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Rise of Rural Consumers in Developing Countries

Rise of Rural Consumers in Developing Countries
Harvesting 3 Billion Aspirations

First Edition
Critical Acclaim

September 2016 | 212 pages | SAGE Response

Watch Vijay Mahajan talk about Rise of Rural Consumers in Developing Countries: Harvesting 3 Billion Aspirations

This is the first comprehensive book highlighting the expanding consumer power of rural markets in developing countries. It takes a close look at one of the key stories in emerging markets: the untapped potential of the world’s 3.4 billion rural consumers -- 90 percent of whom live in Asia and Africa. The sheer number of rural consumers can provide a massive customer base for innovative companies that figure out how to reach them. The book provides a profile of the rural developing world and examines the forces that are increasing rural prosperity, including billions of dollars in remittances from migrant workers.  It includes several examples of innovations and best practices that are allowing companies to tap into this opportunity. 

Foreword by A. Didar Singh and Nirankar Saxena
Preface: A Rural Odyssey
The Rural Consumer Opportunity
Planting the Seeds of Prosperity in the Rural World
The Influence of Religion in the Emerging Rural World
Growing Consumers in Emerging Rural Markets
Plowing New Routes to Rural Markets
Seeding Innovation and Prosperity Through Technology
Harnessing Innovation to Solve Social Problems
The End of the Last Mile

This is a thought-provoking book, the contents of which must be read, pondered over and acted on by government leaders, policy planners and development experts in the developing world or the global South without fail. 

The Island

Vijay Mahajan’s book showcases the important ways that NGOs are helping to bring rural consumers into the economic mainstream. I was impressed by the innovation nonprofits are using to address social problems, whether the area is education, health care or secure livelihoods. I am extremely appreciative and encouraged that those efforts will help assure that millions of rural citizens will share in their countries’ economic growth.

Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji
Wangmo Wangchuck, Bhutan

Social enterprises with strong brands are creating new models for bringing prosperity to the rural developing world. The revenues that enterprises such as Aarong generate support social missions in a sustainable way. As this book shows, in Bangladesh and other countries, these organizations are having a significant impact on issues such as poverty alleviation. 

Tamara Hasan Abed
Senior Director Enterprises, BRAC, Bangladesh

There is an important message in this book, for both corporations and governments: Inclusive growth is the path to sustainable growth. The data and global case studies in this book make a convincing case that strategies and policies must include rural populations in order to succeed for the long term. A “must read” for countries like India, where rural aspirations run high.

Anand Mahindra
Chairman, Mahindra Group, India

This book dispels the stereotypes of rural consumers as a market not worth pursuing. Successful poverty-reduction initiatives in countries like China have created vibrant rural markets for both local and global products. By taking us inside the rural developing world, Professor Mahajan shows how forward-thinking companies already have tapped into one of the fastest-growing consumer markets in the world.

Lu Xiongwen
Dean, School of Management, Fudan University, China

This book underscores the need for the public, private and philanthropic sectors to work as partners to address issues such as health care, education, and inclusive economic development. With 3 billion rural residents in Africa and Asia, the challenges are too large, and the population growth too rapid, for any one sector to tackle alone. Together, we can make a significant impact.

Mohamed Shafik Gabr
Chairman and Managing Director, ARTOC Group, Egypt

There is a reason that technology leaders such as Google and Facebook are moving to gain a foothold in the rural developing world. As this book shows, those 3 billion-plus consumers are a huge emerging market for technology services. At the same time, technology can be a powerful tool for companies that want to reach that population in a cost-efficient way.

David Schmittlein
John C Head III Dean, MIT Sloan School of Management, USA

‘A timely and powerful analysis of the opportunities that exist to help serve the aspirations and improve the livelihoods of nearly half the world’s population.’

Paul Polman
CEO, Unilever, UK

“The book is well-supported with data, both systematically reported and anecdotal…. Marketing Professionals the world over would be interested in reading this book because of the wealth of stories it documents, and the great blend of data and description.”

Business Standard, November 23, 2016

“Mahajan’s deeply researched book, brimming with case studies and anecdotes gathered from his personal trips to rural markets, is broken down into three sections: “Recognizing the Rural Opportunity,” “Growing and Reaping Rural Opportunity,” and “The Rural Challenges… the book is an easy read, signposted with thought provoking questions, and filled with inspiration from the courageous pioneers who have overcame logistical and financial challenges in their efforts to serve underserved communities.”

Shanghai, January 6, 2017

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ISBN: 9789386042323