This article is an excerpt from Global Leaders, Challengers, and Champions: The Engines of Emerging Markets (BCG report, June 2016).
The recent struggles of emerging markets are so well known that it can be hard to distinguish the fast-growing trees from the forest. Despite the slowdown in macroeconomic growth, the drop in commodity and currency prices, the crash of equity markets, and the rise of geopolitical risks, the top companies from these markets have kept on expanding overseas.
The economies of some emerging markets may have paused, in other words, but not their strongest and most global companies. The global challengers, BCG’s list of 100 rapidly globalizing companies from emerging markets, are doing just fine.
BCG published its first list of global challengers ten years ago to highlight the achievements of companies that, in the words of the accompanying report, were “changing the world.” If anything, we underestimated in that report the future potential of the global challengers—and the larger group of successful emerging-market companies to which they belong. (See “A Tale of Three Markets.”) In this, the tenth anniversary of that inaugural list, we look more broadly at emerging markets and the dynamic companies that they produce. These include a group of nearly 1,500 companies we call “champions,” which are smaller than the challengers but still growing and expanding impressively. Collectively, the challengers and champions are powering ahead, undaunted by the concerns of Western analysts and commentators.