Change of Baton, Blowing Winds of Change

Rabeth-KhanDecades after decades, brands from around the world have risen, fallen and stayed. Advertising agencies, marketing brains and hardcore sales executioners collated together to produce brand success stories which has been emulated by the new emergent of brands and the cycle has continued. The spread of brands encompasses through-out the continents. For years, the dominance of the brand powerhouses has been evolving from North America and Europe until the 90s, which saw Asian economy progressions giving birth to brands from Asia.

Ford, Peugeot, I-Phones, Kenwood, American Airlines, Dell, Nokia have long been the spearheads in their brand categories and were born in either US or Europe. But from the 90s onwards new Asian challengers like Toyota, Samsung, Panasonic, Emirates and Hyundai had broken out of their underdog tags and started to become bigger brands threatening the non Asian leader board. This transition of dwindling sales of brands in Europe and America and the continuous emergence of Asian brands and their acceptability among global consumers is largely attributed to the paradigm shift of global economy. From the 2000s, one single name, China started their climb up the ladder with intensive pace and price precision penetrating small and big consumer markets. And the Asian presence started to get bigger with brands from Korea, South East Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam) and Indian Subcontinent specially India joining the ever growing brand horizon from Asia.

Asia’s Most Promising Brands and Leaders showcasing is indeed an appropriate initiative considering the march of Asian brands around the world. Time has come for the Asian brands not just from China, Korea or India but from Middle East, South East Asia and South Asia to prepare to penetrate new territories, new culture and new consumers. My own birthplace, Bangladesh, has long been in the global media as a country of poverty, politics and third world struggles, but today it is one of the most rising economies and an emerging market of evolving brands and 160million consumers for other Asian brands to explore. Historically, manufacturing garments have been the flag bearer of it is potentials and the largest source of foreign currency earner. It surprises me when I see local Bangladeshi brands are expanding their footprints in South Asia, Middle East and Africa in the categories of FMCG, garments, pharmaceuticals, IT, leather and frozen food. Even local Bangladeshi banks are opening up branches in other countries and regions. It is good to see some of the Bangladeshi brands and individuals being nominated at the Asia’s Most Promising Brands and Leaders event. This clearly underlines of the emerging power of brands from Asia even from the countries labeled as minnows of the brand world.

As the Jury of the esteemed Asia’s Most Promising Brands and Leaders, I had the opportunity to go through the intrinsic details of 300 brands across 20 countries of Asia and it amazed me, looking at the business growths of the companies from humble beginnings, the quality of the products and services they reach out to the consumers and the growth potentials they all possess to lead the global market space. Economic experts, financial analysts and brand experts around the world have all come to the same analogy – that Asia is the region of brands and business, today and tomorrow. The aspirations of people to live better, emerging bulks of happy to spend middle class, credit cards, thriving population, entrepreneurship, ever increasing talent base – all has contributed to the emergence and strength of Asian brands. On the contrary saturated market conditions, economic recession, the growing cosmopolitan population base of Europe, USA and Australia have all contributed to the opening of the Asian brands to penetrate regions unexplored and to be conquered. One note of caution for the Asian brands is to keep track of emerging economy of Africa and take the lead to move ahead shedding off complacency and making most of the opportunities.

Asia’s Most Promising Brands and Leaders event is having its inaugural curtain raiser. It holds immense promise to be the epicenter of brand mingling from Asia for years to come. Let it be the platform for potential, expansions and aspirations for Asian brands. The baton of brand leadership has started to change hands and the wind of change is blowing for Asia.


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