In 2011, Disney Resorts broke ground on the outskirts of Shanghai for a new theme park, scheduled to be fully operational by 2015. In fact, new parks are opening in cities across China, and by 2020, analysts expect theme park attendance will double to more than 200 million each year. What's fueling the trend? And will foreign companies like Disney find a way to remain authentic while appealing to Chinese consumers?
Published: February 05, 2013 Oliver Wyman's Scott McDonald on the Middle East's Risks and Challenges for Development and Governance
The Middle East continues to see conflict unleashed by the Arab Spring. But there is growth, and regional executives surveyed by global consultancy Oliver Wyman registered confidence in their governments and the economic opportunities at hand. Reflecting on the Arab World's unique dynamic of business enterprise despite persistent risk, Oliver Wyman's new president, Scott McDonald -- who grew up in the Gulf -- tells Arabic Knowledge@Wharton that while the region still faces monumental challenges, it has shown remarkable progress as well.
Published: January 22, 2013 Slippery Negotiations: The Give and Take of Oil Contracts in Foreign Countries
When oil prices spiraled much higher in global markets between 2003 and 2008, the governments of several oil-producing nations responded by seizing the local assets of independent oil companies that had contracted to operate in their territories. What kinds of contracts between the governments of oil-rich nations and international oil companies have been the most effective in minimizing that risk? And how can contracts be structured to benefit both local governments and foreign investors? Recent Wharton research provides some answers.
Published: November 27, 2012 The Return of CNOOC
When its US$18.5 billion bid for California's Unocal Oil Co. collapsed in 2005, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) became a poster child for the political perils of the U.S. approval process for foreign investments. Now, during a U.S. presidential election where China is a lightning rod, CNOOC has launched a high-profile comeback. This time, it is betting on a different outcome for its proposed US$15.1 billion acquisition of Canadian oil company Nexen. If approved, the deal will mark the largest overseas acquisition yet by a Chinese company.
Published: October 16, 2012 China's Underground Race for Shale Gas
China is a world leader in technically recoverable shale gas -- natural gas trapped underground in shale formations. The Chinese government and public and private sector firms are working to develop the industry in the country, spurred on in part by the need to make China less dependent on energy imports and to cut down on its carbon emissions. To catch up to the meteoric rise of the shale gas industry in the U.S., however, China will have to navigate a host of technology, infrastructure and public policy challenges.
Published: August 21, 2012 Ravi Venkatesan: Winning in India Can Help Companies Win Globally
Under Ravi Venkatesan's leadership from 2004 to 2011, Microsoft India's revenues grew fivefold and the country became one of the fastest growing geographies for the software firm. Last year, the 49-year-old Venkatesan quit as chairman of Microsoft India to explore new ground. He is now working on a book about why it is imperative for multinationals to succeed in India. Venkatesan suggests that the capabilities that companies develop in India can help them win all over the world.
Published: June 12, 2012 John Heyman: Gulf Should Spend More on Local Film Talent, Not Hollywood
British film and TV producer John Heyman has spent decades working on films. Heyman sees potential in cultivating film talent -- including creative and technical expertise -- within the Middle East and North Africa region, but says it will require more serious gestures from investors, who are already pouring millions into big-name studios. He speaks with Arabic Knowledge@Wharton about emerging world cinema, seizing the medium to educate others and how technology is impacting the industry. To help the world better understand the heritage of the MENA region, Heyman adds, local film and television production for a global audience must be developed.
Published: April 30, 2012 Starbucks Moves to the 'Espresso' Lane in China
Aiming to make China its second largest market outside of the U.S., Starbucks has announced plans to triple its stores there by 2015. While Chinese coffee sales have shown dramatic increases, the country's consumers still average only three cups of coffee a year, compared to a world average of 240 cups. All this means that the coffee market is ready for a growth spurt -- which will benefit not just Starbucks, but its competitors as well.
Published: April 16, 2012 Nielsen's Rick Kash: Winning Companies Understand Profitable Consumers
In his book, How Companies Win, Rick Kash, vice chair of Nielsen writes that today's best companies recognize that demand is the most precious commodity in the economy. In an interview with Arabic Knowledge@Wharton, Kash talks about how to manage global expansion, demand-driven business strategies, Chinese competition and how Groupon is poised to revolutionize e-commerce as Amazon did. The Arab Spring, he adds, is part of "the demand revolution, and that is about people."
Published: April 02, 2012 Pop Quiz: Can Indra Nooyi Revive PepsiCo?
When Indra Nooyi became CEO of PepsiCo in 2006, she unveiled a bold plan to introduce wholesome offerings into the company's line of sugary beverages and snacks. But observers say the strategy has amounted to a case of too much, too soon, and now the company must come back from years of flat earnings and waning consumer interest in its products. Recently, PepsiCo's board made a series of leadership changes that indicate Nooyi might be on her way out. How can Pepsi regain the confidence of investors and customers?
Published: April 02, 2012