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麦肯锡:2014年中国将发生什么?

发布时间:2014-01-27 02:08
Tag: 麦肯锡
1687 次阅读




驻扎在上海的麦肯锡公司董事欧高敦(Gordon Orr),每年都对中国未来一年的前景做出预测。他的最新年度预测就在本月出炉了。

与波士顿咨询集团的十大预言都是“好消息”相比,欧高敦的预测中既有“好消息”,也有“坏消息”——我不知道这么做是好消息还是坏消息!

我在赞赏这些预言或预测的同时,心中也感到一丝不安。我写下每篇文字时,都把自己放在企业老总的位置,或者放在一个心系公司前途命运的企业人的位置,扪心自问:这些文字对老总或企业人来说有什么用?作为老总或企业人,我要怎么做?

思考企业的战略问题,光盯住未来一年显然不足够。不论我是制造业、信息通信技术产业,还是批发零售业、金融业,抑或是文化教育产业的公司,2014年、“十二五”(2011-2015年)、2020年(全面深化改革成果考核年),都是思考战略问题的三个重要时间框架。在那里,挑战何在?机遇何来?

在弗雷德蒙德·马利克(Fredmund Malik)看来,这个时间甚至应该是无限的。他是瑞士马利克管理中心董事会主席兼CEO,创建了欧洲圣加仑管理学派。他最重要的成果是“马利克整体管理系统”。彼得·德鲁克(Peter Drucker)称赞他“无论在理论还是实践方面,都是权威性的大师”。

在我不久前对他的一次访谈中,他强烈建议企业家:“你要问自己,我今天必须做出怎样的决策,才能在直到永远的时间长河中始终正确?”他解释说,这样提问,将给你带来完全不同的视野。

好了,现在收拾起不安的情绪,看看欧高敦的十大预测吧。

 

12014年有两个词将很重要:生产力增长技术破坏

 

劳动力成本、土地成本、能源和水成本、资金成本,所有的主要投入要素成本基本上都在上涨。与此同时,面对激烈的市场竞争和屡见不鲜的产能过剩,企业通过涨价向顾客转嫁高成本,比登天还难。解决之道?提升生产力!

不仅制造业需要提升生产力,农业也需要,服务业亦受到影响。在不同产业中,公司们将会感受到技术的破坏性冲击,这将有助于他们以更少的投入获得更多的产出,而且很有可能催生大量的完全不同的商业模式。想一想银行业,在过去20年,高楼大厦就是这个行业的一个关键的差异化竞争元素;如果新兴创业的民营银行被允许,我们能够看到一个纯数字化的、即使没有高楼大厦等有形成本也能够提供综合服务的网上银行模式吗?

 

2、首席技术官(CIO)变得炙手可热。

 

在中国谈及技术,往往有一个悖论。一方面,这个国家在消费型技术服务和产品方面表现卓越,号称拥有全世界最大的电子商务市场和活力四射的互联网及社交媒体生态圈;另一方面,她在以有效的方式来应用商业技术上一直都是落后者,在许多国有企业中要找到首席信息技术官,犹如大海捞针。

但是,属于首席信息技术官的日子到了。提升生产力的迫切性,正在使得技术第一次变成许多企业高管团队的优先任务。那些精通业务、技术能干的人才应该期待薪酬的大幅上涨。

 

3、政府聚焦于就业,而非增长。

 

可以预期,中国政府的官方论调和关注重点将从经济增长转向创造就业。投入要素成本(包括工资)上涨,生产力攻势,以及技术的破坏性效果,大量投资于自动化,等等,都在削弱着就业增长。

当技术的破坏性冲击波及服务业和销售队伍,一旦销售业务转移到互联网上进行,那么,数以百万计的零售人员出路何在?数以百万计的保险销售代理人员出路何在?数以百万计的银行职员呢?

 

4、物流领域将有更多的并购。

 

在每个人都力争提高生产力之时,物流成为潜在收益的丰富源泉。吸引大量资金注入、吸收最佳运营实践经验、实施联合或合并,对于年收入超过5000亿美元的物流业来说正当其时。越来越多的民营或外国资本将被鼓励进入该产业,市场竞争可能加剧。

 

5、旧楼危房将引起广泛的必要关注。

 

过去30多年,中国许多住宅和办公楼采用劣质方法和材料来建造,大多严重老化。许多楼房需要彻底的翻修,其他的楼房需要推倒重建。谁将为此买单?当私人业主倾尽毕生积蓄购买了住房,现在发现它不断贬值甚至无法卖掉,怎么办?

 

6、中国将把高铁增加一倍。

 

中国的高铁乘客,已经从开始兴建高铁的2007年的25万人,剧增到2013年的130万人。有些高铁沿线兴起了商圈。中国目前已经拥有超过9000公里的高铁运营线——计划到2015年增加一倍。

 

7、太阳能产业的剩存公司将兴旺发达。

 

在市场需求的驱动和国家补贴政策的提振下,2012年还深陷亏损泥潭的中国十家太阳电池板制造商,截至2013年11月录得三季度利润。

2014年的市场需求可能更加强劲。在世界银行的援助下,越来越多的发展中国家考虑扩大分布式电力规模。此外,太阳能的价格受技术创新和运营效率提升驱动,将继续快速下探。

 

8、购物中心的开发商,尤其是国有开发商,将面临破产。

 

大型购物中心在与网上市场的较量中节节失利。虽然整体零售都在增长,但是网上零售2013年跃升了50%。其增长步伐2014年可能放缓,网上零售仍然巨大。与此形成鲜明对比的是,开发商们已经宣布相关计划,在未来三年把中国的购物中心容量提高50%。在这个行业中,开发商的投资回报很大一部分取决于购物中心里零售商的销售收入。因此,这个扩容计划看来太草率了。如果服装和电子商店缩减铺面,谁来填补购物中心里的这些空白?更不要说餐厅、电影院、诊所了。

 

9、上海自贸区将静悄悄。

 

中国国务院通过了《中国(上海)自由贸易试验区总体方案》,以及上海市政府颁布“负面清单”之后,上海自贸区的商业机会吸引了许多人的关注和讨论。但是这两个重要文件中所涉及的一些政策,仍然需要进一步的明确和落实。

 

10、欧洲足球队将投资中国超级联赛。

 

让我们一起来思考:2014年,十二五的最后两年,到2020年,甚至直到永远,挑战何在?机遇何来?我今天必须做出怎样的决策,才能分别在这些时间段里始终正确?

 

 

附英文全文

麦肯锡:2014年中国将发生什么?

1. Two phrases will be important for 2014:‘productivity growth’ and ‘technological disruption’

China’s labor costs continue to rise by morethan 10 percent a year, land costs are pricing offices out of city centers, thecost of energy and water is growing so much that they may be rationed in somegeographies, and the cost of capital is higher, especially for state-ownedenterprises. Basically, all major input costs are growing, while intensecompetition and, often, overcapacity make it incredibly hard to pass priceincreases onto customers. China’s solution? Higher productivity. Companies willadopt global best practices from wherever they can be found, which explains whyrecent international field trips of Chinese executives have taken on a muchmore serious, substantive tone.

2. CIOs become a hot commodityThis productivity focus will extendbeyond

manufacturing. In agriculture, the pace at which larger farmsemerge should accelerate, spurring mechanization and more efficient irrigationand giving farmers the ability to finance the purchase of higher-quality seeds.Services will also be affected: for companies where labor is now thefastest-growing cost, a sustained edge in productivity may make all thedifference. And in industry after industry, companies will feel the disruptiveimpact of technology, which will help them generate more from less and potentiallyspawn entirely new business models. Consider China’s banking sector, wherebricks-and-mortar scale has been a critical differentiator for the past twodecades. If private bank start-ups were allowed, could we see a digital-onlymodel, offering comprehensive services without high physical costs? WillChinese consumers be willing to bank online? Absolutely—if their willingness toshop online is any guide.

There is a paradox when it comes to technologyin China. On the one hand, the country excels in consumer-oriented techservices and products, and it boasts the world’s largest e-commerce market anda very vibrant Internet and social-media ecosystem. On the other hand, it hasbeen a laggard in applying business technology in an effective way. As one ofour surveys1 recently showed, Chinese companieswidely regard the IT function as strong at helping to run the business, not athelping it to grow. Indeed, simply trying to find the CIO in many Chinesestate-owned enterprises is akin to hunting for a needle in a haystack.

Yet the CIOs’ day is coming. The productivityimperative is making technology a top-team priority for the first time in manyenterprises. Everything is on the table: digitizing existing processes andeliminating labor, reaching consumers directly through the Internet,transforming the supply chain, reinventing the business model. The problem isthat China sorely lacks the business-savvy, technology-capable talent to leadthis effort. Strong CIOs should expect large compensation increases—they arethe key executives in everything from aligning IT and business strategies tobuilding stronger internal IT teams and adopting new technologies, such ascloud computing or big data.

3. The government focuses on jobs, not growth

Expect the Chinese government’s rhetoric andfocus to shift from economic growth to job creation. The paradox of risinginput costs (including wages), the productivity push, and technologicaldisruption is that they collectively undermine job growth, at the very timeChina needs more jobs. Millions and millions of them. While few companies areshifting manufacturing operations out of the country, they are puttingincremental production capacity elsewhere and investing heavily in automation.

For example, Foxconn usually hires the bulk ofits workers for a given 12-month span just after the Chinese New Year. Yet atthe beginning of last year, the company announced that it wouldn’t hire anyentry-level workers, as automation and better employee retention had reducedits needs. Although upswings in the company’s hiring still occur (as with lastyear’s iPhone 5S and 5C release), the gradual rollout of robots will probablyreduce demand for factory workers going forward. In short, manymanufacturers—both multinational and Chinese—are producing more with less.

So as technology enables massive disruptionsin service industries and sales forces, what happens to millions of retail jobswhen sales move online? To millions of insurance sales agents? Millions of bankclerks? Even business-to-business sales folks may find themselves partiallydisintermediated by technology, and rising numbers of graduates will have fewerand fewer jobs that meet their expectations. They will not be happy about thisand may not be passive. Finally, while state-owned enterprises will feelpressure to improve their performance, to use capital more efficiently, and to dealwith market forces, they are likely, at the same time, to face pressure to hireand retain staff they may not really need. The government and the leaders ofthese enterprises have long argued that such jobs are among the most secure.They will find it very hard to declare them expendable.

4. There will be more M&A in logistics

As everyone pushes for greater productivity,logistics is a rich source of potential gains. State-owned enterprises dominatein capital expenditure–intensive logistics, such as shipping, ports, tollroads, rail, and airports; small mom-and-pop entrepreneurs are the norm insegments such as road transportation. This sector costs businesses in China waymore than it should. With upward of $500 billion in annual revenues, logisticsis an industry ripe for massive infusions of capital, operational bestpractices, and consolidation. Driven by the pressure to increase productivity,that’s already happening at a rapid pace in areas such as express delivery,warehousing, and cold chain. Private and foreign participation is increasinglyencouraged in many parts of the sector, and its competitive intensity is likelyto rise.

5. Crumbling buildings get much-needed attention

While China’s flagship buildings arearchitectural wonders built to the highest global standards of quality andenergy efficiency, they are unfortunately the exception, not the rule. Much ofthe residential and office construction in China over the past 30 years usedlow-quality methods, as well as materials that are aging badly. Some cities arereaching a tipping point: clusters of buildings barely 20 years old are visiblydecaying. Many will need to be renovated thoroughly, others to be knocked downand rebuilt. Who will pay for this? What will happen if residential buildingsfilled with private owners who sank their life savings into an apartment nowfind it declining in value and, perhaps, unsellable? Alongside a wave ofreconstruction, prepare for a wave of local protests against developers and, insome cases, local governments too.

6. The country doubles down on high-speed rail

When China inaugurated its high-speed raillines, seven years ago, many observers declared them another infrastructureboondoggle that would never be used at capacity. How wrong they were: dailyridership soared from 250,000 in 2007 to 1.3 million last year, fuelled partlyby aggressive ticket prices. Demand was simply underestimated. Now that trainsrun as often as every 15 minutes on the Shanghai–Nanjing line, business andretail clusters are merging and people are making weekly day-trips rather thanmonthly two-day visits. The turnaround of ideas is faster; market visibility isbetter; and many people come to Shanghai for the day to browse and shop. Thereare already more than 9,000 kilometers (5,592 miles) of operational lines—andthat’s set to double by 2015. If the “market decides” framing of China’s ThirdPlenum applies here, much of the investment should switch from buildingbrand-new lines to increasing capacity on routes that are already provensuccesses.

7. Solar industry survivors flourish

Many solar stocks, while nowhere near theirall-time highs, more than tripled in value in 2013. For the entire industry,and specifically for Chinese players, it was a year of much-needed relief. ByNovember, ten of the Chinese solar-panel manufacturers that lost money in 2012reported third-quarter profits, driven by demand from Japan in the wake of theFukushima disaster. (Japan’s installed capacity quadrupled, from 1.7 gigawattsin 2012 to more than 6 gigawatts by the end of 2013.) Domestic demand alsopicked up as the State Grid Corporation of China allowed some small-scaledistributed solar-power plants to be connected to the grid, while a StateCouncil subsidy program even prompted panel manufacturers to invest in buildingand operating solar farms—an initiative that will ramp up further.

This year is likely to see even strongerdemand. Aided by international organizations, including the World Bank, anincreasing number of developing countries (such as India) regard scaling updistributed power as a way of improving access to electricity. In addition,solar-energy prices continue to fall rapidly, driven down by technologicalinnovations and a focus on operational efficiency. While I’m on green topics, I’llpoint out that the coming months are also likely to see another effort tocreate a real Chinese electric-vehicle market. The push will be centered on thelaunch of the first vehicle from Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology.

8. Mall developers go bankrupt—especially state-owned ones

Shopping malls are losing ground to the onlinemarketplace. While overall retail sales are growing, e-retail sales jumped by50 percent in 2013. Although the rate of growth may slow in 2014, it will besignificant. Yet developers have already announced plans to increase China’sshopping-mall capacity by 50 percent during the next three years. For anindustry that generates a significant portion of its returns from a percentageof the sales of retailers in its malls, this looks rash indeed. If clothing andelectronics stores are pulling back on the number of outlets, what will fillthese malls? Certainly, more restaurants, cinemas, health clinics, and dentaland optical providers. But banks and financial-service advisers are movingonline, as are tutorial and other education services.

I expect malls in weaker locations to sufferdisproportionately. These are often owned by smaller developers that can’tafford better locations or by city-sponsored state-owned developers that areexpanding into new cities. The weak will get weaker, and while they may be ableto consolidate, it’s more likely they will go out of business.

9. The Shanghai Free Trade Zone will be fairly quiet

In early October, there was much speculationabout the size of the opportunity after the State Council issued the OverallPlan for the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), and the Shanghaimunicipality issued its “negative list” of restricted and prohibited projectsjust a few days later at the end of September. For the FTZ, the only change sofar appears to be that companies allowed to invest in it will not have to gothrough an approval process. As for the negative list, while there’s apossibility that Shanghai will ease the limitations, for the moment the listvery much matches the categories for restricted and prohibited projects in thegovernment’s fifth Catalog of Industries for Guiding Foreign Investment. Thisambiguous situation gives the authorities, as usual, full freedom to maintainthe status quo or to pursue bolder liberalization in the FTZ in 2014 if theysee a need for a stimulus of some kind. On balance, I’d say this is relativelyunlikely to happen.

10. European soccer teams invest in the Chinese Super League

I know, I know—I’m making exactly the sameprediction I did a year ago. True, Chinese football has battled both corruptionand a lack of long-term vision. It’s also true that the Chinese Super Leaguestill trails Spain’s La Liga and the English Premier League in televisionratings. That’s in spite of roping in stars such as Nicolas Anelka and DidierDrogba (who both returned to Europe this year) and even David Beckham (as an“ambassador”).

At least this year some things started toimprove. After all, Guangzhou Evergrande just won Asia’s premier clubcompetition—the AFC Champions League—a year after hiring Italy’s seasoned coachMarcelo Lippi. This international success could be temporary, but there is ashared sense in China that something has to change because there is so muchunderleveraged potential. Maybe Rupert Murdoch’s decision to invest in theIndian football league will precipitate more openness among Chinese footballadministrators? Perhaps the catalyst will be the news that the Qatari investorsin Manchester City also invested in a New York City soccer franchise? An era ofcross-border synergies from the development and branding of sister soccer teamsis coming closer.

Finally, something that’s less a predictionthan a request. Can we declare the end of the “BRICs”? When the acronym cameinto common use, a decade ago, the BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India, andChina—contributed roughly 20 percent of global economic growth. Although Chinawas already the heavyweight, it did not yet dominate: in 2004, the countrycontributed 13 percent of global growth in gross domestic product, while Brazil,Russia, and India combined contributed 9 percent, with similar growth rates.Compare that with the experience of the past two years. China accounted for 26percent of global economic growth in 2012 and for 29 percent in 2013. Thecollective share of Brazil, Russia, and India has shrunk to just 7 percent.It’s time to let BRIC sink.

About the author

Gordon Orr isa director in McKinsey’s Shanghai office. For more from him on issues ofrelevance to business leaders in Asia, visit his blog, Gordon’sView, at McKinsey’s Greater China office website.


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