Editorial January 2014



With 2013 already behind us, the shining promise of a brand new year and resolutions reverberating across the planet – some professional and personal, others political and societal – I believe it’s an opportune time to lend fresh years to the ubiquitous roar of the global colossus that is the Asian tiger. The Asian growth story over the past two decades has been redoubtable to state the least. The world has stood up and taken cognizance of its blaze of glory. The year of 2013 has presented in its wake a mixed bag of triumphs and tribulations. While the growth of the Chinese, Indonesian. Malaysian, Philippine and Thai economies saw diminishing projections by the World Bank and other agencies due to factors related to internal government debt, reduced FDI inflows and international commodity costs, there was equal reason to cheer. Prime among them has been the metamorphosis of the Asian continent from a conventional ‘supplier’ of resources and services to the advanced world economies to a robust ‘provider’ and veritable patron of wares now delivered to Asian nations by the developed world – be it raw material, energy, machinery, chemicals or food items. Add to this the far-reaching ramifications of the impending Trans-Pacific Partnership that would set into motion a brand new paradigm of free trade; the interplay with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) within Asia and it’s free trade associates; and you have the full measure of the potential for change – a change that can impact companies and brands worldwide! Speaking of leaders and the strains of thought inspiring their processes and actions in 2014 – one of my most cherished subjects – clearly, the transitions they spearhead in the year forward will need to focus on the ideas presently redesigning the contours of the manner in which organisations interact with consumers across markets – for instance, rising above a simplistic adoption of the virtual marketplace to actually gleaning and efficaciously utilising it to tap into the throbbing pulse of the Asian denizen or identifying newer avenues of growth fuelled by innovation and the desire for change. And these are certainly not limited to online pathways. Take the story of the retail boutique in Chelsea, New York as an example where the ultimate connect between the consumer and the company springs to life every month as the store undergoes an iconic change in product offerings, theme, form and function to market variegated concepts. Who said on-ground retail has already reached saturation? And while these are just instances to capitalise on valuable lessons, I’m confident in good measure that the leaders of today will make the glorious leap into tomorrow to meet the new challenges with due intelligence, relevance and earnest governance. It will drive the epic Asian progress saga further. We, at WCRC Leaders – Asia, will partner with and showcase the very best of this brilliant constellation of leaders as they forge their way. The magazine will strive to highlight the best in leaders from every domain of industry and life. At the end of the day, every company and society is a reflection of its leaders who are the true catalysts for development. Leaders make things happen and WCRC Leaders – Asia magazine is our honest endeavour to recognise their accomplishments as they take giant strides towards a super 2014.

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