Columbia Business School's sixth annual Healthcare Conference, held on November 6, 2009, explored the manifestation of a "New Healthcare Paradigm: Technology, Value and Emergence." The topic of emerging markets was prominent as panelists and attendees sought to answer difficult and important questions such as: "What are the challenges/opportunities for global healthcare companies investing in BRIC countries and other emerging markets?"; "What is the record of success of public-private partnerships in addressing global health issues?"; and "What are the mindset requirements for global healthcare players to successfully participate in emerging markets?" A panel of esteemed players in the field spoke on these issues and shared a robust framework of six strategies for success in emerging healthcare markets.
The "Emerging Markets Panel: Opportunities and Challenges for Global Healthcare Companies in BRIC and other regions" opened with a personal anecdote from moderator Ms. Rachel Zhang, a McKinsey & Co. principal who focuses on the healthcare industry. "When I left China 14 years ago to study in the United States, I thought I was leaving the past behind. I remember reading an article that said that China was easily 100 years behind the United States. Ten years later, I organized a China R&D conference in Shanghai. I received questions from attendees asking if they needed to pack enough bottled water for the entire trip, or if they'd be picked up from the airport in a rickshaw. Today, I don't think this emerging market needs any introduction. And that just hits home for me how much things in China have changed," Zhang said.