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The 50 challengers range in size from $500m to $63bn in annual sales. They represent a study in both geographic and economic diversity. Malaysia and Indonesia each have 12 companies on the list; Singapore and Thailand, 11 each; and the Philippines and Vietnam, 2 each. Companies from the food and beverage (11) and agricultural-commodity (8) industries are most represented on the list, followed by companies from the real estate and construction, transportation and logistics, and utilities industries, with 4 each.
While there are more than 50 noteworthy Southeast Asia companies, the list focuses on those with international ambitions. Since 2001, the number of cross-border deals announced by the 50 challengers has increased by 22 percent annually, while the number of their domestic deals has risen by just 1 percent annually, according to "2012 BCG Southeast Asia Challengers: The Companies Piloting a Soaring Region."
"While China and India have been receiving most of the headlines over the past 10 years, many Southeast Asia companies have been quietly and confidently creating international businesses," said Vincent Chin, a partner in BCG's Kuala Lumpur office and a coauthor of the report. "The success of the Southeast Asia challengers and the region they represent is one of the world's best-kept secrets."
The Southeast Asia challengers are growing more swiftly and are more profitable than comparable multinationals from developed markets. From 2001 through 2010, they averaged sales growth of 18 percent and EBITDA margin of 15 percent. A $100 investment in January 2000 in a hypothetical Southeast Asia challengers index would have grown by 14 percent a year and have been worth more than $590 in December 2011, compared with $359 for a similar investment in the MSCI Emerging Market index and $208 for an S&P 500 investment.
If Southeast Asia were a nation, it would qualify as a high-profile BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). Global companies overlook the region at their peril.
In addition, Southeast Asia is fast becoming an integrated region, with Singapore as the hub of financial and logistics activity and an example to other nations of what they might achieve.
Companies considered leaders in their respective industries for many years - for example, Singapore Airlines and Petronas, a Malaysian energy company - were not considered challengers, and were not included in the survey.
Click here to download a copy of the report.
Source: BCG Consulting
Keywords: Asia Pacific, Business Strategy Alignment, Supply Chain Analysis & Consulting, Global Supply Chain Management, Food and Beverage, 2012 BCG Southeast Asia Challengers: The Companies Piloting a Soaring Region
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