Published on November 23rd, 2009 | by drkkr6
It is Africa that has traditionally been called the Dark Continent, owing to its primitive populations, its over weaning and dark forests, and its relative imperviousness and impenetrability to modern civilization. But in another sense and, due to other reasons, the Asia Pacific region has also remained impenetrable and mysterious at least to the world of modern economic intercourse, trade and business. Even to India, most of its eastern neighbors have been and continue to be walled communities with the exception perhaps of Malaysia and Singapore. While there has been a great deal of immigration into the west, there has been hardly a trickle in the other direction.
The barriers have been many and diverse – political, economic, cultural. The Asian Pacific region has generally lagged behind its western counterpart in economic development, per capita prosperity and technology absorption although Japan and S. Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore are remarkable exceptions. The current strong contender for superpower status – China has also attained some level of parity with the west.
Japan has, however, always been mysterious and largely isolated because of its close knit culture and its forbidding language. Its population being small and its technological advancement extra ordinary, its import markets are small and limited to only non-value added items – food and raw materials. China, on the other hand, is a vast market but has built a political system bounding the country with impenetrable multiple shells with limited portals of entry and heavily guarded interactions. Compulsions of international trade and its own interests are now impelling it to throw open more avenues and portals of business entry. Nonetheless, the culture, insularity, the political and governance system, and the language constitute formidable barriers. State controlled society and economy make uneasy companions with free trade, as the usual market forces are muted or absent. Likewise other countries in the region have their values, approaches, systems and constraints. Making trade headway into the Asia Pacific is thus a complex task of study, understanding, adaptation and effort. This complexity adds to the already existing pressures of competition in the global trade and business arena and the situation has been worsened by the recent recession and melt down of the financial market and the shaky position of the dollar as a stable currency and international standard for exchange.
Nevertheless no nation can hold out long in isolation (unless it prefers to live in the medieval ages like Burma), nor afford not to compete for its share of the global trade cake. The search light is therefore increasingly on the Asia Pacific to bring it more inclusively into the ambit of global economic interchange.
“The International Conference on Marketing in Asia Pacific – Issues and Challenges” is thus very timely and very important and it is sure to bring up much of scholarly analysis and insights to bear upon the various facets of this complex theme. Indeed we may well have to rethink various aspects of the modern international business paradigm itself – branding, marketing, outsourcing, management philosophies, ownership sharing, and competitive strategies – on the basis of the new light to be thrown up by such deliberations and analysis. And business leaders, corporate executives, scholars and researchers in the area of global commerce and business are sure to find much enlightenment and food for thought in the deliberations of the Conference.
Marketing is always a challenge and now it is not getting any easier for marketers. They have a lot of hard choices to make everyday, managing the ever more complex marketing mix. Their scope of activities is broadening. They may need to think outside the traditional sales and profit maximizing frameworks to address new concerns like sustainability and social responsibility. They need to navigate through their organizations to accomplish their goals efficiently. Tough times call for new marketing strategies and tactics. Marketing has been witnessing a huge change: the shift of purchasing power to 13 years old with laptops, cell phones and ipods are only one of the manifestations of the kind of transformation that has been overtaking us.
On top of all these daunting challenges to established mindsets and systems came the recession complicating matters even more. A recessionary time can provide the opportunity to overcome organizational resistance to jettisoning products, markets and programs that are ineffective. It also can be an opportunity to be aggressive in those products and markets that represent high potential as long as programs can be developed to deliver results, and to be innovative in several facets of marketing.
Knowing is one thing, but being is another. Like a plant sprouting up from the soil, the green movement is growing. According to a survey of marketing and communication leaders 58% believe their companies will increase their environmental sustainability efforts. Where there is growth there is opportunity. As a marketer, that could mean establishing yourself as an environmental specialist within your company or perhaps setting up your own firm.
In this context, sagacious thinking, analysis and sharing of ideas by experts and protagonists of marketing one needed to make sense of the existing complexity and Challenges and chart out at least skeletal road maps for the marketing strategies in the near future. With this background, we initiated the 2009 International Conference on International Marketing in Asia Pacific Issues and Challenges with the theme, “Globalization, Innovation, and Leadership” organised by GRD School of International Business, GRD College of Science, India in association with University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), United Kingdom during 4th and 5th November at The Residency Hotel Coimbatore, India. We are very happy to see more than sixty institutions from India and also participants from eight countries joining the conference. I should acknowledge the gracious gracious gesture of the Honorable Home Minister of the Republic of Maldives Mr. Ahmed Mujthaba, in agreeing to inaugurate the conference, sparing his precious time during the brief visit to India. acknowledge the gracious presence and valuable inputs of
1. Mr. Alvin Saldanha , CCO, Watermelon Health Care Communications, Mumbai,
2. Mr. Gibson G Vedamani, Executive Director & CEO, Kirtilal Kalidas Jewellers, Mumbai .
3. Mr. Ramesh Jude Thomas, President & Chief Knowledge Officer, Equitor Management consulting Pvt.Ltd,, Bangalore,
4. Mr. Puneet Avasthi, Vice President & Research Service Director, IMRB International, New Delhi,
5. Dr. Maurica Miguel Herrera and Dr.Tina Chiao, YUDA University Taiwan.,
6. Mr David Walter Of UCLAN, UK
Their insights have invested new dimensions to the various sub-themes in this conference, with new meanings and dimensions.
The session chairs and the authors of papers have of course been the backbone of the conference by providing the intellectual capital that this conference can take pride in .
I thank all the delegates and participants of the conference and specially acknowledge their valuable interactions through the discussion sessions and information the shared which has been a great value addition to this intellectually stimulating conference.
The support received from The University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) – has been crucial in convincing us – a conference of such magnitude can indeed be organized by us here. Dr. Angela Murphy, Dr. Subra Parameswaran, Dr. Dharma Kavvuri, Dr. David Walter and of UCLAN have provided enormous thematic and organizational expertise. My special thanks tothinketc.com for making us reach to various campus and Macmillan for publishing the papers.
Finally, I place on record our deep appreciation of wonderful efforts of the Mangement, Dr S M Chockalingam Research head, faculty members and students of the GRD School of Commerce and International Business, who have through this International Conference demonstrated our global competitiveness that we are truly proud of.
Above all, we thank God Almighty for His unbounded blessing and grace in making this conference an endeavor that all of us will remember for ever.
Once again our thanks to everyone who has been a part of this International Conference on “International Marketing in Asia Pacific – Issues and Challenges”.