Turkey, Indonesia and Mexico: Rohit Gupta



In a 25 year career with HSBC and Citi I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to live in seven different countries, including three of the MINT countries: Indonesia – pre and post the Asian crisis (1996-2000); Mexico – during the financial crisis (2007-2009) and Turkey – post financial crisis (2010-2013). 

All three have socio-economic demographics in their favor: a large (and young) population to support a domestic lead growth; GDP (PPP) of over $ 1 trillion each, yet low to mid-year per capita income  to sustain rapid GDP growth.

Within this there are still large differences - Nigeria (170 m) and Indonesia (250 m) have huge populations, whilst Mexico (80 m) and Turkey (120 m) have smaller ones. Similarly income levels vary considerably – with per capita GDP (PPP) being US$ 5k for Indonesia & Nigeria and US$ 15k for Mexico & Turkey.


However, based on my experiences there is a lot more than just statistics: the key factors are (i) leadership and vision, (ii.) infrastructure, (iii.) manufacturing industry, (iv.) trade with neighbors, (v.) development away from main cities, (vi.) basic education and medical facilities and (vii.) confidence and optimism of citizens

Being from India and seeing the rapid decades long growth in China (and other Asian tigers), it is not just democracy but the vision of its leaders that is important for emerging markets.  All three countries have strong leaders, with broad public support and growth agenda. In addition – all have good infrastructure – roads, telecom, ports and airports – across the length and width of the country. They also have strong manufacturing industries with emphasis on growing trade with neighbors.

While living in these countries we were able to easily travel across the country – highlighting their cultural history, geographical diversity as well developed infrastructure for both industry and tourism. Each also has strong regional brands highlighting both capabilities and growth opportunities.

Equally, unlike many South Asian and African countries – they have invested in basic education and medical facilities for their citizens.   This shows in the faith and optimism in their citizens: be it students returning home after completing college overseas, expat managers returning to lead local companies  or the positive comments on their country and government from taxi drivers!

Rohit Gupta


Rohit has had 25 years of international banking experience with Citi and HSBC – across India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Mexico and Turkey. He is an emerging market consumer risk specialist, having been country risk manager in Malaysia, Mexico and Turkey – as also a designated Senior Credit Officer for Citi. Rohit has a B.A. (Economics) degree and is a qualified chartered accountant (India) as well a Henley MBA alumnus.  He has a passion for consumer financial education and has a web portal, www.yourrule72.comas well as a blog page on Business Times Singapore (http://www.btinvest.com.sg/blogs)

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