Value Chain opportunities and challenges for companies in emerging markets


“Mr. Jeroen van Wijk was very experienced, the program was very well structured, and we progressed in a very consistent way. The business cases were selected carefully and helped us to illustrate and understand the Value Chain creations. - Özgür Kesici, participant of of the executive Value Chain Analysis for Business Development and Local Value Addition program which took place from 07 – 11 February 2022.

Global Value Chains (GVC) are the network vehicles through which most of international trade takes place. The GVC adds value, creates employment and offers effective opportunities for achieving higher levels of sustainability in the economy. Participation in these GVCs is, especially for low income countries, a condition for development. Jeroen van Wijk – Associate Professor in Global Value Chains and Partnerships at MSM – designed this course to learn how developing economies can benefit from global and regional value chains.

Welcome & Introduction
After a warm introduction, Jeroen van Wijk introduced the participants to Global Value Chain mapping. GVC mapping is important to identify the structural elements along the value chain (such as products activities, firms, countries, and the stakeholders involved). In the afternoon the focus shifted to the present transformation of GVCs that tend to become shorter, faster, and have proven to be prone to natural disasters (Covid pandemic). Discussed was also how the China-US rivalry affects international trade and eventually may result in a technological decoupling of global value chains.

Value Chain Governance
On the second day, the participants explored the governance structure in the various stages of a value chain. GVC governance refers to the (power) relationships among all stakeholders, and the key role played by the chains’ lead firms and local governments. Another topic that was covered were the opportunities to ‘upgrade’ individual companies or local industry clusters. Value chain analysis is a useful tool to detect the obstacles that prevent local companies to link up to global value chains.

Moving up the value chain
The third day dealt with the challenges and opportunities for emerging countries to enter GVC’s. Jeroen van Wijk explained that especially for traditional commodity exporters, it is important to acquire higher value-adding activities. In class, several strategies to ‘move up‘ the value chain were discussed. In particular this part of the program has been most valuable to Mr. Özgür Kesici: “The biggest benefit was to experience a new perspective on the value chains, so far I was focusing only in the business aspect and this course enabled be to see the value chain as a whole, including all relevant stakeholders such as NGOs and governmental organizations."

Value chain collaboration & partnerships
Day four was reserved for discussion on collaboration. Companies that can effectively manage their relations with buyers and suppliers, and with stakeholders external to the value chain, develop a competitive advantage. In this context, the training explicitly dealt with the issue of trust and strategies to develop trust with potential partners.

Wrapping up & presentation week assignments
The program included a mix of individual and group assignments which was appreciated by participants: “Working in groups was interesting as you get to work with someone coming from a different professional background. Our group was a mixture of entrepreneurs, academicians, business owners and people employed at MNEs and NGOs.” Said Mr. Kesici. The program was concluded with presentations of the individual week assignment. Throughout the week, participants had worked on a value chain analysis for a selected exporting company in an emerging economy. In their presentations, participants should report on the value chain dynamics and the rules and regulations of the country where the company operated. The assignments offered a good opportunity to put the new gained knowledge directly into a take-home action plan.

For Mrs. Olabisi Oyekunle from Nigeria the program has been very valuable: “This program was very informative and an eye-opener for me from a scientific point of view. It will help me a lot in my managerial position.

Would you like to join the Value Chain Analysis for Business Development and Local Value Addition as well?
The next executive program will take place from 30 January – 03 February 2023. Click here for more information and how to apply.

About MSM’s executive education programs
Today’s rapidly changing societies and economies demand the most from organizations, leaders, managers and professionals. MSM’s Executive Education programs for emerging markets are developed to achieve a successful and sustainable transformation of both individuals and organizations to support local economic development and business management.

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