Posts Tagged ‘MTN’

A much more global World Cup

June 24, 2010

Watching the World Cup football in the wee small hours, I have been struck by something (other than the horrific refereeing and those damn horns): the tournament sponsors.

This Cup may go down as the real turning point in the global economy where emerging market brands (i.e. those from non-First World nations) stepped out into the public eye. Look at the list of official FIFA partners and sponsors (the ones exciting me are in green):
– Adidas (Germany)
– Coca-Cola (US)
– Emirates (UAE)
– Hyundai-Kia (South Korea)
– Sony (Japan)
– Visa (US)
– Budweiser (US-Belgium-Brazil)
– Castrol (UK – it’s BP-owned)
– Continental (Germany – auto parts and tyres)
– McDonalds (US)
MTN (South Africa – telecoms)
Mahindra Satyam (India – IT and consulting)
Seara (Brazil – foodstuffs)
Yingli Solar (China – solar/energy)

This contrasts very markedly with the list from just 4 years ago: Adidas, Budweiser, Avaya, Coca-Cola, Continental, Deutsche Telekom, Emirates, Fujifilm, Gillette, Hyundai, MasterCard, McDonald’s, Philips, Toshiba, and Yahoo!.

The BRICS firms (well, actually BICS) have stood up in joining the Emirates on the scrolling billboards etc. Building powerful, recognised brands will be the next important step for firms from these emerging giants.

Of course, hosting the tournament is a big rite of passage also (Brazil’s up next), and brands can piggyback on this opportunity. Disappointingly the local South African sponsors (beyond MTN – they are listed on the FIFA link) have not been particularly interesting or international in their focus.

I’m sure we’ll see more familiar brands come Brazil 2014 – Havaianas anyone?

Why buy? Indian firms seeking partner who…

June 2, 2009

International business researchers have always been interested in the motivations for foreign direct investments. Pre-eminent IB scholar John Dunning argued that there were four core drivers:
– the quest for more customers (market-seeking)
– gaining access to inputs unavailable, or less palatable, at home (resource-seeking)
– looking to build a more efficient chain of value adding activities (efficiency-seeking)
Gone Shopping Sign – building up the knowledge-based resources of the firm and portfolio of brands (strategic-asset-seeking).

This recent Economist article gives a nice catalogue of recent international acquisitions by Indian firms, and offers decent examples of several fronts.

The acquisitions mentioned by Avantha (in engineering), Tata Steel and Tata Motors all can be lumped under the strategic-asset-seeking banner, as the firms sought to tap into technologies and brands unavailable in their home market and which are crucial to further international growth. This is comparable to Lenovo’s purchase of IBM’s PC business a few years back (and pretty typical for emerging market multinationals).

What is less clear in terms of motivation is what is driving Bharti Airtel’s pursuit of South African mobile giant MTN.

Are they chasing MTN’s (admittedly outstanding) competencies in rolling out networks in very poor countries (in terms of household incomes and also physical infrastructure)? These may well mesh in very well with Bharti’s own experiences in India, and set the firm up for a huge play in markets across the developing world (i.e. a strategic-asset-seeking approach).

Or they simply chasing the almost billion possible customers in Africa (to throw on top of a similar top of comparable target market in India)? This would clearly be market-seeking FDI…