Smaller companies typically do not have much capital to compete with their larger peers. A way to win against bigger companies, therefore, is through sustainable innovation. This could be a technology innovation that results in an intellectual-property moat or a business-model innovation where the smaller company has figured out a better way to do business.
There are many small cap opportunities beyond technology. We believe China will be a powerhouse in global health care, for example, whether in pharmaceuticals drug discovery or diagnostics. In the past, the Chinese have been known to take a copycat approach and this has included Western drugs. The government now is trying to steer companies away from that mentality and has created initiatives to foster innovation.
Authorities in China’s Jiangsu province, for example, have greenlighted a program of genetic sequencing that will see them build a genetic database of Chinese residents. One focus of the program is to identify genes linked to cancer and rare and chronic diseases. In my view, this initiative will change the health care landscape within 10 years because this abundance of data will open up opportunities for innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. We already have seen some Chinese gene synthesis companies develop cancer drugs that offer high cure rates.