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Asia remains the global growth engine. Never before has it been more attractive for local and international companies to expand in this region. At the same time, the route to the consumer is becoming more complex and costly. Changing customer behavior, social changes, the emergence of new players, the trend towards outsourcing and the usage of new technologies challenge companies in their expansion plans. The Sixth Market Expansion Services Report presented today by DKSH provides a comprehensive overview and insightful considerations on how to deal with these issues.

DKSH, the leading Market Expansion Services provider with a focus on Asia, today presents the sixth edition of the Market Expansion Services Report. The study entitled “A new era of diversity in the route-to-market in Asia” delivers surprising insights on the rapidly changing conditions in Asian markets and describes the challenges when expanding to and in Asia. 

With economic growth expected at 5.7% for 2016 and 2017, emerging Asian markets continue to rank among the most dynamic economies worldwide. Their attractiveness for international companies therefore remains unchanged – or is even increasingly important. In addition to this, local Asian companies are more than ever becoming serious competitors in many markets.  

As the authors of the study observe, the route to the Asian consumer is becoming increasingly complex. In some parts of Asia, the developing society leads to dramatic changes, for instance, the rapidly growing middle class – which fully deserves this qualification in terms of income, demographic characteristics and education levels – have completely different consumer habits and needs than other sections of the population and earlier generations. 

New megacities are gaining importance, intensified by the trend of mass urbanization. At the same time, new technologies are driving internet access to the most remote regions and making many products available for the first time for all. This includes not only new marketing and sales methods, some of which – such as the sharing economy or online megasales, like Singles Day in China, but also the digitization of daily lives thanks to smartphone shopping or e-payment solutions – have a distinctly disruptive character, and are urging clients to quickly rethink their market expansion strategies. 

Including case studies from the consumer goods, healthcare, specialty chemicals and technology industries, the new DKSH report provides analysis and guidance on what should be taken into account when planning to expand in Asia. The report also provides insightful considerations on avoiding potential pitfalls like specific regulatory environments or currency fluctuations.  

Although the absolute majority of products in Asia are still sold via conventional retail channels, the trend is clearly shifting towards e-commerce. The report shows that there is however no one-size-fits-all solution for digitization in Asia: whereas in Taiwan, the number of people shopping and paying via smartphones is more than 60 percent, in Myanmar’s cash-only trading environment, the urban population increasingly buys online but still pays offline, for example, in mom-and-pop stores. 

The study authors conclude that it has become increasingly challenging for local and international clients to get a full picture of the market changes. If they do not find ways to optimally serve the different sales channels, the risk of failure is rather high, with Asian customers increasingly demanding more product features, safety and availability – in a more self-confident way.

Dr. Joerg Wolle, President and CEO of DKSH, stated: “The report confirms the trend that we have been observing for some years now: on the one hand, Asia remains the global growth engine; on the other hand, it is not sufficient anymore to simply ship goods over the oceans and deliver them on land. In many respects, Asia is developing and changing quickly on social, technological and demographic levels – maybe even faster than any other region in the world. Whoever wants to be successful in Asia needs to be able to constantly adapt their marketing and sales strategies. Without a deep and long-standing expertise, this can be very difficult. This is why an increasing number of clients consider outsourcing market expansion to dedicated specialists. DKSH is one of the very few service providers in that field. As the study shows, our company therefore has a very promising strategic position. The fact that the consumer goods multinational Procter & Gamble recently entrusted DKSH with its entire Hong Kong business shows that DKSH’s market position is entirely justified.” 

The report can be downloaded at

About DKSH
DKSH is the leading Market Expansion Services provider with a focus on Asia. As the term "Market Expansion Services" suggests, DKSH helps other companies and brands to grow their business in new or existing markets. Publicly listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange since 2012, DKSH is a global company headquartered in Zurich. With 770 business locations in 36 countries – 740 of them in Asia – and 28,300 specialized staff, DKSH generated net sales of CHF 10.1 billion in 2015. DKSH was founded in 1865. With strong Swiss heritage, the company has a long tradition of doing business in and with Asia and is deeply rooted in communities and businesses across Asia Pacific.