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But look closely at the businesses behind these offerings and you will find the frontiers of business model innovation.
These novel ventures reveal a way to help companies escape stagnant demand at home, create new and profitable revenue streams, and find competitive advantage.
Many Western multinationals expect to find most of their future growth in emerging economies.
But they have frequently struggled to exploit the opportunity, relentlessly cutting costs and accepting profit margins close to zero.
They may tinker at the edges, lowering prices—perhaps by selling smaller sizes or by using lower-cost labor, materials, or other resources.
” We asked them to consider instead the key needs of those with poor or no refrigeration. The semiurban and rural people the team observed typically earned 5,000 to 8,000 rupees (about 5 to 0) a month, lived in single-room dwellings with four or five family members, and changed residences frequently.
Unable to afford conventional refrigerators in their own homes, they were making do with communal, usually secondhand ones.
Consumers there are defined not so much by any particular income band as by a common circumstance: Their needs are being met very poorly by existing low-end solutions, because they cannot afford even the cheapest of the high-end alternatives.
Companies that devise new business models and offerings to better meet those consumers’ needs affordably will discover enormous opportunities for growth.
Drawing on their experience with investing in, incubating, and consulting for companies that have created 20 new business models in developing markets, the authors describe the vast potential demand represented by the “middle market” in emerging economies—the millions of people who have the desire and wherewithal to pay for goods and services, from refrigeration to clothes washing to money transfers, that will help them do the jobs better than any other current offerings.