Benefits and Uncertainties of Entering an Emerging Market in 2024

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Top 25 Observations by Ingenious E-Brain Solutions

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted every life and every business at a certain level. The purchase pattern, social media sentiments, and supply chain dynamics have undergone disruption. Companies are limiting their annual marketing and research budgets while still maintaining their appetite to grow and expand in new markets. CEOs and senior management of leading companies, especially in America, Europe, China, India, and Japan, acknowledge that globalization is the most disruptive challenge in 2023. At Ingenious E-Brain, we track economies to help our industry partners quickly & easily access data from the most emerging & opportunistic segments. Let’s first look at emerging markets from an opportunity point of view. Here are my observations for companies planning to expand in 2024.

- America is the globally largest market but not the fastest-growing economy, and that’s a reality in 2023. US Dollar was the most used currency in the business world.

- Emerging markets are always perceived as high-growth markets. However, not all of them offer equal growth opportunities. Socio-politico-economic factors impact every segment of the new market.

- Investing in emerging markets ensures diversification for your investment portfolio. But how do you know which market is apt for you?

- Post pandemic, considering the ongoing political turmoil in northern Europe, unrest in central Asia, and conflicts in Africa; many emerging markets may have become unstable and even volatile.

- Currency risk has become a THING in 2023. Many countries are proposing to trade in currencies other than US Dollars. If that becomes a global phenomenon, investment gains can be potentially impacted, and if a currency is devalued or takes a dip, then a company registers a downfall.

- Using fast-track growth channels, you can track trade pacts between your home country and the emerging market.

- Many emerging markets are undergoing economic risks, i.e., insufficient labor, raw materials or infrastructure, currency inflation/deflation, high inflation or deflation, unregulated markets, and speculative monetary policies.

- Emerging markets can be a great place for retirement planning if the infrastructure, such as housing, healthcare, and safety, are present. Companies catering to aged care (services and products) can focus on this market.

- Economists typically use a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and per capita to determine if a country is an emerging market. However, In 2023 the dynamics have transformed. This year, sustainability and other ESG parameters must also be considered.

- Collaborate with local manufacturers and bring down the cost of your products. Every other nation is looking at promoting its domestic products. It is best to manufacture or assemble your raw materials in emerging markets and reduce costs.

- Emerging markets conventionally mean ‘fast-growing economy,’ but the definition has changed. The new definition adds consumer appetite to the market. Emerging markets like South Korea, Brazil, Indonesia, and others have many consumers and a wealthy economy.

- Despite not being the wealthiest economies, the Middle East and Africa markets are stable and growing. Medical and industrial parks create jobs and opportunities to set up low-cost manufacturing units.

- Emerging markets were never considered part of developed markets because they were never explored, and resources remain fresh.

- Emerging markets also are grounds for path-breaking research and innovation. Established players are always on the lookout to acquire or collaborate with these potential prospects to reduce their R&D expenses and expand their portfolios. The pharmaceutical industry has successfully implemented this process to attain phenomenal growth.

- New markets are grounds for the blue or green ocean strategy. Since the competition is limited, many companies try new marketing tools and processes to win over new consumers and gain investors’ confidence in the market. It’s vital to include both sides in your business model.

- Considering the new focus on ESG. I can say emerging markets are grounds for sustainability. How? Growth and sustainability are implemented by creating a livelihood with affordable necessities, improving the standard of living of communities. This change drives demand, improves the economy, and eventually delivers higher returns to investors and venture capitalists.

- These markets also offer talent pool. A global player can use these talents across different markets at an economical cost. This can have a long-term impact on your OPEX.

- Global companies investing in sustainability, reducing carbon emissions, and other social responsibilities are recognized in the community as strong players. That is reflected in strong brand value and improves position in the share markets.

- Emerging markets are not gold mines. There are hurdles if proper research has not been conducted. Many emerging markets are devoid of specialized intermediaries, regulatory systems, and contract-enforcing mechanisms. Some even have manual processes (no digital submission of forms) that take up to 6 months to a year to approve. It’s essential to understand the pulse of the market.


“To negotiate well, you need to understand what the other side wants, and to do that, you also need to approach the partnership with humility to show that no one is more important than anyone else, and everyone must participate equally to make the project happen.”

- Infrastructure is often underdeveloped or absent in emerging markets. There’s no dearth of examples. When I started working in Johor Bahru in 2013, there were not many radio taxi service providers like Uber, and we had to wait on the highway to reach home. Although things improved by 2015, despite talent, proper infrastructure, and proximity to Singapore, life was not easy. It’s difficult to retain talent in such economies.

- Emerging markets struggle with pay parity created by MNCs. In one aspect, many companies recruit local talents for early to mid-senior levels. However, the difference in pay grades is vast between the locals and ex-pats, which creates rifts between teams and leads to high attrition.

- Companies who want to lower operational costs usually set up manufacturing facilities and service centers in emerging markets, where skilled labor and trained managers are relatively inexpensive. China is an apt example, and after the bubble burst, many companies moved to SE Asian nations such as Thailand, Philippines, India, and Vietnam to set up low-cost facilities, although their home countries offered significant incentives for companies who wanted to set up new units locally.

- My observation is that CEOs can’t assume they can do business in emerging markets in a similar way they do in developed countries. Emerging markets are different, and much research is needed to understand the local demands, nuances, and perceptions.

- Company indexing, Ratings of the market, and Ease of doing business (ranked by global consulting firms) always don’t help. Every market has a ground reality. Roadmaps change every 3-5 years. Key industry players often get misled by tools such as country portfolio analysis, Ease of entry, or political risk assessment, which mainly target potential profits from doing business in such markets but leave out crucial information, such as soft infrastructures, talent pool, regulatory approvals, etc., which leads to dip in sales and limits the expansion of business.

- My last but most crucial observation on market entry. How do companies evaluate the potential of desired emerging markets?


Strategists across the board value and track the GDP and per capita income growth rates, population composition, World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, World Bank’s indicators, political stability, World Bank’s transparency international corruption ratings, and more, and at the forecasts of political and economic stability.

We at Ingenious E-Brain Solutions understand that while market expansion is a requirement, your investment must be safeguarded against many risks not covered by the above parameters. We propose that you look at comparisons between your home bases and target emerging markets. The best example that I can think of is the United States and United Kingdom markets. Most products, capital, and labor segments are similar and operate with a similar network of skilled intermediaries and a stringent regulatory framework.

Have you done your assessments for emerging markets yet? Come and talk to our experts and get a first consultation online for free. Write to us at


From CTO’s Desk

Dr. Siddhartha Dutta

Ph.D., PGEM Strategy & Marketing Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Ingenious E-Brain 23 years of professional experience in Business Consulting, Strategy Development, Concept Evolution, Continuous Process Improvement, and Client Relationship Management

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