China and India’s Moment as Emerging Markets is Now

Market Strategies just wrapped up a company meeting in the scenic splendor of Mount Hood, Oregon. I updated my fellow US researchers with news of the Asia Pacific markets, the side of the globe where I reside and study. I started with this fact: China = 1,000,000,000. This is the current number of mobile phone subscriptions in the demographic giant. It reached the one-billion mark in the first quarter of 2012. And India = 900,000,000, a number that is accelerating and sure to catch up with China soon.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said recently, “If you count the greater China region as a whole, it now accounts for 12 percent of Apple’s full-year revenue for 2011. That’s up from just 2 percent in fiscal year 2009.” How can one not be awed by this unbelievable growth of a brand in any market in history?

Not long ago, I read that China had surpassed the US to become the world’s largest automobile market. America has dominated this scene for more than a century, right from the beginning of automotive history. I also read that by 2013 or 2014, the aggregate economic weight of the emerging markets will surpass that of the mature markets.

All these statistics are reminding us that while we have discussed emerging markets for quite a long time, now we are actually witnessing it happen. This is a historic moment in time.

Apart from statistics, I have experienced this emerging moment on a personal level. I have never visited India before 2007. But within the past year, I have flown to the subcontinent three times. I have never seen a Bollywood movie before 2009. Now I’m a fan. I’ve always found Indian food to be good and exotic. Now I describe it as addictive and home.

There is still so much more to see, hear, feel, learn and study. Researchers and marketers, think China and India when you think global. We cannot afford to overlook them anymore.

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