed by the rise of GenAI, Web3’s quiet shift toward more practical applications has proved valuable. “As we move from tech utopia to real use cases, having a clear strategy of when and how to use Web3 is important,” note the authors.

The Wall Street Journal

Public Investment in Emerging Technologies Needed to Reach Sustainable Energy Goals

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, BCG’s Global Chair Rich Lesser discusses the vital role of technology in the shift away from fossil fuels. While solar, wind, and many battery technologies are now cost-competitive, others such as carbon capture and direct air capture will require public subsidies and substantial investments to lower their cost and make them scalable in the future. “We need support to build this infrastructure and make it affordable so that the private sector wants to adopt it and wants to use it,” Lesser says.

The New York Times

ChatGPT Helps, yet Worries, Business Consultants

The New York Times highlights a study from BCG, Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Warwick, which revealed feelings of unease among ChatGPT users. The study, which was based on an experiment that measured how ChatGPT would affect more than 750 BCG consultants worldwide, determined the tool was best used for creative ideation. However, BCG’s François Candelon explains that three out of four participants worried that using ChatGPT would cause their creative muscles to atrophy.