EiG Brief: The Morning After

25 September 2008

After last evening's stunning beachfront EiG soiree at Opium Mar, which for some might have carried on until early this morning, many were in slow motion today in Spain's second largest city.

The emerging market keynote speaker, Nigel Bland, even joked: "Congratulations on turning up this morning, and with a little bit of luck, I'll keep you up."

Mr. Bland, who is an associate partner at Deloitte in the United Kingdom, cautioned a small crowd at the early session about the high level of risk involved in moving and expanding businesses to additional countries.

"Everything is emerging -- except for North America, which has gone back into its cocoon," he added.

He illustrated the risk by using the '90s health club boom as an example. One company attempted to open clubs in six countries in one year with no sign of demand in those regions, he said, which resulted in a significant loss in shareholder value. As an investor himself, Mr. Bland admitted he had learned from its misfortune.

Ill-fated investments aside, Mr. Bland said that the potential in emerging markets is real with four times the growth compared to established ones. For one, he noted, there is less competition in those sectors.

"I do think you should make some very careful checks before you go," he continued. "Set your hurdles as high as you'd like, but you need to have an edge. There's no good in launching a me-too product."

For a more off-the-cuff view of EiG, be sure to read Mark Balestra's quirky, insightful entries on the IGN blog.

Jeanette Kozlowski is a staff writer for IGamingNews and manager of Clarion Gaming's Gaming Industry Media portal. She lives in Kirkwood, Mo.