Philips CEO on expanding globally

Last week I said I’d love to see more profiles of global-minded business execs and, sure enough, the Journal delivers.

Here’s an interview with the Philips Electronics CEO Gerard Kleisterlee.

According to the article, the company’s emerging-market sales increased 29% in the second quarter from a year earlier and now make up 34% of the company’s total sales. And it’s just getting started.

Some choice quotes from the interview:

The rush to emerging markets is there already for the last 10 years. What you have started to see is that, in many of these emerging markets, now you get growing local [Chinese] competitors who become either regional or aspiring global competitors.

It does not suffice to serve only the metropolitan areas. In India and in China you need to have good rural distribution.

For the emerging markets we have even more local responsibility. In general we try to push responsibility down in the organization and have everything necessary centralized. But for emerging markets we have done that even more than for the developed markets.

The Philips global web site finished in 4th place overall in the 2010 Web Globalization Report Card. Decentralization of control is a key ingredient of successful local web sites, particularly in emerging markets.

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