High-Impact Entrepreneurship

Linda Rottenberg: “Forget B2B and C2C, it’s E2E: emerging market to emerging market”

In a brief interview for thedeal.com, Endeavor Co-Founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg discusses the growth of emerging economies beyond the BRICs, and a trend towards business activity between emerging market firms: “Instead of the me-too copycats where American ideas get replicated in emerging markets, we’re seeing home-grown ideas get started in emerging markets and then get replicated across continents and regions because the conditions are very similar.”

Check out the interview below.

Q: When people think about the emerging markets they think about the BRIC countries, but there must be more to the world than that. Where are some of the newer places that you’re finding and helping entrepreneurs?

A: When we started in 1997, the Thai baht had just collapsed, Latin America had caught the “Asian flu.” People said the emerging markets? You mean the submerging markets. Why would you go there? Then people started hearing about India and China. Well suddenly Brazil and Russia start doing well, but so did Turkey and Mexico and South Africa and Indonesia. So Endeavor has investors from Silicon Valley, from New York, from London as well as from the regions calling us up and saying, “You know what? The next opportunity may no longer be in China and India even, maybe it’s Brazil, maybe it’s Turkey, maybe it’s Mexico, maybe it’s Indonesia. We really need to understand the whole landscape. What we’re also seeing is, I say forget B2B and C2C, it’s E2E, it’s emerging market to emerging market. I was in Davos with Sunil Bharti Mittal, who created the largest telecom company in India. He has now bought Zain throughout Africa. What he found was his low cost, high volume approach that worked in India was very adaptable to the African context. So I think what we’re going to start seeing is instead of ‘me too copycats’ that were American ideas replicated in emerging markets, I think we’re now going to see homegrown ideas, started in emerging markets that replicate across continents and regions because the conditions are very similar.

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