Go Global or Go Home

Taken from an interview with Lilach Nachum. Lilach Nachum is a professor of international business at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business and an internationally recognized expert with more than 20 years of experience writing and speaking about international business issues.

Small businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the world outside the US, and embracing the opportunities it offers to a much greater degree than ever before. This trend got a boost by the financial crisis and its aftermath, but has its origins long before, and represents a long-term trend. This is a welcome phenomenon, as it will certainly make those businesses more successful overall.

The number of countries open to international business today is greater than it has ever been, and so is the heterogeneity among them. This opens up opportunities for business as never before. Expanding globally has become an imperative for all companies, necessary not only in order to succeed globally, but also in order to compete at home. Companies that remain domestic risk losing out even in the US, because they will become weaker relative to their more-global competitors, and will not be able to protect their competitive position even in the US in the face of global competition.

Africa: The New China

Africa is rising, representing big, unexploited opportunities. Nigeria is the most populous country, and Egypt, despite its political situation, has an interesting economy and a rapidly growing population. Africa is a difficult continent to operate in, made up of many fairly small countries, outside of Nigeria and Egypt, with substantial fragmentation and differences. But companies cannot lose out on Africa. In my view, Africa will emerge as the China of the next decade.