The 86% solution

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[86%] is an estimate of people living in countries with per capita gross national product of less than $10,000. Of the world’s six billion-plus inhabitants, only 14 percent live in countries where this measure is over $10,000. … companies can no longer afford to not pay attention to emerging economies.

This according to the HBS review of the recently published ‘The 86% Solution.’ The authors offer ideas on how private companies can better meet the wants (and budgets) of the most needy. They suggest:

Scale down the product size for bulk items to a sachet. Provide built-in cooling for products that are best kept refrigerated. Create mechanisms to allow products purchased by someone in a developed economy to be used or consumed by someone in a different country. These basic concepts mean learning to think small—in terms of package size, installment pay options, and products that fulfill just bare-bones minimal needs; building your own infrastructure to develop and deliver products; and creating a “ricochet economy” that serves the needs of immigrants abroad who maintain strong connections to their country of origin.

Chapter 1 is available online.

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