Tag Archives: middle class

India’s Hidden Middle Class and the MNC Conundrum

The Economist writes a rather breathless take on a theme very popular just over a decade ago – the Great Indian Middle Class so longingly hoped and wished for still hadn’t emerged to satisfy the consumption habits preferred by the global multinational brands. Where were they, the article shrilly asked, unquestioningly promoting China’s middle class […]

Posted in Business, China, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, Emerging Markets, India, Marketing, Perspective, South Asia, Strategy | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Africa’s Middle Class: Development economics and marketing demographics conflating the holy grail

The most developed nation on the African continent, south of the Sahara desert, is considered to be South Africa with its financial and transportation infrastructure and systems, a legacy from history. In the first decade of the 21st century, the black middle class – known as Black Diamonds in marketer jargon – came into prominence […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Assumption filter, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Emerging Markets, global, Income, Marketing, Perspective, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Research, South Africa, South Asia, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The end of the global middle class: A more frugal world?

The past half decade‘s worth of financial crises and increasing scarcity of resources have led to an increasing equalization in the global water level. Instead of the high tide that would lift all boats, the leveling off of growth is leading to an entirely different equation of purchasing power parity. Tomorrow’s equilibrium seems to imply […]

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New data shows “middle class” label misleading; skews market analysis

Anyone familiar with the literature and handwringing around the size of the African middle class that’s an ongoing sidebar to the emergence of the continent’s economies, will appreciate the FT’s analysis of recent research results. The global middle class is both smaller and poorer than previously thought, according to a new study, with hundreds of […]

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Social change and upward mobility: what numbers can’t tell you

Rajesh Aithal noticed this first, in a rural Indian haat or market. Macaroni displayed and sold like any other staple commodity. Pasta was not part of the staple Indian diet, at least not the rural one. It wasn’t mainstream even 10 years ago. Is it a sign of the adoption of urban consumption patterns as […]

Posted in Consumer Behaviour, India, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, rural, User research | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being middle class in India

Are differences within the middle class, in income, education, and cultural and social capital, so wide as to render moot any ideological or behavioural coherence to this group? Over the next two months, The Hindu will release the findings of a new survey on the aspirations and anxieties of ordinary Indians. Here’s a snippet accompanying […]

Posted in Emerging Markets, India, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, South Asia, urban | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Global emerging middle classes are Africa’s GEMs

Kentucky Fried Chicken at The Junction, Nairobi, Kenya  2011 Photo Credit: Niti Bhan Bright Simons cautioned us about hyperbole and exuberance in a recent article published on the HBR site. In “Beware Africa’s Middle Class“, he points out with great clarity that the ’emerging market consumers’ spotted by the optimists over at the African Development […]

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Market Segmentation in the Informal Economy

This table is from “How to profit from Africa’s different consumer groups” and the research is from NKC Independent Economists group. There is something lacking in understanding the patterns of purchasing power when segmentation methodology from the formal economy are applied ad hoc to markets which are primarily informal. As mentioned at the end of […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Markets, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Process | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

“Life is Hard” – Original slides with written speech, BxD 2008

This is more or less the written version of my Life is Hard presentation (slides,video, reference) as first given in October 2008 in Providence, Rhode Island at the Better World by Design conference held at Brown University. Some of the details have become more nuanced since then, some parts have spun off into blogs, projects, […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, UCSD, User research | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Navigating the African market opportunity

We have not been able to ignore the constant stream of media articles this year on the ‘rise of the African lions’ echoing the tigers and dragons of Asia just a few short years ago. The first reports mentioned GDP growth rates and economic potential followed rapidly by statistics on consumption, market opportunities and now, […]

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