The Five Trends Shaping Your Sector

Catching a glimpse of things to come with Industry Meetings

09/09/2016 Barcelona

iStock / chinaface

What does the future hold for your sector? / Photo: iStock; chinaface

We are living in times of unprecedented flux and uncertainty. Threats and opportunities are buffeting business, both at regional and global levels, as we head into the final quarter of 2016.

IESE Industry Meetings bring together business leaders, academics and regulators to shed some light on how these undercurrents of change are impacting industries and influencing strategy – while offering a glimpse of how potential scenarios are likely to play out in the near future, as well as the longer-term.

Five Trends Set to Endure

Over the course of 2015 and 2016, certain trends and tendencies were identified as critical. Many of these look set to continue shaping the business landscape as we look forward to 2017.

  1. Falling Oil Prices and Climate Change
    The oversupply of oil and falling prices – driven by alternative energy sources such as fracking, methanol and others – will mean “difficult times ahead” for the energy sector. And manufacturing and chemical industries won’t escape unscathed either.
    Some experts predicted “serious short and medium term problems in corporate balance sheets” and called for “stock-taking” to maintain dividends.
    Meanwhile, climate change and carbon emissions reduction objectives set at the COP21 in December 2015 still look hard to achieve. The cost of a 40 percent drop in emissions by 2030 will make “immediate measures” imperative.
  2. Falling Interest Rates
    Negative interest rates were cited as the key driver of change in banking and insurance. Both sectors will be facing profitability challenges in coming months and years.
    The main challenge to incumbents is to look to new products and services to create new markets, but they will need to address competition from emerging players surfing the waves of digitization.
  3. Longer Life Expectancy
    One of the underlying trends disrupting all industries is demographic change related to longer life expectancy. Healthcare and insurance sectors may be the most directly affected, but we will also see major changes in consumption habits across multiple sectors: food and beverage, retail, tourism and real state.
  4. Sharing Economy and the Power of Big Data
    Sharing cars, homes, holidays or apparel with peers has become the new normal among many younger consumers. The uberization phenomena is having a deep impact in industries such as transportation, tourism and real state.
    Regulators and industry incumbents are struggling to keep up with digital consumers. The opportunities are manifold nonetheless, if bigger players are able to fully leverage big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.
  5. Transparency and Social Proof
    Brands are no longer in a position to “control” their engagement with consumers. The role of young influencers in determining brand messages through storytelling has transformed the fashion industry, and will continue to do so here and across multiple sectors.
    This kind of engagement calls for a renewed focus on the client, and a transparency that extends inwardly too.
    Every organization today, regardless of sector, is living in a “fishbowl.”
    And the need for greater clarity in the era of “social proof” is being felt by manifold organizations and industries, from fashion and retail to banking and utilities.

Each industry and company is affected one way or another by these tendencies, albeit to a varying extent. To combat this, IESE gathers the most relevant information – both academic and expert – for every single Industry Meeting. This ensures that the most vanguard knowledge, expertise and research materials are available for our Alumni community.

An Exciting Quarter Ahead

As we kick off the new academic year, upcoming Industry Meetings this term will include: