Originally published on September 1, 2017.
When he left for Jordan and Morocco, Mahajan realized that he had only been focusing on the urban regions of these developing countries.
Looking back at his other book, “The 86% Solution,” Mahajan recognized that although he promoted developing countries as markets for global businesses, he failed to emphasize the rural consumer base. From there, he turned to research the market divide between urban and rural regions, and was surprised by the magnitude of this issue.
Over 3 billion people live in rural regions of the world, however global companies often ignore these consumers. Deterred by the difference in culture, infrastructure, and technology, Mahajan argues that businesses are limiting their long-term growth by not considering the expanding rural population.
Inspired to address this issue, Mahajan visited 10 countries with the largest rural populations, including India, China, and Pakistan. He stresses the importance of global companies to understand the rural consumer base, specifically if they want to be successful in developing countries.
He wrote about his experience in his book, “Rise of Rural Consumers in Developing Countries.” In an interview with Knowledge@Wharton, Professor Mahajan addresses in further detail his inspiration for the book.
You can also watch a related interview by the McCombs School of Business with Professor Mahajan below:
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