As head of one of the world’s most iconic brands, Muhtar Kent has to keep a close eye on global consumer trends. In an interview with Charlie Rose for Bloomberg Businessweek, Kent made it crystal clear how essential it is that companies look beyond the West.
When asked how important developing markets are for his company, Kent replied:
Let me just put it into perspective: 3.5 per cent to 4 per cent of the population of the world live in the U.S., and we’re a consumer goods company. So we sell where the people are.
It’s just maths.
As an example, Kent described Minute Maid Pulpy, a juice launched in China that became a billion dollar brand after just 3 years, and is now sold in more than 25 countries. The strategy’s been incredibly successful for Coke.
The Boston Consulting Group estimates that Chinese and Indian consumers will be a $10 trillion dollar market by 2020. They will have a middle class more than twice as large as the population of the U.S., and produce a hundred million more college graduates.
That’s only two countries.
It’s essential for every business, not just consumer goods companies, to work as hard as possible to get a foothold in the developing world. The numbers don’t lie.
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