UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School


Student-led conference Feb. 21 examines new strategies for today’s emerging markets


The competitive landscape has shifted in emerging markets over the past decade as economies in those markets have matured and global economic conditions fluctuated.   

A Feb. 21 Global Business Center student-led conference, Innovation to Sustain Growth, will convene business and academic experts in Chapel Hill to examine those changing conditions, discuss the expected trajectory of emerging markets, and share strategies multinational corporations can use to operate and compete effectively in the future.

“Roaring growth in China and India provided broad opportunity for foreign business investment and growth, but the strategies multinationals have used in the past are unlikely to sustain the same growth levels in coming years,” says Bridget Brennan, UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA student and Global Business Center MBA Fellow. Brennan is coordinating the conference with GBC Fellows Parisa Salkhordeh and Alexandra Cebula and MBA student Bern Morehead, founder of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Emerging Markets Student Club.

“As local companies have become more sophisticated, competition has increased. Companies will have to hustle and innovate to remain competitive with local talent,” Brennan said.

Morehead, who conceived the conference, said speakers who visited campus last year piqued students’ interest in the topic.

“Students responded very positively to last year’s speakers series, where we brought in researchers and industry experts to share their views on trends in emerging markets,” Morehead said. “We decided to build on this with a conference to provide more opportunities for business students to develop their knowledge and networks.”

The conference is designed to prepare students for emerging market work with a combination of presentations, panel discussions and case workshops. A keynote speaker will kick off the conference. Four panel discussions will examine key areas of management and operations. Students can choose their schedule based on their company, industry and area interests.

Discussions will focus on:

  • Building advanced supply chains to add long-term value.
  • Attracting, developing and retaining local talent.
  • Evaluating and executing on opportunity in uncertain environments.
  • Pricing strategies for new markets and consumers.

The conference is open to graduate and undergraduate business students at North Carolina universities as well as any UNC graduate student who expects to work in related areas. The $10 registration may be waived for students who volunteer.

To learn more or register, visit www.gbc.unc.edu/EmergingMarkets.