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November 5, 2010#
October 21, 2009#
One way to competitively position a brand is by focusing it on a specific target audience.
That’s exactly what a number of firms in India are doing as they focus on the largest and most underserved target market in the world: the poor.
As reported in the WSJ on 10/21, Indian Firms Shirt Focus to the Poor, India is now at the cutting edge of innovating affordable, quality products for the poor. Most notably, these products are not cheaper versions of established “Western” products. They are conceived, engineered and built from the ground up.
Tata Motors has recently launched it’s Nano automobile in India, “The People’s Car,” priced at just $2,200 (and they have sights set on Europe next).
First Energy has reinvested a wood-burning stove, the Oorja, that generates three times as much heat as the current make-shift alternative, and almost no smoke, all for $23.
Godrel offers an energy efficient refrigerator, “Little Cool,” to those who have never owned one before.
And one can now buy a water purification filter for just $43.
Indian engineers are reinventing everyday products for the billions of poor around the world, who represent the majority of people on the planet, and who yearn, more than ever due to increased levels of global media consumption, for the same simple material goods enjoyed, and perhaps taken for granted, in the developed world.
Beyond the obvious humanitarian benefits afforded by these remarkable new products, the companies that create them may be about to change the balance of power of global companies.
As Vijay Gorindarajan, professor at Dartmouth Tuck School of Business and chief innovation consultant to GE points out, “The biggest threat for the US multinationals in not existing competitors, it is going to be emerging market competitors.”
Perhaps none of us should be surprised if in 10 years the labels on our most innovative and affordable brands read: Made in India.