One of the great trends of the next decade will be the rise of Asian companies. Long known for efficiency and manufacturing prowess, they're now becoming more adept at the "soft" elements of business marketing, design, branding and strategy and that's making them fiercer competitors.
J.T. Wang, 55, CEO of the Taiwanese PC maker Acer Group, is a harbinger of the future. When Wang became top executive in 2005, it ranked fifth in the global PC market. Acer has since stormed up the charts to No. 2, with more than 14% of the market, ahead of Dell and behind only HP.
Wang, who has worked at Acer for 29 years, is winning out with his knack for tapping into consumer trends jumping headfirst, for example, into the craze for netbooks. "We don't judge," Wang once said. "We do what the customer really wants."