创富奇招:跟专家对着干 / Betting Against the Leading Experts

创富奇招:跟专家对着干

上世纪70年代中后期,麦当劳(McDonald’s)、肯德基(KFC)等西式快餐连锁店刚刚在香港站稳脚跟,当时对于它们在中国市场发展前景的讨论我至今记忆犹新。那时候,中国还处于改革开放的前夜。

尽管香港的国际化程度比较高,但麦当劳、肯德基在进入市场初期还是一波三折,发展缓慢。很多“专家”也对它们在大中华区的长期发展潜力表示怀疑。

那些日子,关于洋快餐在中国大陆发展的讨论还是以怀疑为主,仅有少数人持乐观的态度。

否定派关注的显著困难包括:中国消费者不喜欢洋快餐、不吃奶制品(比如吉士汉堡中的奶酪)、承受不起价格,而最大的问题就是政府会不会批准洋快餐进入中国经营。

在当时的意识形态下,洋快餐不仅被视为商业活动,更被认为是好莱坞式的精神污染。显而易见的公众健康问题就更不用说了。

回忆一下三十多年前还盛行的这种态度很有好处,因为此后洋快餐在中国的发展只能用“壮观”二字形容。

这个故事告诉我们什么道理呢?世事难料!

截至到2011年底,麦当劳在中国大陆共有1,464家店面,已宣布年内即将开业的店面还有250家。但是与日本3,298家麦当劳相比,未来还有很大的拓展空间。

麦当劳总部设在美国的伊利诺伊州,去年全球总收入为270亿美元。这个数字无论怎么分解,都意味着数不尽的汉堡和薯条。

但是,在争夺中国消费者的青睐上,最终还是鸡翅打败了汉堡。

位于肯塔基州的百盛餐饮集团(Yum)才是中国快餐业的老大,旗下品牌包括肯德基、必胜客(Pizza Hut),甚至连小肥羊(Little Sheep)火锅连锁店也被它收入了帐下。

想想这些很多专家依然预言不可能、也永远不会发生的事情,会对我们大有好处。

具有创新思维,有资源、有热情去把想法付诸实施的企业家不妨反其道而行之,挑战这些所谓的顶级专家,往往能从中获得丰厚的回报。 

Betting Against the Leading Experts

In the mid- to late 1970s, when Western fast food chains like McDonald’s and KFC were just gaining traction in the Hong Kong market, I recall lively debates about their future potential in China. The China market was still in its pre-opening and reform stage.

Even in relatively international Hong Kong, McDonalds and KFC experienced some speed bumps in the early stages of market entry, and many “experts” remained very skeptical about their long-term growth potential in Greater China.

The discussion in those days about the future of western fast food on the Chinese mainland was framed by a small number of optimists on one side, and a large number of skeptics on the other.

The naysayers focused on the obvious challenges: Chinese consumers don’t like western fast food, can’t eat dairy products like the cheese in cheeseburgers, can’t afford the prices, and the big question of whether the government would even allow western fast food operators into China.

In the ideological atmosphere of the day, western fast food was perceived not only as a business, but as a powerful and potentially polluting cultural influence, akin to Hollywood. That’s not to mention the obvious public health issues.

It’s useful to recall the time just 30-odd years ago when such attitudes prevailed, because the growth of western fast food in China since then has been nothing short of spectacular.

Moral of the story? One thing which is very difficult to predict is the future.

As of the end of 2011, McDonald’s had 1,464 stores on the Chinese mainland, with a stated plan to open another 250 this year. This compares with their 3,298 stores in Japan, which suggests significant upside for further expansion in China.

Illinois-based McDonald’s had global revenues US$27 billion last year. Any way you cut it, that’s a lot of burgers and fries.

Still, wings are beating burgers in the war for the hearts and minds of Chinese consumers.

Kentucky-based Yum brands is the big kahuna of fast food in China, with the KFC, Pizza Hut, and Little Sheep hotpot chain under its umbrella.

It’s useful to think about things which many experts today are predicting could never and will never happen.

Entrepreneurs with an innovative idea, plus the resources and passion to execute it, can often win big by betting against the so-called leading experts of the day.


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