Departement of Management holds conference on «Success in Emerging Markets»

In march, the Chair of Management (Prof. Dr. Rudolf Grünig) and the Chair for International Management (Prof. Dr. Dirk Morschett) have jointly organised a conference on "Success in Emerging Markets" (

conference management

Emerging markets have become increasingly important for Swiss companies – both as potential new markets and as production locations. However, they are not easy to enter, and successful management in emerging markets therefore poses serious challenges. Therefore, the conferences included speeches from top managers with experience in emerging markets.

After opening words of Prof. Astrid Epiney, the rector of the University of Fribourg, and an overview on relevance of and research on emerging markets by Prof. Rudolf Grünig, Jan Jenisch, CEO of Sika, showed how Sika proceeds to achieve nearly 40% of their turnover in emerging markets, a strategy that he has strongly shaped when he came into office. Albert Baehny, Chairman of Geberit, explained the strategy of his company which differs from that of Sika because the premium products of Geberit require a higher level of development of a country, including the distribution structures. Dr. Michael Bolliger from UBS Switzerland AG, took a macroeconomic perspective and showed the financial and economic development of the emerging markets and where future growth opportunities can be identified. In a lively panel discussion, moderated by Prof. Dirk Morschett, the three speakers exchanged their views and responded to questions from the audience.

The afternoon was dedicated to Swiss SMEs. Annette Heimlicher, CEO of Contrinex, gave a very insightful presentation on Contrinex’ activities in the emerging markets, openly sharing her personal learnings in the different countries and regions. Then, Bruno Tettamanti, Head of Marketing & Sales of Biazzi, a company from Montreux that plans large projects and establishes plants for the chemical industry, gave a presentation together with Angela Di Rosa from Switzerland Global Enterprise. They explained the process how to gain new representatives in emerging markets and which key success factors are to be considered in this process. Two experts from the Swisscham Africa, Peter Hartmann, President, and Alfred Spinnler, Vice-President, described the development of Africa, the business opportunities there and Mr. Spinnler, who has spent many years in Nigeria, gave very detailed recommendations on this complex but also fast-growing market in Sub-Saharan Africa. The speakers of the afternoon then got engaged in a panel discussion, moderated by Prof. Rudolf Grünig, in which the business opportunities for SME in the emerging markets but also the particular challenges were discussed.

Overall, the conference was a successful event to bring practitioners and the university together to jointly explore the challenges of emerging markets and to provide valuable insights on the successful management in emerging markets.

Pictures of the event can be found in the photo gallery:

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Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences
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