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Finding New Growth in Emerging Markets

Eighty percent of the world's consumers live in emerging markets, which make up 40 percent of the world economy and are expected to provide two to three times the growth rate of the developed world for years to come. It's a staggering opportunity, yet many Western multinationals find these markets unexpectedly frustrating. Why? We believe it is because companies have not developed business models of sufficient ingenuity to meet the peculiar challenges and overcome the formidable barriers to success.

Innosight works with established companies to enter or grow in emerging markets – including India, China, and Brazil – profitably and with minimal risk. We help companies look beyond conventional approaches—such as simply viewing these new markets as l outlets for existing offerings. Instead, companies find much greater opportunity when they focus on the unmet needs of consumers – their "jobs to be done." Our research and experience show that developing markets teem with such jobs, because consumers face enormous issues of access and affordability—and end up making do with unsatisfactory solutions. The potential demand for new and disruptive products and services is enormous.

At the heart of our approach is business model innovation, which is essential to enduring competitive advantage in emerging markets. We work with companies to create new business models tailored to the particular market circumstances, starting with identifying important unsatisfied needs of consumers. Our on-the-ground, collaborative approach enables us to immerse ourselves in field research, observing firsthand how people go about their daily routines and discovering insights that traditional market research often misses.

Working with Innosight in emerging markets, our clients are able to:

  • Capture the highly rewarding "missing middle"—the portion of the income pyramid where returns can exceed those to be to be found at the top of the pyramid where there is more purchasing power but fewer people, or at the bottom where there are many people but little purchasing power.
  • Overcome the typical barriers that almost any venture faces in emerging markets—affordability for customers, widely dispersed populations, and customer awareness of the real job to be done.
  • Rethinking business models from scratch to profitably address unique market circumstances and consumer needs.
  • Conduct rapid experiments inexpensively—and use the results to hone the business model, enabling course corrections before the company commits to major operational or strategic investments.
  • Mobilize a broad network of resources—including advertising agencies, companies that can produce prototypes on demand, financial service advisers who understand local regulatory guidelines, and a healthy bench of local entrepreneurs to execute the plan.

Related Insights

An Impact Story from Innosight:

ChotuKool – how can you improve the lives of millions in an emerging market?

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Innosight in Harvard Business Review:

New Business Models in Emerging Markets

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