When we think of developing markets, we think of replicating a bunch of processes, products and services from the West to the East. And yet, I think the greater value is in taking advantage of the opportunity for innovation the lower cost enables. It makes obvious sense, that when you are scarce is resources, one is forced to be more innovative, more shrewd and more careful – all in a heady mix. We even have a term for it here in India – Jugaad.
Ravi Govinrajan puts this phenomenon super concisely in his piece in the HBR here. Especially the part where he lays down the 4 stages that define the flow of ideas, technology and services from 1st world to 4th world. His argument that we seem to now be moving from ‘in country, for country’ to ‘in country, for the world’ seems fair.
Summon all your designers, engineers, coders and innovators. It is time to be more than just a ‘lucrative, young’ market.