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March - 2009 - issue > CEO Spot Light
Challenging-Situation-Ahead
Vipin Jain
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The current economic recession we are experiencing affects every business across almost all industries around the globe. And while some spend their time arguing if this recession is the worst since the Great Depression of the 20th century, one thing is clear – every business must evaluate its business model and the value its products provide to its audience.

A tough economic climate brings more rigor, fiscal discipline, and sharp focus around innovation that matters - and that can be monetized! It also makes quality talent more accessible. The challenge, of course, is to raise the capital required to execute the business. Even good business plans have an uphill battle in raising the capital at fair valuations.

The social Media continues to get the buzz but not the money. This may change in 2009 as more CMO’s are exploring how to leverage the social media for their branding strategies. I’m sure we will all see a number of creative campaigns on the major social media networks like Facebook and MySpace from major brands. Energy independence, clean-tech, SaaS, cloud computing, product search, and commerce continue to be hot from an innovation and investment perspective as well. These will all be interesting trends to watch in 2009.

The next few years are going to be difficult for many companies and even entire industries. Those that provide a tangible value (saving money or making money for individuals and families) will be in the best position to weather the storm and come out as winners. However, beyond the next few years, I believe, the new administration’s focus on long term investment is the right one. Fundamental innovation around energy production, distribution, and consumption is desperately needed. Investment in new technology, the Internet, and broadband infrastructure will also be needed to drive further productivity gains. Investment to improve education, with emphasis on science and mathematics, is fundamental to making the U.S. globally more competitive. And lastly, we all have to learn to live with realistic but sustainable financial gains.
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