Posted: January 2, 2014 |  AUTHOR: KEN FOX | CONTACT ME


The ten global companies you will here about over the next 18 months all represent businesses working on exciting new products or growth strategies.
1. Nissan (Japan)
Nissan has revitalized the Datsun name and plans to launch new low end cars first in Indonesia (2014) followed by India, South Africa and Russia. These cars include an initial model called GO with a seven seat GO+ as well. Nissan is also developing a driverless car, “Autonomous.”

2.Alibaba (China)
This is China’s largest e-commerce site. They plan to go public in 2014 and haven’t decided which location or market yet (after rejecting the Hong Kong exchange). The expected IPO valuation is 60-70 billion U.S. dollars. Alibaba owns Taobao, China’s largest on-line consumer marketplace, and Tmall, China’s largest business to consumer on line retail site. The company plans to a make a big push into the U.S. Yahoo owns 24% of Alibaba, after an initial $1 billion investment by Yahoo’s founder, Jerry Yang. Expect to hear more about Alibaba in 2014.
3.Fast Retailing (Japan)
The wealthiest man in Japan, Tadashi Yanai, CEO states his goal as becoming the number #1 casual clothing retailer in the U.S. The company has been expanding its Uniqlo stores from San Francisco, California to New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. He states:
“We will become the overwhelming number one brand in Asia and we will continue our strategy of massive launches and expand our territory.”
Uniqlo currently has 12 stores in the U.S., and 192 in China.


4.Sanofi (France)
The large pharmaceutical company is known for many new drugs and for acquiring Genzyme in the U.S. However, most people do not know Sanofi is the leader in developing a vaccine to prevent dengue fever. This virus is spreading around the world and has been declared an international crisis by the WHO (World Health Organization). Sanofi is building a factory in France to manufacture the vaccine and hopes to introduce it in the next few years.


5.Aldi Group (Germany)
The Aldi Group is successfully expanding its food stores around the world, especially in the U.S. Their really low price supermarket concept seems to be working. They are building new and large distribution centers in Houston and Southern California. By the way, they also own Trader Joe’s, which is doing quite well.


6.Mindray (China)
NYSE (MR) Mindray is a growing Chinese based medical device company founded in 1991. They developed China’s first ultrasound imaging system (2001) and acquired Datascope’s U.S. patient monitoring business in 2008. Watch Mindray grow as China aggressively builds new hospitals and patient clinics, which will need Mindray’s patient monitoring and ultrasound imaging systems. They also want to sell to the U.S., and established an R&D Center in Miami, Florida in 2012.

novo nordisk

7.Novo Nordisk (Denmark)
Novo is a global leader in insulin production and accessories for people with diabetes. They are working on a revolutionary insulin pill that can be taken orally. This is a major challenge but represents an unbelievable technological breakthrough if achieved. Watch for their update and hopeful future success.

lion air

8.Lion Air (Indonesia)
Lion Air is the largest Indonesian airline. It flies to 72 destinations mostly in Indonesia. They recently (2012) awarded Boeing the largest jet order ever (230), valued at $22.4 billion The trouble is, Lion Air is currently forbidden to fly over North American or EU airspace because of their past crashes and safety record. Given the good growth of the Indonesian economy and being perceived to be one of the next BRIC countries, watch for their fly over approvals and expanding global routes.


9.Tata Group (India)
Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, says “marketing the Nano as the cheapest car in the world was a mistake.” Watch the Tata Group relaunch an upgraded Nano in a new country and be a meaningful contender in the small car market.


10.Inditex (Spain)
A Zara Home Store launched in Europe. I visited such a store in Turin, Italy and liked the lively and unique assortments. Spain’s Inditex is slowly expanding its Home Store concept to North America. It first offered Zara Home products on line to the U.S. in October 2012 and opened its first Canadian Zara Home store on August 22, 2013. Zara Home stores also recently opened in Hong Kong on October 31, 2013. Founded in 2003, Zara Home has 315 stores in over 30 countries. Watch them grow.

Clearly, there are other interesting global companies to watch in 2014. These include: Starbucks, Samsung, Hutchinson Whampoa, Wal-Mart, the Virgin Group and Volkswagen, to name a few. However, the above ten seem ready at the gate to grow in new ways or launch new products and services. This and other growth should be helped by improving economic factors in key global markets. New competition and challenges exist but so do opportunities to grow.

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