2011 Class Speakers
Posted by Administrator on August 15, 2011 at 11:34 AM EDT
Written by Frank Winslow, Communications Manager
Josh Green is co-founder and CEO of Panjiva. Josh began his career at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where he provided strategic advice to Fortune 500 clients. Later at iFormation Group, a joint venture of BCG and Goldman Sachs, Josh launched new, technology-enabled businesses. Josh is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and Harvard Business School where he received Baker Scholar honors.
What are the three most challenging aspects of global trade?
The first is lack of information. Most functions in a business have had the benefit of information, particularly over the last ten to twenty years. Somehow or another global trade has continued to be this very opaque environment where people don't have the benefit of information, so I think, particularly for people who are new to global trade, it's surprising. The question is, "How is this massive sector of the economy operating in the dark?" And largely it is.
The second biggest challenge is a patchwork of regulations. By definition, you're operating in an environment that is different than your home country. You have to understand that different countries have different rules, different laws. Getting to know those, particularly if you start operating in multiple geographies, is really hard.
I think the last is more of a cultural issue. You know, what's challenging and exciting about global trade is that you're interacting with people who are different from you. Different languages. Different cultures. Different business cultures. And trying to master those is challenging for people from every culture.
How does Panjiva address these challenges?
We're primarily focused on information. Our belief is that people who are involved in global trade deserve high quality information just like people who are involved in all other aspects of business. So we're trying to pull together information for them that is very rich, on a platform that is very easy to use. The standard we set for ourselves is Google. We want people to be able to use Panjiva if they know how to use Google. In the past, to the extent that information has been available, it has been very, very hard to make use of. So we try to make all of our services very usable. Underneath that usability, we want to have just tons and tons of information so that people can make important decisions.
What's the best part about working with young entrepreneurs like the one's at the Baruch Leadership Academy?
First of all it's a source of inspiration to see the energy that young, aspiring entrepreneurs have. It's a nice reminder of where I was when I was getting started, and it gives me a lot of hope for where our economy and where our country is headed. Hope is kind of in short supply these days. We're facing tough economic headwinds and to see that people are bubbling with ideas gives me a lot of hope, which is really nice.
What growing markets in global trade should young entrepreneurs pay attention to over the next four or five years?
I think the defining economic event of the 20th century was the rise of the American middle class. I think the defining economic event of the 21st century is the rise of the global middle class. I get very excited when I hear about entrepreneurs who are trying to figure out how to serve that growing global middle class, as opposed to, for instance, people who are trying to build another social network to serve the wealthy in the United States. To me, the big opportunity for the next several years and several decades is about serving that global middle class.