Ana Botín, the group executive chairman of Santander, predicts a global “customer revolution”
The world’s burgeoning middle class and the proliferation of technology will shape a new business global landscape, according to Santander Group Executive Chairman Ana Botín, speaking at the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) global summit in Madrid today.
“Between now and 2030, the [global] middle class will grow from two billion to almost five billion, largely across Asia and Latin America,” said Botín, who succeeded her father Emilio Botín as chair when he died in September last year. “Just think of the impact. When people become middle class, their consumption of services such as banking and tourism grows above their income.”
Even more far-reaching, according to Botín, will be the on-going development and wider distribution of digital technology – “largely but not only the adoption of smartphones, a change which is exponential.”
The result? “A true customer revolution,” she said. “To put it simply, more people [will] have more choice, more information and more power than ever before.” Stagnation, Botín continued, is not an option, adding that measures companies must take to prepare for this paradigm shift include clarifying its core purpose besides making a profit – “We exist to help people and businesses prosper”, in Santander’s case – and in improving relationships at every level.
“We believe that lasting success is driven by the relationships that exist within a company – with our teams, with our customers, with our shareholders and with our communities. That’s the most valuable asset we have.”