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By Milton Franklin
Grow Your Global Business
President and CEO
Nationwide Business Consultants
of South Florida Inc.
Emerging markets may provide opportunity for U.S. brokers
Brazil, Russia, India and China have been the top four emerg- ing markets for years. And
while the United States, Europe and
Japan currently are mired in long-term
economic and financial woes, these
other countries have seen relatively
steady growth. Commercial mortgage
brokers working in the U.S. have firsthand knowledge of the effects of the
economy on their business, but if they
are willing to look outside of their traditional markets, they may find a surprising new source of income.
India, for example, has had consistent
growth even through the global credit
crunch. India’s gross-domestic-product
growth hit 6. 7 percent in the 2008 to
2009 period, 7. 4 percent in the 2009
to 2010 period, and is expected to exceed 8 percent in the 2010 to 2011 period, according to the Reserve Bank of
India. During this time, Indian average
incomes, life expectancy, health standards, literacy and education rates
also have increased, according to the
United Nations Human Development
Index. The country has a growing English-speaking workforce, a population
of more than 1.1 billion people and a
This type of economic growth requires a tremendous investment in
commercial real estate to accommodate the industries and companies
that will fill society’s needs. A handful
of private funding sources in the U.S.
have positioned themselves to take advantage of the commercial real estate
explosion that is accompanying India’s
Commercial mortgage brokers
can take advantage of these funding
sources and their affiliations in India to
find new business. The process is actually simpler than what they are accustomed to in the U.S.
Illustration: Dennis Wunsch
The prospect of conducting international business usually invokes fear
for many reasons — language barriers,
local customs, lack of familiarity with
rules and regulations, project-man-agement obstacles, distance, etc. The
reality of the situation, however, is the
opposite. Transactions in India, for example, can be even simpler than similar transactions in the U.S. — if brokers
have done their homework.
Essentially, there are two variations
on how to do business in a country like
India. Several private funding sources
and banks advertise that they conduct
international transactions. These lend-
ers usually focus on specific countries,
and their business is concentrated in
locales that traditionally are recognized
as suitable places for development.
These locations may be chosen be-
cause of their prominence as tourist
destinations or because they are fre-
quent business areas for U.S. compa-
nies. These lenders can easily establish
English-speaking contacts and conduct
business as usual.
companies has waned. Tourism also
has suffered because of less disposable income. It’s easy to see why this
type of lender makes only a token contribution to business in India.
There is a more efficient alternative to
getting entrenched in the Indian real
estate boom, however. There are a
handful of domestic funding sources
that have recognized the potential of
the Indian market.
These funders have either estab-
lished direct affiliations with lend-
ers located in India or partnered with
these Indian companies. Others devel-
oped exclusive arrangements with U.S.
companies that had established rela-
tionships with Indian entities, or they
became U.S.-based fund managers
with backing from global financial insti-
tutions. They facilitate commercial real
estate funding in the Asia Pacific re-
gion, and they work directly with Indian
developers and lending institutions.
Milton Franklin is president and CEO of
Nationwide Business Consultants of South
Florida Inc., which maintains direct relationships with active, nontraditional domestic
and international funding sources and
investment-banking firms. Nationwide offers
a range of creative financing products and
services to commercial clients, as well as
partnering opportunities for commercial
mortgage brokers and project funders.
A graduate of Wharton Business School,
Franklin has 26 years’ financial-services
experience. Reach him at (786) 506-3578 or