Be Prepared for Your Own Success

Jesse Wu, former chairman of China at Johnson & Johnson and a Lulu Chow Wang Senior Visiting Scholar at Columbia Business School, reflects on the challenges of entering an emerging market.
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If I got to do it again, if I could go back to 20 years ago when I was a managing director in China, what I would do is definitely over-invest in talent.

As you witness the growth, as you successfully penetrate, as you successfully reach out to more consumers and patients, you find out that you couldn’t handle the growth. Either your factory is out of capacity, or your production line is out of bottles or caps, or you’re out of qualified staff to make sure that the quality system will be implemented as planned.

So for that reason I would offer my own lesson to those who will be running emerging market (companies): be prepared for your own success.

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