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外企爲何需要適應印度國情

推薦人: 來源: 時間: 2014-08-13 閱讀: 3.16W 次

外企爲何需要適應印度國情

I rose before dawn in Mumbai recently to watch the city’s newspaper vendors get ready for their rounds.

最近的一天,我在破曉前起牀,看着孟買的報商爲當日的送報工作做準備。

Scores of men were squatting under the arches near the historic railway station, sorting thousands of papers in some 20 languages into teetering metre-high stacks, for distribution by bicycle.

幾十個男人蹲在具有歷史意義的火車站附近的拱門下,將大約20種文字的數千份報紙整理成許多一米來高、搖搖欲墜的小堆,以便用自行車送報。

The sellers commit each complex order to memory, not a computer algorithm in sight.

這些賣家將一筆筆複雜的訂單記在心裏,這裏沒有計算機算法的任何蹤影。

For anyone who started in print journalism, as I did, it is an exciting scene.

對我這樣從印刷傳媒業開始職業生涯的人,這一幕令人興奮。

But as a first-time visitor to the country, I also felt that the order-out-of-chaos underlined the challenge for foreign multinationals seeking to profit from India’s fabulous, fragmented, far-flung consumer market.

但作爲一個首次到訪印度的人,我也感覺到這種混亂中的秩序凸顯出尋求從印度巨大、碎片化和地域廣闊的消費者市場中獲利的外國跨國公司所面臨的挑戰。

As one consultant I met said: The company that comes to India and is waiting for India to fix things is going to fail.

就如我遇到的一名諮詢師所說的:那些來到印度,等待印度搞定一切的公司會失敗。

The company that comes and marvels about how India has survived is going to do much better.

那些來到印度,驚歎印度是如何生存下來的公司會做得更好。

Such acts of tolerance and flexibility are hard for some big companies to carry off.

這種寬容和靈活態度對一些大公司來說難以做到。

For years, many have glibly summed up their strategy by touting versions of the think global, act local mantra.

多年來,許多大公司把自己的戰略誇誇其談地總結爲不同版本的全球化思考,本地化行動箴言。

Only a few have made it work, among them Nokia, until it started concentrating too much power at its headquarters, and Nestlé, whose Maggi noodles were successful enough to attract Indian food inspectors’ unwelcome attention last year.

只有爲數不多的幾家公司真正讓這條策略奏效,其中包括諾基亞(Nokia),那是在該公司開始將過多權力集中於總部之前;還有就是雀巢(Nestlé),去年該公司旗下的美極(Maggi)方便麪因爲在印度市場太成功而招致印度食品檢驗機構不受歡迎的關注。

As the complexity of newspaper distribution suggests, with its extraordinary logistical challenges (think of doing this job in a monsoon), acting local is not as simple as it sounds.

就如印度報紙配送的複雜性所表明的,由於不同尋常的物流挑戰(想象一下在雨季送報的工作吧),本地化行動不像聽上去那麼簡單。

For a start, which local?

首先,哪個本地?

There’s so little standardisation: every region has something that defines it, Amit Agarwal, who heads Amazon India, told me.

沒有什麼標準化可言:每個地區都有一些屬於自己的特徵,亞馬遜印度(Amazon India)負責人阿米特.阿加瓦爾(Amit Agarwal)告訴我,

It’s like 25 different countries.

就像有25個不同國家似的。

Amazon — locked in combat with Indian competitors Flipkart and Snapdeal — is confident its wide selection will open Indian consumers’ wallets.

正與印度競爭對手Flipkart和Snapdeal角力的亞馬遜相信,其提供的產品選擇範圍之廣,足以讓印度消費者甘願掏腰包。

Mr Agarwal boasts he has brought guinea-pig food to small towns without pet stores (raising the question: what were India’s guinea pigs eating until now?).

阿加瓦爾誇耀,他已經把豚鼠糧引入到沒有寵物店的小城鎮(問題來了:那麼在這之前,印度的豚鼠吃什麼?)。

You can order online a dozen varieties of cow dung (for religious rituals), local food delicacies and the specialised grinders and mixers for preparing them.

你可以在線訂購十多種不同種類的牛糞(用於宗教儀式)、當地美食和置備這些美食所需的特殊的粉碎機和攪拌機。

Small food suppliers’ ability to deal directly with faraway customers through online platforms means India might even miss the processed food revolution altogether, speculates Rama Bijapurkar, who advises companies on the consumer economy.

規模較小的食品供應商能夠通過在線平臺直接與相距遙遠的客戶打交道;爲企業提供消費經濟方面的建議的拉馬.比加普卡爾(Rama Bijapurkar)推測,這意味着印度有可能完全錯過加工食品革命。

On the same morning I visited the newspaper sellers I toured Mumbai’s fruit, vegetable, flower and fish markets.

在參觀報商工作的同一天早上,我還參觀了孟買的水果、蔬菜、花卉和魚市場。

Their distribution system is literally run off the backs of workers earning 10 rupees — about 12p — per sack to manhandle produce.

它們的配送系統是在工人的背上運行的,這些工人每背一包農產品掙10盧比(約12便士)。

Multinationals rightly balk at trying to replace or tinker with that system.

理所應當地,跨國公司不太情願嘗試替換這個系統或者對其進行小修小補。

Companies working with a technology platform — Amazon, with its Amazon Now service, or Grofers, a homegrown start-up — piggyback on local stores that are already in the supply chain.

依託技術平臺的企業——比如推出Amazon Now快遞服務的亞馬遜,或者印度本土初創企業Grofers——藉助已經在供應鏈上的當地商鋪來開展業務。

Fear of complexity may be one reason some multinationals shy away from or misread India.

對複雜性的恐懼或許是一些跨國公司迴避或者誤讀印度的一個原因。

But in one sense, they are not misreading it at all.

但在某種層面上,它們或許根本沒有誤讀。

The top fifth of India’s 1.3bn citizens earn as much as the next 60 per cent, although the disposable income of the top 20 per cent is nearly four times as great.

印度13億人口中,收入最高的20%的人的收入與排在其後60%的人的收入相當,儘管前者的可支配收入是後者的近4倍之多。

In short, it is perfectly rational for multinationals not to bother acting local for the bottom billion.

簡言之,對跨國公司而言,不費心針對處於底層的10億人採取本地化策略是完全理性的。

The megabrand strategy that works well for them in developed markets can cream off the sort of high-spending consumers targeted by the house-sized advertising hoardings that lord it over Mumbai’s stall-cluttered streets.

在發達市場對這些企業管用的大品牌戰略,在印度有望吸引高消費人羣,屹立在孟買攤位雜亂的街道上的巨幅廣告牌瞄準的正是這一羣體。

If you ask ‘What’s the market [if I] sweat my existing model and assets,’ you still have a fairly large number, Ms Bijapurkar points out.

如果你問‘(如果我)運用我現有的模式和資產,市場會是什麼樣子’,答案是你依然擁有相當多的客戶,比加普卡爾指出。

Tailoring strategy to local conditions is also hard and potentially costly work.

按照當地情況量身定做策略也很困難,而且有可能代價高昂。

Bhavish Aggarwal, founder of Ola, the local ride-hailing company fighting Uber, says you need to build the infrastructure of your industry — which is why Ola is buying cars and training drivers.

與優步(Uber)競爭的當地招車公司Ola的創始人巴維什.阿加沃爾(Bhavish Aggarwal)說,你需要建立起你所在行業的基礎設施——這就是Ola購置車輛,培訓司機的原因。

In India, you can’t be a disrupter because nothing exists: we have to be a creator, he says,

在印度,你不可能成爲擾亂者,因爲什麼都不存在:我們不得不成爲創造者,他說。

in a jab at his notoriously disruptive US rival.

此言是在暗諷以擾亂市場著稱的美國競爭對手優步。

By not adapting, however, foreign companies risk missing a very large trick.

然而,如果不去適應當地,外國公司有錯失大量業務的風險。

Data collected by Ms Bijapurkar suggest that over the 10 years to 2013-14, the income of the poorest 20 per cent of Indian households grew annually at more than triple the rate of the richest fifth and will continue to grow almost as fast in the years ahead.

比加普卡爾收集的數據似乎表明,在截至2013-14年度的10年裏,印度最貧困20%家庭的收入增長速度是最富裕20%家庭的3倍,而未來幾年還將大致保持這樣的增速。

Poorer consumers will always aspire to dearer brands.

更貧困的消費者總會嚮往更昂貴的品牌。

Some will start buying them.

一些人將會開始購買它們。

But the opportunity is such that local companies and Chinese suppliers are already expanding by appealing to Indian customers ignored by multinationals and by serving their local tastes better.

但這個機會如此誘人,以至於當地企業和中國供應商已經在擴張,以吸引跨國公司忽視的印度消費者,並且更好地服務於他們的品味。

By the time haughtier multinationals wake up to the rest of India, it could be too late.

當更加自負的跨國公司認識到印度還有大量消費者值得迎合,可能已經爲時太晚。