Press Release - April 6, 2010
PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE FROM JUDY HOMER
April 6, 2010 - New York, NY - As many of the top companies in the Fortune 500 seek to expand their customer base, they have begun to aggressively move into the last frontier of our global economy - Emerging Markets. Globalizing their business creates challenges for these companies from a staffing standpoint as they begin to open up new facilities and need to support their local business leadership and sales forces. These companies are making it increasing clear that in the future in order for their executives to advance in their careers they will be expected to serve some time living within and supporting an area within the Emerging Markets area -whether that is in Latin America, the Middle East, Asia - and in particular mainland China, or Eastern Europe. If executives turn down these assignments they stand a very good chance of removing themselves from the fast track for promotion and for being considered essential to the success of their company - which can turn out to be a dangerous perception in a time when companies are consolidating their executive ranks.
We have seen our clients limit their short list for certain key COO and CIO postings to candidates who are willing to move to Singapore, or Dubai or other locations in the Emerging Markets- as they seek to provide local support to their business heads and to move their technology centers to more cost effective geographies. Their go forward business strategy is that the Emerging Markets represent the future profit centers for these companies, and the business leadership is calling on their partners in technology and operations to provide the level of support needed for them to stay competitive in their industries and increase their local market share.
We have seen our clients begin to establish captive facilities for their applications development and technical support in areas such as mainland China, Kuala Lumpur and India rather than outsource in these geographies because of the desire to control access to their proprietary information and to control costs. As a result they are asking their technology executives to move to these locations to manage these sites, rather than rely on outsourced management. These executives may start out to be understandably apprehensive at the idea of being so geographically removed from corporate headquarters of their companies - but the positive bottom line results that are being achieved will ultimately advance their careers in their respective companies and their international experience will also serve to make them even more attractive to competing firms who would like to leverage the local contacts and knowledge that they've developed.
From a family point of view - it is of course more difficult for executives whose spouses or significant others also have careers and who have children to adapt to this significant a change of locale and of culture. But in the long run, everyone gains from the ability of their companies to increase their profitability and to grow and to reward them accordingly; and we have seen the family members frequently decide that they prefer to stay in the new geography rather than return home at the end of their initial assignment because they prefer the perks that come with the expat lifestyle, the local friends and colleagues that they develop relationships with, the local businesses they have established or gone to work for, and because of their opportunity to explore parts of the world they might not otherwise be visiting.
When we think Go Global or Go Home - Home has now become more a state of mind than a particular geography for today's successful executive. So the phrase may turn into Go Global AND Go Home, and that home may turn out to be a more exotic and interesting place to live.