Dr. Jagdish Sheth, the Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, delivered the keynote address for Belmont University’s Second Annual International Business Symposium on March 17. Dr. Sheth, a world renowned expert in marketing and geopolitical analysis, spoke on his book, Chindia Rising: How China and India Will Benefit Your Business.
Dr. J. Patrick Raines, dean of the College of Business Administration, welcomed the audience of about 75 people. The Symposium was co-sponsored by the International Business Council of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Society of International Business Fellows, Sister Cities of Nashville, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Tennessee Department of Economic Development and the Tennessee World Affairs Council.
Dr. Sheth opened his talk by arguing that while the 20th Century was driven by government policy of advanced nations, the 21st Century will be driven by competitive markets of emerging nations. Describing the 21st Century as the “Asian Century,” Sheth projected that the old triad of the U.S., Europe and Japan would be supplanted by the new triad of the U.S., China and India, noting that the three can work cooperatively or become rivals. He added that economic interdependence created by investing in each other will create peace, since hurting the other will also hurt one’s investment in the other. He also encouraged companies to follow the examples of Ford, Kodak and Avon by creating and marketing affordable products to the common person rather than targeting products to the wealthy.
Prior to his position at Emory, Dr. Sheth was a distinguished faculty member at the University of Southern California, the University of Illinois, Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has worked for numerous industries and companies in the United States, Europe and Asia, both as an Advisor and as a Seminar Leader. His clients include AT&T, BellSouth, Cox Communications, Delta, Ernst & Young, Ford, GE, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Nortel, Pillsbury, Sprint, Square D, 3M, Whirlpool, Wipro and many more. Dr. Sheth is frequently quoted and interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Fortune, Financial Times, Economic Times and radio shows and television networks such as CNN, CNBC (India) and BBC. A prolific author, Dr. Sheth has published more than 200 research papers and books. Some of his best-selling books include Clients for Life, The Rule of Three, Firms of Endearment and The Self-Destructive Habits of Good Companies…And How to Break Them.
In addition to Dr. Sheth’s speech, Robert Powell of the Economist Intelligence Unit spoke on the global economic outlook. Powell summarized the current economic situation as “desperately seeking stability” and noted that the Gross Domestic Product of the United States took a lengthy 13 quarters to recover but is now back to its pre-recession state. He noted that emerging markets are growing rapidly, with inflation being a concern in China, Brazil and other countries. The U.S. unemployment rate, debt crisis in the Euro zone and rising political tensions remain concerns.
Powell has been a part of the Country Analysis department of the Economist Intelligence Unit since 2001. His main area of focus pertains to issues regarding politics and economics in the Middle East, but he also reports on macroeconomic policy and the hydrocarbons sector. Powell has expertise specifically in the energy sector, particularly the gas industry. He remains very active in the media as he maintains frequent interviews with BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, ABC and CNN. Powell holds a central position at the Economist Intelligence Unit in reporting its views on the global economy to both clients and industry leaders.