According to a study released by Indian global telecommunications company Tata Communications, 84% of businesses from emerging markets have looked to other emerging markets for growth lessons and best practice, highlighting the increasing importance of these developing markets to the global economy.

“The more recent trend of companies from emerging markets looking outside their boundaries and trying to expand elsewhere includes [companies such as] Tata Group, which is [one of] the biggest Indian business houses, [thanks to] its international expansion over the past 10 years,” said Srinivasa Addepalli, senior vice-president of corporate strategy at Tata Communications.  

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In its recent study of 1600 business leaders from 10 emerging and developed markets, Tata Communications found that 95% of business leaders in China had looked to other emerging economies for key business lessons. Meanwhile, 42% of respondents said that they perceived China to be the most progressive market in the developing world, followed by India, which was selected by 27% of respondents.

The study also revealed the respondents’ belief that developing economies still faced critical shortcomings. Connectivity and communications infrastructure was a key concern for 47% of respondents. But, according to Mr Addepalli, this will work to the advantage of companies such as Tata Communications.

“We are playing a role in all these trends, as the expansion into new markets is being supported through the creation of the network infrastructure and other related infrastructure in various markets,” said Mr Addepalli. “We own the world’s largest submarine cable network, [which is] one of the world’s top internet backbones that enables connectivity across every major business location.

"So as businesses seek to globalise, we can enable them to reach markets with the same speeds [and] the same level of service that they are used to in their home markets. Our business model is [based on] the strong infrastructure platform that we have created, and this infrastructure is global in nature [as] it connects the developed and emerging markets together, so that is a strong enabling platform. Our growth in terms of the business that we are seeking to grow comes from customers across all regions. One of our focus areas will be to look at large enterprises or service providers from the developed markets, which are seeking to expand into the emerging markets.”

According to Mr Addepalli, the growing issue of connectivity is the result of the rapid evolution of communications. “People are increasingly becoming mobile,” he said. “People are working on the move, they are connected and they are working with colleagues elsewhere, so work is becoming more complex.

"The growing need for us to be connected and be able to work and do our daily activities while being on the move is a big trend that is impacting the communications industry in a big way, and that has given rise to the growth in mobile [phones]. The real theme until about five years ago was mobile voice [communication], but it [will] now be mobile data [and] mobile broadband. The other emerging trend is that video will be the next voice. There is a huge demand [for this because] we want to see each other and we want to share videos. So people are moving towards video-based communications.”