Innovation & International Growth: what is key to open new markets?
Are Innovation & International Growth
linked together? Some say yes, others think no. Olivier Pujol looked at this question and shares his findings in his top executive file.
“The Global Innovation Index 2011 indicates that countries like France and Italy are lagging behind other equivalent countries in terms of innovation.
However, these countries demonstrate a capability to innovate in many fields.
Recently, the French Business Confederation has expressed the concern that French SMEs seemed less capable than others to grow internationally. And the Global Innovation Index ranks France very low for services export (like Italy). The latter could explain the former: innovation without export remains confidential and has little chance to succeed and generate profitable business.
But exporting is not easy. It takes the willingness to approach each market as a totally new market, in terms of customers, distribution and competition.
Innovative companies must enrich their culture with international business culture, mixing foreigners and locals at executive level.
Export is a necessity
Some very large countries have a domestic market large enough to generate significant revenue and economies of scale, ie: profitability.
But in many countries, home markets are not large enough to turn innovation into profitability: international growth is a necessity. Some countries, like
former Commonwealth countries, or from the former USSR have a very favorable access to a selected international market. But for most European
countries, their previously fast growing domestic markets are not sufficient today in a context of international competition.
Language is a barrier that can be overcome as the Dutch and the Scandinavian have demonstrated. In some countries, export is almost in the genes of the population (Singapore, the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium…). And they are successful. But other countries do not have the culture to do so, even though they don’t really have a choice: export is a matter of survival today.”