Posted: January 1, 2015 |  AUTHOR: KEN FOX | CONTACT ME


The year 2015 represents new challenges and growth opportunities.

Country: China

February 19, 2015 begins the new year of the Goat in China. Watch the following:

Company: Lenovo

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 10.46.02 AM Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing has aggressive growth plans now that his company is the largest PC manufacturer in the world. Lenovo has also become the second largest smartphone company in China, after Samsung. Lenovo acquired IBM’s X86 server business for $2.1 billion and Google’s Motorola Mobility handset unit for $2.9 billion in 2014. These acquisitions will quadruple the company’s sales.


Company: Xiaomi

Xiamoi This three year old Chinese company claims the largest Smartphone market share in China (15%) with its relatively high quality and inexpensive Redmi brand. Xiaomi’s worldwide smartphone share is 5.3% and trails only Samsung 23.8% and Apple’s 12%. The company has also launched a Mi Band fitness tracker (now only available in China and Singapore). Its retail price is about 15 U.S. dollars. Xiami has its sights on entering India. Watch Xiaomi grow.

Company: Coolpad Group Ltd.

CoolPadThe third largest smartphone maker in China is Coolpad. The company has plans to expand distribution to Southeast Asia, Europe and the U.S. Its growth In China is because it offers advanced hardware at low prices, and has strong ties with all state controlled Chinese carriers, which have broad distribution networks across the country.

Trends: China Builds Railroads for other Countries

China is seeking other revenue growth given a relative slowdown in manufacturing. One revenue stream is building railroads for other countries. Some examples include:

  • China Railway Construction Corp has a $12 billion order to build a railway along the coast of Nigeria.
  • China is in talks with India to build a high speed train between New Delhi and Chennai.
  • China will build a new 800 mile railway in Thailand.
  • There are also discussions to build a $60 billion high speed railroad between Moscow and Beijing.

Trends: Children’s Wearables

5. Company: JoyRay (Taiwan)

JumpyCompanies are continuing to offer smart watches with increasing capabilities and wider target markets. A relatively new segment is children’s wearables. One company targeting the children’s market is Taiwan based JoyRay. Its “Jumpy” brand represents a line of fun, plastic wearables of different colors and sizes, with games, educational functions and parent (or caregiver) monitoring capabilities that can be worn on the wrist or arm.   


6. Company: Fiat (Italy)Fiat

I am impressed with what Fiat is doing in 2015. This includes selling its Ferrari division, expanding the Maserati line andcompleting its launch of the Alpha Romeo in North America. Approximately eighty dealers began selling the Alfa in the U.S. during this past summer (2014). Eventually, this dealer network is expected to expand to 300 dealers. Fiat also plans to increase its Maserati dealerships’ worldwide from 250 to 425 by 2015. It’s not clear whether new dealerships will sell both the Maserati and the Alpha Romeo. Look for new and redesigned Fiat, Maserati and Alpha Romeo models in 2015.



7.  Trends: Infectious Diseases: Ebola

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa should help increase not only demand for vaccines to fight the diseases but also a demand for key medical supplies. These supplies relate to infection control, products to monitor and treat patients, as well as for healthcare worker protection. The following companies may benefit from the Ebola outbreak in 2015:

Vaccine production being worked on by:Ebola

  • UK Based GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
  • Merck, through their recent acquisition of New Line Genetics (U.S.)
  • Johnson & Johnson (U.S.)
  • Mapp BioPharmaceutical, which makes the ZMAPP vaccine given to patients with Ebola transported to the U.S.
  • Medical Supply Companies (partial list)
  • DuPont (U.S.)-makes protective suits
  • Lakeland Industries (U.S.) makes hazmat suits
  • Kimberly-Clark (U.S.) manufactures: face masks, eye protections gear, shoe covers, exam gloves, etc.
  • Life Secure (U.S.) makes survival kits which include: disposable eye shields, biohazard bags, protective masks, vinyl gloves and other items.
  • Other medical supply companies include: Baxter International, BD, Covidien, Hospira, 3M, J&J, Stryker and Steris, among others.

8.    Trends: India Seaport Development

Port of Chabahar, Iran

Port of Chabahar, Iran

India has been behind in seaport development. The new government’s budget includes 16 new (India) port projects, including upgrades and deepening to accommodate larger post Panamax ships. India is concerned about China’s port expansion and “encirclement.”

India is developing a north south trade corridor from Central Asia to Afghanistan through the Iranian port of Chabahar. For India, Chabahar is the nearest port to the Indian Ocean, providing direct access to the Middle East and Central Asia. India plans to establish a foothold in Central Asia to tap that region’s huge energy

reserves without using the Afghanistan-Pakistan route. If approved, India would sign an agreement with Iran to lease two berths at the Port of Chabahar for 10 years. India would also provide Iran with funds to help facilitate linking the Port of Chabahar to Afghanistan’s main road network.

9. Company: Starbucks (U.S.)

tasting roomInnovation continues to drive growth, increase global reach and generate positive customer experiences at Starbucks. The company generated $16.4 billion sales in 2014.

New products and businesses continue to be launched. In addition to Teavana Teahouses, Evolution Fresh Juice Bars and La Boulange bakery products, the company recently started a new premium coffee line, Reserve. A Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room opened in Seattle in December 2014. The company plans to open 100 Reserve stores in the U.S. in 2015.

Starbucks also continues to show strong growth in Asia.

  • China has 1,500 stores in 64 cities with plans for 3,400 stores by 2019
  • India represents its fastest growing “new” market with 61 stores in 6 cities
  • Japan has over 1,000 stores
  • South Korea has 700 stores

10. Trends: More Asian Marine Shipments to Canada


Prince Rupert Port, British Columbia, Canada


Prince Rupert Port, British Columbia, Canada

Shipments by sea from Asia will increase to western Canadian ports such as Prince Rupert, British Columbia in 2015. U.S. port congestion, higher U.S. taxes and faster routes from Asia will increase traffic to western Canadian ports. Global warming also lessens ice flows to this area. Prince Rupert has a 60 acre facility which only handled 537,426 containers in 2013. Plans are to increase the port’s capacity to almost two million containers. Prince Rupert is 68 hours closer to Shanghai by boat than Los Angeles. The Port of Prince Rupert is 1,600 kilometers (994 miles) from Seattle which should also increase truck and rail volumes between the two cites. (Source: Best Asia-U.S. trade Route? Via Canada, The Wall Street Journal Asia, Dec. 15, 2014)

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