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The 86 Percent Solution

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The 86 Percent Solution

How to Succeed in the Biggest Market Opportunity of the Next 50 Years

Wharton School Publishing,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Upbeat tome extolling emerging-market business opportunities – as they existed before the global financial crisis.

Editorial Rating



This intelligent guide to doing business in emerging markets offers solid, practical tips on market characteristics, strategies, branding, packaging and other down-to-earth subjects. Vijay Mahajan and Kamini Banga opt for a long-range take on prospects in the developing world. The book’s handy organization and encouraging words on harnessing emerging markets’ potential make it a fine read. getAbstract finds that it presents a well thought-out approach to selling to the developing world, based on useful and rational advice.


Galloping Opportunities

Countries with a per capita gross national product less than $10,000 house 86% of the world’s population. These nations are modernizing so fast that they present great opportunities. However, they are not homogenous. Each country has distinct qualities that form very different contexts for the openings created by galloping development. Incomes range widely from country to country, and from region to region. To sell in developing markets, companies need strategies that fit the facts on the ground. Start with these concepts:

  • Cultural characteristics shape market preferences – Developing-market consumers seek value in the context of their cultures. To thrive, adapt to cultural requirements. For example, financial service firms that comply with Islamic law have a potential market of 20% of the developing world’s population.
  • Immigrants from the developing world form a big diaspora – Expats in the developed world often send money home. Success in developed markets can provide a platform for success in developing markets, as demonstrated by Mexico’s Cemex. It has a program under which Mexicans in the United...

About the Authors

Vijay Mahajan, former dean of the Indian School of Business, holds the John P. Harbin Centennial chair in business at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas in Austin. Kamini Banga is an independent marketing consultant and managing director of a consulting company.

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