The global automotive industry is in the process of major transformation, partially driven by rapidly rising energy cost. The rescue of the US auto industry has ensured that the transformation is now focused on positive developments around technology enhancements and new market opportunities.
Cedar's experience covers both the durable and non-durable sectors. Over the years, Cedar has assisted international clients in the durable sector in entering major developing markets, and improving business operations. Clients have included Whirlpool, who Cedar's team members assisted into entering the two of the largest emerging markets - India & China . Cedar understands all key aspects of the consumer durable business - product strategy (brown & white goods), component sourcing, plant location selection, inventory management, marketing, sales & distribution, and its retailing.
With regular fluctuations in global oil prices and coal shortages in most countries, the benefit of moving to renewable energy sources continue to increase. This, along with greater concerns for the environment, are acting as strong catalysts for increasing adoption of renewable energy which today accounts for ~20% of global energy consumption. Wind and Solar energy will continue to dominate the on-grid power. Biofuel blending in gasoline & cheaper fuel cells will likely start a new market for clean transport. Given these trends, it is not surprising that US$260 Bn worth of new investments was made in the renewable energy sector in 2011 alone.
Recent developments in the financial services sector have, in many parts of the world, created opportunities and challenges. Cedar has in-depth capability and knowledge in this sector. Its team has assisted a large number of banks, NBFCs, insurance companies and brokers, investment management companies, private equity funds and even commodity & stock exchanges, across all areas of business transformation - strategy, customer, channel, products, credit, process, organizational and business technology- with a significant emphasis on project management and execution of key initiatives.
Private equity firms today operate in an increasingly uncertain environment. These firms need to identify future sector-specific growth trends for platform investments, appropriately evaluate bolt-on acquisition opportunities, create value through the right operational improvements and exit investments at the opportune time. Although there has been increased fund raising in Asia since the 2010 post-crisis low, private equity firms face challenges such as personal relationships for sourcing acquisitions, lack of transparency into portfolio company operations, establishing trust with company management and navigating regulatory reforms. Additionally, intrinsic risks in the region's economies vary significantly between China, India, Korea and Indonesia. In the Middle-East, sovereign wealth funds are increasingly looking to deploy capital into the private equity industry. However the industry needs to understand a sovereign wealth fund's balance between shareholder returns and development objectives of their home economies.
Globally, Government & Quasi-Government organizations are increasingly facing challenges related to generating revenue and funds, managing budgets, meeting expectations of the public for world class infrastructure and services, improving processes to optimize quality and efficiency of services, competing with the private sector for recruiting, retaining and nurturing talent, building a service culture and automation of systems. Additionally such organizations need to develop strategies and policies for often conflicting social, humanitarian, environmental and economic agendas. A third challenge is in adapting to emerging models such as public private partnerships, outsourcing and shared services.
The global pharmaceutical industry is going through significant transformation. In developed markets, the growing cost of medical care, rising insurance cost, and HMO's are forcing companies into mergers, more cost effective product development, and rapid commercialization of new molecules. It also results in taking products more rapidly from a prescription category to OTC. Additionally, as a large number of products continue to go off patent, it creates opportunities for generic companies to source products globally or international companies to participate in developed markets.
Asia is witnessing a real estate boom and so are some parts of Middle East while others are going through challenging times. The growth is taking place across real estate classes - retail, commercial, industrial and residential. Cedar has significant experience in working with clients in the property development and management space, assisting in the developing of future business strategy, budgets aligned to strategy, improving the efficiency of property development and vendor management processes, developing leasing and property management processes, restructuring organizations & developing key HR processing, looking at IT investments specific to the real estate industry, making recommendations to assist in automation of systems and processes. It’s experience covers the financial services sector related to the real estate space such as mortgages, and also the building material sectors, giving it a comprehensive understanding of the sector.
While the retail industry is at a high level of maturity in US and European markets, it is at a higher growth phase in developing markets. Markets like the US where retail square footage/capita is in the 23+ range, the challenges are around developing new retail formats (kiosks), leverage new channels (.com), building effective marketing and media plans to ensure maximum share of voice, running best-in-class store operations with the right SKU's to ensure conversions & footfalls, and having a highly efficient supply chain organization that at least strives to get to inventory turns of 36 of the likes of Wal Mart.
Cedar's team has been consulting to the telecom industry, since the ruling of Judge Greene, which resulted in the liberalization of the US telecom industry in 1984. Besides the US, the team has worked across the globe in Europe, Middle East and Asia. Korea, for example is an extremely well developed telecom and broadband market where the team has significant experience.