Goods and services especially designed for emerging markets often incorporate
one or more of the following characteristics:
Smaller and/or limited number of features, to keep
Simpler, or easier to use, for inexperienced consumers.
Energy efficient (or not using any traditional energies at
all) and/or easy to repair and/or wastereducing.
Robust, as some of them are used in rugged conditions.
(the democratization of design is a global
Aimed at helping owners to generate income, or allow
users to create selfsustaining
A few reasons why these products are of interest to consumers in more
prosperous economies, too:
Cheap: 'Cheap' is king, both because of the recession (reduced spending
power), and because of the shift away from 'bling' towards frugality and
practicality as new status symbols.
Simplicity and convenience: Small/simple (and cheap!)
also rules because of transient lifestyles (more
experiences in smaller, affordable doses), and the
continual need for more convenience and simplicity
Design: 'democratization of design' means even
demanding, experienced consumers will be pleased
with products from countries and brands previously not
known for high quality and design standards.
Sustainability: Anything using less or no traditional
energy, or causing less waste, or boasting longer life
expectancy, will go down well with eco(
status) conscious consume
It is not only about all consumers, it's also about all brands:
The Classmate PC, designed by chip manufacturer
Intel, is a lowcost
netbook that is sold throughout
the world, often rebranded and sold through local
vendors. The third generation of the device was
unveiled in June 2009, with the aim of meeting
ongoing educational needs around the world.
The Cherrypal Africa is a 7inch
mini laptop, designed
for developing countries, that sells for USD 99. The
company buys excess inventory and discounted components to keep the
price down, which means that only minimum specifications are promised
on the site.
The computer, which is basically a single sheet of flexible plastic, featuring
touch screen technology, is due to be released in 2012. Costs should
remain under USD 100, making it affordable for poor and rich consumers
Food & Beverage
Nestlé's Maggi brand of instant noodles was first
introduced in emerging markets such as India and
Pakistan. The brand has since expanded to mature
consumer societies, starting with Australia and New
Zealand in 2008, where it is marketed as cheap health
Diary giant Danone's joint venture with Bangladesh's
Grameen Bank, aims to provide nutritious dairy products to deprived
populations within Bangladesh by building as many as 50 local micro plants
by 2016. Danone's experiences in Bangladesh led to the 2008 launch in
France of Ecopack, a lowcost
In April 2009, Tata Housing announced plans to build 1,300
small apartments outside Mumbai, selling them for as little as
USD 7,800. The floor area of the miniature apartments will be
between 218 and 373 square feet. When the scheme was
opened to booking in Mumbai in May 2009, more than 7,000
customers queued to pay the initial booking fee.
One to watch if you're into microhousing
not just in developing nations: think 'Single Nation',
sustainability, insane realestate
The Indian Hotels Company has built 21 Ginger
Hotels across India, with plans to build 50 more
within the next three to four years. The hotels aim
to provide basic convenience to travelers at very
affordable rates, with rooms costing between Rs
1,000 and Rs 2,999.
Tune Hotels keeps costs down by using a selfservice
online booking system, minimizing staff and
employing a payasyouuse
system for various
amenities such as airconditioning.
currently operates five hotels across Malaysia and Indonesia, but aims to
expand to 150 hotels around the world by 2012.
In Q2 of this year, Air Arabia plans to open a 300 room budget hotel at
Sharjah International Airport. The hotel will cater to business travelers and
individual guests passing through the UAE, offering amenities such as a
gym, pool, wifi, and meeting rooms.
The Grameen Foundation helps the world's poorest
(especially women) improve their lives and escape
poverty through access to microfinance in 23
countries worldwide. Yet it also has a subsidiary in
the United States, called Project Enterprise. Since
2008 Grameen has collected 1,700 borrowers in New
York City, and last June (2009) it opened a second
branch in Omaha, Nebraska.
A similar initiative, online microlending
Kiva, has also expanded operations into the
'developed' world: it has partnered with ACCION USA, a microfinance
institution lending in 48 states across the US, and Opportunity Fund, a
community development financial institution based in San Jose.
The Logan range, a series of lowcost
by Renault's Dacia subsidiary in Romania, has been
outpacing overall car sales in key European markets
by appealing to budgetconscious
range was initially designed for emerging markets,
using simple parts to keep maintenance costs down,
but it has found success amid consumers' economic
concerns in Western Europe.
After the muchhyped
introduction of the Tata Nano in India (a small,
car for the 'masses'), all eyes are now on the Tata Nano
Europa. Tata plans to offer the Nano Europa starting in 2011, and around
2013 in the US.
has claimed that its partnership with Bajaj Auto
will result in the ULC model by 2012, at a cost that will be lower than any
car today made in India.
In late 2009, Indian tractor manufacturer Mahindra and Mahindra launched
a compact 4wheel
delivery vehicle designed for city center use. The GiO is
designed to command more respect on the road than traditional 3wheel
delivery vehicles, while still offering the maneuverability necessary to
move through inner city streets. One to succeed outside India, too?
Zeebo is a low cost games console targeted at consumers in
developing markets. Games are downloaded via a 3G
wireless connection, and the console uses only 1 watt of
power. Zeebo began retailing in Brazil and Mexico in 2009
at approximately USD 200. The console is scheduled for
release in India this year, and in China by 2011.
Nokia Money is a new mobile financial service enabling
consumers to send money to another person just by
using the person's mobile phone number, as well as
to pay merchants for goods and services, pay their
utility bills, or recharge their prepaid SIM cards.
Nokia is building a wide network of Nokia Money
agents, where consumers can deposit money, or
withdraw cash from their accounts. The service is
planned to be rolled out gradually to selected
markets, beginning in early 2010.
Adidas has announced plans to produce 1 euro trainers
for millions of consumers who would otherwise be
unable to afford shoes. Pilot production is planned to
begin this year in Bangladesh, with the final design yet
to be confirmed.