Posts filed under ‘Innovation’

Dodging Big Smartphone Rates Abroad

It’s the golden age for doing business globally.

High-tech products from svelte laptops to lightning-fast digital networks make it easier than ever for globe-trotting businesspeople to cut deals from practically anywhere

Yet there’s a surprise stumbling block: the smartphone.

Vital calls drop and eye-popping telecom charges pile up quickly, killing the thrill of slick on-the-go modernity.

Roaming rates for phone calls and access to email and other data services such as Internet browsing vary widely from country to country, easily jacking up bills. Certain phones work only in some regions, and not in others.

Making things more complicated, most carriers over the past few months have quietly phased out the unlimited data option. Verizon, for example, said it cut its unlimited plan because of the higher roaming fees it had to pay to overseas carriers.

R. Cheng, The Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2011

May 2, 2011 at 7:00 am

A New Global Growth Engine

Entrepreneurs running sophisticated companies with the potential to create millions of jobs in the developing world are often overlooked by outsiders, say Deirdre Coyle Jr. and Anne Habiby

Phanindra Sama will tell you the reason he became an entrepreneur is that he missed a bus. In 2005, he was trying to get from Bangalore to his hometown of Nizamabad for Diwali, the annual Hindu festival of lights. But tickets, available only at the bus station, had sold out before he could buy one.

That inspired Sama, then an engineer designing digital chips for Texas Instruments (TXN), to create redBus, a website and a network of kiosks, newsstands, and small retailers where customers can see schedules and buy tickets for thousands of bus routes across India. RedBus, which sold 1.8 million tickets in 2009, now has more than 200 employees and is heading toward sales of $30 million this year from commissions and fees paid by bus lines. “The operators had never used any technology of any kind,” says Sama, 30. “We demonstrated how [we] could help them grow their business.”

Young, dynamic entrepreneurs like Sama are showing up all over the emerging world, building companies that could create new industries—and millions of jobs. But fast-growing developing-world companies like Sama’s often stall out because few outsiders know they exist. And their markets offer little in the way of entrepreneurial infrastructure such as venture capital firms eager to invest, small business banking services, and targeted government programs such as loan guarantees. Hoping to identify the most dynamic businesses in the developing world and raise their profile, we teamed up with Harvard management professor Michael E. Porter to found AllWorld Network. We have surveyed 300 fast-growth companies from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.

Source: Deirdre Coyle Jr. and Anne Habiby, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Special Report, November 17, 2010

November 29, 2010 at 2:02 pm

In China, Online Advertising Holds Real Promise

HONG KONG — While Internet advertising revenue growth in the U.S. has stalled since the global downturn set in, some hope remains for China’s highly trafficked Web sites.

“For 2010 we’re estimating about 20% growth for online advertising,” says Ben Cavender, a senior analyst at Shanghai-based China Market Research Group. “That’s compared with the U.S., where it’s under 5% a year.”

China’s largest Internet portal, Sina Corp., is optimistic about online advertising–and rightly so. Forecasting advertising growth in 2010, Sina, which Forbes Asia named one of the “Best Under A Billion” companies, posted third-quarter profits Tuesday that beat some analysts’ expectations.(by Hana R. Alberts,Forbes, 11.17.09)

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November 24, 2009 at 8:00 am

Cellphone Entertainment Takes Off in Rural India

MUMBAI—In the furthest reaches of India’s rural heartland, the cellphone is bringing something that television, radio and even newspapers couldn’t deliver: Instant access to music, information, entertainment, news and even worship.

Despite its rapid modernization, many of India’s 750,000 villages remain isolated except for the cellphone reception that now blankets almost the entire country after a decade of rapid expansion by operators. So in villages that don’t receive any FM radio stations, people have begun calling a number that has a recording of Bollywood tunes and listening to it on their headsets.

This primitive cellular “radio” service was used by close to 20 million Indians last year, phone company executives estimate.(By ERIC BELLMAN, The Wall Street Journal, NOVEMBER 22, 2009)

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November 23, 2009 at 8:00 am

The Global Innovation Migration

Research and development is increasingly going global, according to a new report by Duke’s Offshoring Research Network (ORN). More than half of U.S. companies now have corporatewide initiatives to outsource innovation activities, up from 22% in 2005, according to the ORN, which has been tracking the growth of outsourcing since 2004. And of those companies already offshoring development, 60% intend to do so more aggressively.

The days when you could trace development of the majority of the world’s innovative technologies back to U.S. labs are fading fast. Outsourcing of R&D is irreversible. Still, the U.S. retains key advantages and remains well-positioned to continue its technology leadership. But that can happen only if as a nation we recognize the changing role of R&D and refrain from wasting scarce resources trying to recapture a bygone era. Mandating that R&D traditionally performed in the U.S. should stay in America would tie the hands of companies at precisely the time they need flexibility to compete against up-and-coming foreign competitors. (By Vivek Wadhwa, BusinessWeek, November 9, 2009)

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November 13, 2009 at 10:34 am

E.U. Plan Could Lead to Lower Cost International Calls

BERLIN — The European Commission will urge the 27 European Union countries Wednesday to reserve a uniform slice of broadcast spectrum for a pan-European mobile broadband network, one that could enable flat-rate, international voice and data calling plans.

A copy of the proposal, reviewed by the International Herald Tribune, sets out technical guidelines for E.U. countries that choose to redeploy part of their low-frequency spectrum, a bandwidth that has been used exclusively by television broadcasters since the inception of the industry more than 50 years ago. (By KEVIN J. O’BRIEN, The New York Times, October 27, 2009)

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November 3, 2009 at 8:00 am

Chile’s Outsourcing Challenge

The list of challengers to U.S. tech supremacy may be getting longer. Many pundits say the greatest threats to the nation’s status as a tech superpower are China and India. Those people would do well to look south.

Aside from notable exceptions such as Venezuela, South America is a growth dynamo with a young population and rapidly maturing economies. Much recent growth has come from rich natural resources and a commodity bubble that rained cash on farmers, miners, and drillers alike. (By Vivek Wadhwa, BusinessWeek, October 20, 2009)

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October 30, 2009 at 8:00 am

Travel with the Northern Kentucky Chamber in 2012

Peru - August 12-20, 2012
To learn more about the program, please email Kyle Horseman or call 859.426.3653.

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