In today’s blog I will share some up-to-the-minute information I learned yesterday at the Emerging India Summit held at Emory University. Although the focus was India, discussions also included other emerging markets and the results grabbed my attention. Read on to find out ten things you might not know about developing markets.
It’s Friday afternoon and I’m about to shut down my office, but I wanted to end the week by sharing some brief thoughts that enhanced my perspective on emerging markets. Now keep in mind that statistics often draw suspicion because people wonder how accurate the numbers are and what the agenda is behind them. What I’m sharing here I do not claim to be the “truth,” but rather the perspectives of highly respected academics, researchers, and business people.
1.) According to Dr. Jagdish Sheth, respected author and Professor of Marketing at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, the generation gap in India is only about eight years, which means that not only do the worldviews of parents and children diverge, but also those of older sister and younger sister!
2.) Dr. Sheth also shared that India’s biggest asset is entrepreneurship, which is not limited by gender, religion, or even literacy. In fact, many billionaires in India are college dropouts. India’s true power of innovation comes from entrepreneurs.
3.) According to Kumar Kantheti, Director of Market Research for Shiongi Pharma, India has the 2nd most FDA-approved pharmaceutical plants in the world.
4.) According to researcher Vivek Wadhwa (check out his very provocative website here), the perception of a shortage of engineers in the USA is a myth. In 2004, his research states, the USA graduated more engineers than India. China is graduating far more than either country.
5.) Mr. Wadwha also states that 52.4% of Silicon Valley start-ups were founded by immigrants.
6.) Chile has started an innovation project where they are importing 1000 entrepreneurs from all over the world to just come spend time together, no strings attached – innovation and sharing is the only thing on the agenda.
7.) According to Meera Shankar, Ambassador to the USA from India, the number of cell phone subscribers in India has almost reached 800 million.
8.) Many developing countries have skipped the PC and gone straight to the cell phone. Ambassador Shankar told a story about the man she buys vegetables from in India. He sits out on the street selling his wares. One day he said to her “If you ever need vegetables delivered to your home you can call my office.” He pointed to his cell phone. That was his office.
9.) Brazil’s GDP is the size of Mexico, Venezuela and Argentina combined.
10.) I’ll end with a great quote from Dr. Jagdish Sheth about the Internet revolution: “If I want to know what I did yesterday I just Google myself!”