Tag Archives: world

New HSBC emerging markets campaign

HSBC has been running its In the future campaign for some time but only in my recent trip to Mexico was I exposed to it as they have no presence in Finland. The core message is an evolution of their classical “The world’s local bank”. Now that their audience should know that HSBC knows how to make business happen in different markets they bring home the fact that while the developed world is undergoing the Great Recession, people in emerging markets are still doing well, thank you very much, which is changing where business opportunities come from, how they develop and scale, and what kind of new flexibilities the smaller entrepreneur would need.

The campaign touches on themes such as emerging market growth, technological startups, currency hedging and the fact that, obviously, HSBC is the bank to help you make it all happen. Having just visited a country that is expected to grow 3.7% this year and 3.9% the next, the message really resonated.

The only sad part is that their touchpoint strategy seems to be focusing on a very traditional marketing mix with plenty of media buys, but then again, I wouldn’t expect a totally revolutionary campaign from a bank 😉 .

End of the decade


The 2000’s were the years that started with the menace of Y2K, gave us 6 years of Bush, the Argentine peso crash, 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the terrorist attacks in Madrid, London & Mumbai, the bomb in Myyrmanni, wars in Chechenya and Georgia, the Asian tsunami, the floods of Tabasco, Katrina, protests in Ukraine & Thailand, two stock market crashes, wars in Liberia, Congo and Somalia, the Jokela & Kauhajoki school shootings, the drug war & ended with the Haiti earthquake.

However, they also gave us the rise of the rest of the globalized countries and the formation of the G-20, the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka, the rescue of the Chilean miners, the spread of mobile communication, the fast adoption of broadband, the dramatic reduction of poverty in certain areas and the improving availability of basic sanitation in many others, though you won’t see that in the news ;).

The country where I was born has seen ten years of democracy, but also ten years of disorder and lack of statesmanship. The country where I have lived for most of this decade has experienced more change than some of its people would like, it’s showing itself more to the world but the world has also arrived in numbers to its shores. It’s not a homogeneous as it used to be.

Ten years might be a short time in geological or astronomical terms, but teenagers become adults in that time :).

Singular singularity thoughts

After a very interesting presentation by Dr. José Luis Cordeiro of Singularity University, I was left with a few interesting ideas about the coming accelerating technological and social progress.

  • Genetic testing is becoming faster and cheaper.  In 3 years full sequencing will only cost 100 bucks and take 5 days, with a huge impact in ancestry and medicine (think about genetically-tailored preventive medicine). Imagine 23andme going mass market.
  • We will go back to the moon, especially now that it is found that there’s water.
  • World relationships are changing. For thousands of years the important body of water was the Mediterranean, and until recently the Atlantic.  We are now entering the age of the Pacific.
  • Robot rights are already under discussion in Korea and Europe.
  • Economic, telecommunications and energy source evolution is accelerating.
  • The death of death: The Methuselah Foundation.
  • Nano, bio, info and cognitive sciences are converging. Everything is information.
  • Marvin Minsky (MIT): “Will robots inherit the earth? Yes, but they will be us!”
  • Transhumanism as a possibility, not only a science fiction conjecture.

The case for migration

I read this article and this book and of course they got me thinking.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: my biggest problems with the Finnish immigration debate are twofold:

  • on one hand there is very little differentiation in what we see, hear and read in the media between people who came here for work, family or asylum and on what their adaptation process to society has been and,
  • on the other there seems to be no clear path in which a newcomer can eventually become a Finn, even if he/she (hän) is able to become a citizen at some point,
  • which of course means that newcomers are depicted as dangerous or at the very least lazy.

Furthermore, I watched the presidential debate of a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say I’m somewhere in between what current President Halonen and ex-President Ahtisaari mentioned: yes, people should be welcomed to come here and immigrants are a resource, but we shouldn’t make the same mistake Germany and Belgium did with their Gastarbeiter programmes of the 60’s.  Instead, we should be aware that first and foremost an immigrant is a person, and should strive to continue building our society(ies) together (after all, some of them might have invested a lot of themselves into their new place of residence after living there for some time, right?).

Therefore, it was very interesting to read Mr. Legrain’s book (for a good overview of his ideas, you can check out this interview at the Freakonomics blog).  Even though I wouldn’t go so far as propose to open all borders indiscriminately, he does touch into quite a few interesting points regarding why the current system doesn’t work, what the current situation is and what do countries and immigrants need to do to adapt to each other, rightly pointing it’s a two-way street.

Let’s see how the situation develops with the precarious economic situation.

Globalisation & my high school class

This week I learned that two of my classmates from high school in northern Greater Mexico City are also in a relationship with Finnish girls and both are also living abroad.  That got me thinking about how many of the guys and gals I used to go to school with back then are also overseas, and the sample is quite broad.

I’m not particularly surprised of this development given that we were educated as the so-called NAFTA generation learning English (and sometimes other languages) from childhood, and given a broader view of the world than people before us (I remember attending lessons on economics, global affairs, the stock market and compared history of North America at that time).

What sets us apart from those before us I think, is not that some of us would go abroad, but that we would not concentrate in the United States as before.  In my sister’s high school class (she is only a few years older than me) most of those who are working abroad are doing so in the US (a couple here and there in Europe, but it’s a minority), whereas with us the geographic dispersion is much broader: I have classmates in Mexico, and all over the US, true, but also in Canada, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Australia, France, Brazil, UK and I believe even a couple in China.  Moreover, many of them who are back in Mexico also have international experience, either as students or during their careers.

I’m sure that this is partly due to American immigration regulations after 9/11, but I believe it also has something to do with many of us wanting to see what else was out there.  I wonder if the Institute for Mexicans Abroad will start tapping this kind of talent network too, as many of us are working for institutions like e.g.  Shell, Nokia, Microsoft, ESA or Volvo or studying at recognised institutions all over the place.  Maybe we should learn something from what the Indians and the Chinese are doing by taking advantage of their expatriates, instead of complaining about the brain drain?

Regardless, it’s good to see that most of them in Mexico or wherever they may be are doing well.

The great economic shift

What does this mean? What we are seeing is the shift of economic power from the United States & Europe to markets elsewhere, and especially China, India and parts of the Middle East are in good shape to reap the rewards.  However, since the system is built around the countries of the G7 with the US as the main motor of worldwide consumption, co-operation between all countries is needed, or else the rise of protectionism will amplify the current situation.

I wouldn’t be surprised if in case the crisis lasts long (hopefully not) China ends up bailing the US so that its own economy can keep on growing…