A Huge Thank You from the Global Sourcing Board for Chris Bullen on Her Retirement from Active GSC Board Participation

At the last Global Sourcing Board Meeting, Chris Bullen announced her retirement from active GSC Board participation.

Not only is Chris a founding member, she is a dear and cherished friend. She is a diamond, a force of nature and someone to whom the GSC owes an enormous debt of gratitude. Today, we say thank you.

It’s a very sad day that we say farewell to Chris from active Board duty but we recall her contribution with nothing but appreciation and wonder.

Chris was one of the early few who grasped the vision instantly and applied the energy, organization and dedication to move the GSC forward. Very few connected the 3 tenets of the GSC in 2007 – Sourcing, Sustainability and Social Responsibility. Chris did.

Ask anyone who has grown an organization from an idea – it takes much more than money and much more than ideas. It takes passion, persistence and commitment. Chris has been part mentor, part leader, part colleague and friend. On a road with as many twists and turns as our journey to date, she has kept the pace – and helped set the pace. None could ask for a more generous and inspired colleague to walk with – and it has been our undoubted pleasure.

As a Board and on behalf of the GSC, we offer our sincere thanks to Chris for her work and contribution. You are a treasured friend of the GSC and we stand on your shoulders

Statement from David Kinnear on behalf of the Board of Directors, April 2012

 

Opportunities and Risks of Venture and Strategic Investing in BRICS Countries, March 2012

BRICS Connect has hosted several events in the past including the one on Brazil and India and we are looking forward to many more events in the coming year. The Venture Summit Panel was moderated by Joe Daniels, Partner, Loeb and Loeb and the panel consisting of Investment managers in China, Brazil, India and South Africa discussed the opportunities in these emerging markets. In Brazil due to rise in middle class there is a tremendous opportunities in healthcare, education, entertainment and consumer goods sector. Due to two major events happening in Brazil over the next two years related to World Cup Soccer and Olympics, there is a major thrust in Infrastructure sector. Though there was slowdown in all the economies including Brazil during 2008/2009, Brazil has bounced back quite well and the unemployment in this economy is quite low around five percent.  Though the GDP growth rate in Brazil is three percent, the valuations of mid-market companies is quite attractive.

China like India has tremendous challenge in maintaining the high growth level over the past year. The internal demand has grown tremendously over the past years. The investment opportunities in China are there in those companies which have improved their operational efficiencies over the past years. The current environment in India is also very challenging and it is becoming difficult for India to maintain its high growth rate over the past year. If horizon for investment is long term than India still offers great opportunity as the domestic consumption of middle class is still very strong. There is great opportunity in mid cap sectors like Biotech, Technology and Energy in India. South Africa is positive on the economic side and bumpy on the political side. There is increase in consumer demand increase of South Africa as a regional hub and gateway to the African region.

The BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – together make up 46% of the world’s population, 50% of world’s GDP growth and hold a combined GDP of 19.3 trillion dollars, by 2050 the combined economies of the BRICS could eclipse the combined economies of the current richest countries of the world. The rapid growth of emerging economies including BRICS members will be conducive to making the international order more just and equitable.

Bharat Ramini is an accomplished executive with significant global business experience.  He also founded, grew and exited a publically listed company in India – Melstar Information Technologies, Ltd.  The company has operations in India, Europe and the US and was acquired by the Birla Group.  Bharat created BRICS Connect in 2011.  It is a firm that creates business opportunities through their global services aimed at emerging economic powerhouses Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.  Bharat has graduate and post graduate degrees from Bombay University and St. Xavier Institute of Management, respectively, and an undergraduate degree from VJTI Bombay University.

Banning Exports of Raw Materials in Indonesia

There are many aspects to trade.  Matthew Boyce analyzes the trend of keeping raw materials in a country focusing on Indonesia and rattan. 

In the past year, Indonesia has moved to ban the export of a number of the country’s raw materials. Notably, Indonesia’s trade minister issued a moratorium on raw-rattan exports. Rattan, a bamboo-like plant is a popular material in furniture products and comprises a large portion of Indonesia’s massive furniture industry. The new rattan regulation and the surrounding issues involving enforcement and infrastructural investment are representative of a larger trend in Indonesia to keep raw materials in the country.

Recently, wood-producers in Indonesia have been exporting one-third of their raw-rattan, leaving a shortage for local rattan furniture manufacturers. New regulation will attempt to change Indonesia from a raw exporter to a finished-product exporter. There is a slight risk of a decline in business as wood-producers are forced to shift their normal practices, but the moratorium on raw exports will likely help the domestic economy in the long-term.

Although exports in Indonesia have been growing steadily over time, the global financial crisis has greatly diminished the demand for furniture and therefore impacted the demand for rattan and rattan products. A smaller demand for furnishings in the US and EU means leaner business for suppliers.

Exports of rattan furniture have slowed since 2008 and exporting raw materials is not helping the domestic rattan industry. Instead of selling raw rattan to Indonesian furniture manufacturers, much of Indonesia’s rattan is sent to furnishing suppliers in other countries like China. Regulation keeping raw materials in the country will inevitably help strengthen the industry as a whole.

Indonesia’s trade ministry is committed to growing Indonesia into the world’s premiere rattan-product exporter. Beyond new trade regulations, there are other aspects of the rattan industry that will also need to grow. A combination of export regulations, domestic cooperation, government support and design innovation will be needed to create a stronger environment for rattan suppliers.

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Bans on raw exports can be difficult to fully enforce. Smuggling is likely to become more common especially in an archipelago where products are shipped from island to island, leaving many opportunities for materials to change course at sea. Indonesia will have to supplement these export bans with much stronger customs enforcement.

Policies are in the works to stop the export of raw mining commodities as well as crude palm oil. These new regulations will need to be supported by more infrastructural development in the country. Indonesia has given these policies until 2015 to go into full effect. In the preceding years there will likely be a large-scale effort to build out each industry so that the entire process from raw material to finished product can be managed domestically.

Indonesia’s handling of its rattan industry is a micro example of a macro trend. Indonesia and similar emerging economies are trying to keep their natural resources within their borders. Larger economies with more developed industries are importing raw materials from less developed countries and manufacturing finished products. In an effort to grow more comprehensive industries, emerging economies need to invest in creating complete, domestic supply chains.

As emerging economies reduce their raw exports and increase their domestic production capabilities, investment is key. Attracting interest from foreign businesses is necessary to gain capital to build more robust industries. Large-scale growth takes time but reducing and even eliminating exports of raw materials is a step in development taken by many of today’s leading economies.

Matthew Boyce is an Associate at TigerTrade. TigerTrade is an online trusted partner network for global trade, helping sourcing professionals connects to qualified manufacturers in Southeast Asia. TigerTrade works in the apparel, textiles, footwear, furniture, and home decor industries and is headquartered in New York City with regional offices in Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia.  His email contact is mboyce@tigertrade.com.

 

Are You a Better Person Today Than You Were Yesterday?

Advise on how to achieve work life balance as we work in an increasingly competitive work environment from the CEO of Celebra LPO India Ltd.

How many of us try to improve our skills and try to become a better person than we were yesterday?

Many of us are caught in the ‘rat race’ of life, trying to work long hours and make as much money as possible for a ‘safe future’, ‘good life style’ and ‘better prospects’. In running this race of life, we fail to see who and what we have left behind. We fail to see if what we are trying to do has any meaning at all and in working today for our future, are we sacrificing our present? We fail to see the small things that give us so much happiness! We fail to see what we are eating and check how healthy we are.

We envy a happy person and wonder how that person can be so HAPPY! What we fail to understand is how simple his or her life style is.

Adopting a healthy and simple life style is the key to great happiness. The more time we have to mingle with our family, our kids and our friends, the happier we will be.

Adopt a Work – Life balance. Career oriented does not mean you have to forget your family and spend eighteen hours a day at work.  This way you will not be happy nor your family or your boss.

Why wouldn’t your boss be happy if you are spending eighteen hours at work every day? No, your boss wouldn’t be happy because you won’t be happy; you would work all the time with a frown on your face, cursing your boss for making you spend eighteen hours at work. Your work will be average and the boss does not appreciate “‘average work”. You have no time to give your valuable inputs, you are not innovative and you have no time to keep yourself ‘update’ with the recent changes that may have developed in your field.

Hence, you are not the kind of person appreciated by your boss. Then he or she would start looking for fresh faces with innovative ideas, one who could ‘work smart’, not only hard. You may feel dejected with your boss’s attitude and start feeling you have no place in this office, so you start looking for a change of job. You don’t feel that the place you work for is YOUR OFFICE and that it deserves your best. You have over the years changed from a brilliant worker to an average worker.  And you have lost your place and your footing in your own office! Is this what you worked for all your life? Is this what you wanted to happen to you? Surely not. Why then has it happened even though you dedicated yourself to working so hard that you did not care enough for your family?  You don’t even remember which school your children went to or which classes they are taking!

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Good habits, healthy life style and positive attitude will make you a better person. Always take time to think if you are giving enough time for your own ‘overall development’.

As you grow and age, your body needs more care and what better way than to eat healthy along with a daily shot of exercise! Not only your body, your brain needs to be exercised too, to keep away from memory loss and other old age problems! Play small brain teaser games which not only keep you busy but also exercise your brain and keeps worries away. Stop stressing with unnecessary things and lead a smarter life!

Go with the technology and learn to use new applications. Keep yourself abreast with current affairs around the world. Remember, you are a learner all through your life and the more you learn the better you are as a person!!

 

Shobha Srinivas is the Chief Executive Officer of  Cerebra LPO India Ltd.  A graduate in law from Bangalore University with a post graduate degree, a Masters in Commerce from Karnatak University, her responsibilities include keeping the aims and objective of Celebra LPO, guarding the quality policy and compliance for the company and ensuring the delivery of the highest quality services.  Ms. Shobha loves to read books and has recently started writing. This article is an excerpt from her unpublished book, “My Experiences and Thoughts”.  You may contact her at shobha@cerebralpo.com

More Focus on the Results of the 2012 Panjiva/GSC Global State of Global Trade Survey

As we reported last month,  global trade intelligence leader Panjiva and The Global Sourcing Council, a non-profit organization that fosters dialog on critical issues in global sourcing and supply chain management, unveiled a joint report, The State of Global Trade in 2012,  This report highlighted key concerns, challenges and opportunities facing those engaged in global trade. Based on a survey of buyers and suppliers worldwide, the report found that half of global trade professionals are optimistic about the global economy in 2012 and nearly three quarters plan to spend at or above 2011 levels.  If you wish to see the full report, here is a link to a free download:  http://panjiva.com/blog/whats-new/the-state-of-global-trade-in-2012.

 

Since then, more reporting has followed:

From the LA Times of April 14th, an article about the predictions of the strength of future trade cited the Panjiva and Global Sourcing survey that half of the buyers and sellers were somewhat or very optimistic about the global economy contrasting it to the more negative assessment from the International Monetary Fund, which foresees a slowdown in global trade because of continuing debt woes in Europe, a slowing in growth of the Chinese economy, high energy prices and persistent fears about the outbreak of more fighting in the Middle East.  http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ports-20120414,0,2708620.story

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  • The Business Information Industry Association (BIIA), of which Panjiva is a member, cited the finding that slightly more than half of the importers interviewed had expressed a desire to increase purchases from other Asian nations, notably India, Vietnam and Thailand. But that has not yet translated into shifts in outsourcing.  Article link:  http://www.biia.com/us-importers-express-desire-to-shift-purchases-to-other-asian-nations
  • An April 10th article in the New York Times reported that overseas demand, especially from Europe, contributed to an unexpected trade surplus of $5.35 billion in March while the domestic demand is still slowing, which is particularly concerning in an economy that has been deliberately engineered to slow inflation.  Given that there is inflation reported of 3.6 percent which is most likely understated, it is unclear how much the government wants to stimulate the economy.

Here is where Panijiva’s survey, which was jointly undertaken with the GSC, helped clarify an important point.  While Chinese exports are recovering, the shift in manufacturing from China to other Asian nations has not yet occurred even though more than half the respondents said they were interested in increasing purchases from these countries particularly, Thailand, India and Vietnam.  As you may know, this shift has long been predicted but not yet materialized.  The full article:  Surplus in China Trade Comes as Surprise – NYTimes.com

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And, more information from the Panjiva GSC Survey about Socially Responsible Sourcing:

And, for the GSC community only, Panjiva and GSC surveyed the increased interest in socially             responsible sourcing this year.  This was part of the survey jointly released that was referenced             in the articles cited above.   Now this survey was not about the service industry, so its results             may not be for all global sourcing, but they are interesting nonetheless, and certainly show the             increasing importance of sustainable and socially responsible practices.

The question presented:

To what extent to you think your organization will have increased interest in                                     the coming year  in sustainable and socially responsible practices in global                                     sourcing?

SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/apple/Desktop/april_newsletter%20FINAL%202012.doc

  • The Business Information Industry Association (BIIA), of which Panjiva is a member, cited the finding that slightly more than half of the importers interviewed had expressed a desire to increase purchases from other Asian nations, notably India, Vietnam and Thailand. But that has not yet translated into shifts in outsourcing.  Article link:  http://www.biia.com/us-importers-express-desire-to-shift-purchases-to-other-asian-nations
  • An April 10th article in the New York Times reported that overseas demand, especially from Europe, contributed to an unexpected trade surplus of $5.35 billion in March while the domestic demand is still slowing, which is particularly concerning in an economy that has been deliberately engineered to slow inflation.  Given that there is inflation reported of 3.6 percent which is most likely understated, it is unclear how much the government wants to stimulate the economy.

Here is where Panijiva’s survey, which was jointly undertaken with the GSC, helped clarify an important point.  While Chinese exports are recovering, the shift in manufacturing from China to other Asian nations has not yet occurred even though more than half the respondents said they were interested in increasing purchases from these countries particularly, Thailand, India and Vietnam.  As you may know, this shift has long been predicted but not yet materialized.  The full article:  Surplus in China Trade Comes as Surprise – NYTimes.com

___________________­­­­­­­­______________________________

And, more information from the Panjiva GSC Survey about Socially Responsible Sourcing:

And, for the GSC community only, Panjiva and GSC surveyed the increased interest in socially responsible sourcing this year.  This was part of the survey jointly released that was referenced  in the articles cited above.  Now this survey was not about the service industry, so its results may not be for all global sourcing, but they are interesting nonetheless, and certainly show the             increasing importance of sustainable and socially responsible practices.

The question presented:

To what extent to you think your organization will have increased interest in  the coming year  in sustainable and socially responsible practices in global sourcing?

So, from the chart directly above, we can readily see that 66% of the respondents say that they are likely or very likely to have increased interest in 3S while only 8% are unlikely or very unlikely.  Certainly this is a compelling and interesting finding!

 

About Panjiva

Panjiva is an online resource for sourcing executives to gain valuable knowledge about suppliers around the world. By providing the most comprehensive data in an easy to use format, Panjiva informs the decisions that facilitate doing business globally. Supply chain and global production executives responsible for finding the right factories, negotiating costs and avoiding costly supply chain disruptions have been “flying blind.” Panjiva is the first and only online information source designed to provide complete transparency into overseas suppliers. Leveraging a variety of public and proprietary data sources, Panjiva is bringing new levels of visibility to the management of global supply chains. Panjiva was founded by CEO Josh Green and CTO James Psota. For additional information, visit: http://panjiva.com.