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December - 2013 - issue > In My Opinion

Driving Profitable Growth in a "Multi-Speed" World

S. 'Soma' Somasundaram
President & CEO-Dover Energy
Monday, December 16, 2013
S. 'Soma' Somasundaram
It's a well-acknowledged aphorism that the only constant in the business world is change. However, in recent years our ways of looking at and quantifying change as it relates to market growth have been modified, thanks, in large part, to the global economic crisis that hit in late 2008.

Fast forward to 2013. Markets around the globe have recovered from the 2008 collapse at different rates, while the collapse itself strongly affected a lot of the traditional growth dynamics, leading to the creation of what I call a "multi-speed" business climate. In the past, it was often enough to know "how" to compete and drive market growth. In today's climate, it is much more important to know "where" to compete. This means drilling
down into a market to identify the areas that have the most potential for growth, and knowing that growth within the overall market will take
place at multiple "speeds." Additionally, companies that know "where" to compete in a given market consistently are shown to grow much more significantly than companies that simply know "how" to compete.
A perfect example of this is the recent "boom" in United States oil and natural gas production.
A decade ago, only the most astute members of the U.S. oil and gas industry knew what the word "shale" portended for the future of domestic
exploration, production and supply. Now,"shale" has become a permanent part of the industry's lexicon. In fact, the historically high amounts of oil and gas that are now being produced in unconventional shale formations in the U.S. led PIRA Energy Group to recently predict that by the end of 2013, the U.S. will be the world\'s largest liquids (oil, natural gas liquids, condensates)producer, a status that would have been unthinkable as little as five years ago.
In other words, companies operating in the oil and gas industry now know "where" to compete. The challenge, then, for leaders in all industries is to develop a focused plan that will drive profitable growth from that knowledge in a still-tricky economic environment.

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