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Africa Rising: How 900 Million African Consumers Offer More Than You Think 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0132339421
ISBN-10: 0132339420
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Africa, like many emerging markets, has been long overlooked, but is poised for explosive growth and opportunity, says author Mahajan (The 86 Percent Solution) in this must-read for investors, executives and anyone with an interest in global business. He argues that Africa "is richer than you think" and presents "as big an opportunity as China and India." The author describes a burgeoning middle class, referred to as "Africa Two," and illustrates how successful companies are organizing the marketplace, creating infrastructure, advertising, and even customizing packaging. In a continent where many countries lack basic resources and transportation, Mahajan admits it would be easy for investors or corporations to discount prospects for profitability, but he describes how creative entrepreneurs have identified these problems as opportunities: the Coca-Cola Company uses trucks, bicycles and handcarts to transport its product into rural villages and is building its own ice plant to keep drinks cool during power outages. This compelling and captivating overview of the market with its colorful anecdotes provides a tremendous insight into Africa's wealth, which Mahajan calls a "different type of oil and diamonds."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"a revealing primer for businesses hoping to gain a foothold on the continent. Part travelogue, part textbook, part who's who of global businesses operating on the continenet..." - This is Africa (readership 100,000)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson Prentice Hall; 1 edition (September 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132339420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132339421
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #768,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Vijay Mahajan holds the John P. Harbin Centennial Chair in Business at McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin. He has received numerous lifetime achievement awards including the American Marketing Association (AMA) Charles Coolidge Parlin Award for visionary leadership in scientific marketing. The AMA also instituted the Vijay Mahajan Award in 2000 for career contributions to marketing strategy. In 2006, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur) for his contributions to management research. He served as the Dean of the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad from 2002-2004.

Mahajan is author or editor of ten books including his recent book Africa Rising published by the Wharton School Publishing in 2009. His last book on market opportunities in developing countries ( also published by The Wharton School Publishing), The 86 % Solution, received the 2007 "Book-of-Year" Award (Berry-AMA) from the American Marketing Association. He is one of the world's most widely cited researchers in business and economics and has been invited by more than 100 universities and research institutions worldwide for research presentations. He edited the Journal of Marketing Research, and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and delivered executive development programs worldwide.

Mahajan received B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur, his M.S. in Chemical Engineering and Ph.D in Management from the University of Texas at Austin.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The strength of this book, which is my reason for giving it four stars, is that provides a positive perspective on Africa that stresses just how much innovation is underway there, a valuable counterbalance to the general bleak evalations of its economic growth, and that it adds to a major and, for me, vital shift in thinking about development and aid. It has a lot of weaknesses when it moves beyond its largely consumer market focus, however.

This is a marketing expert's book, written by someone with first-rate knowledge and a wealth of experience and corporate contacts. It challneges the old development community assumtions about the population in the undeveloped world being largely helpless, ignorant and adrift. That community mostly views its own capabilities as being wiser, knowing better and being more qualified to define plans and investments than they. Its priorities have been grand schemes, infrastructure projects and close collaborations with governemt and international agencies. I strongly recommend Easterley's demolition of this perspective in his book The Whte Man's Burden. Like Africa Rising, he argues for a bottom-up focus on giving local entrepreneurs the tools and limied help they need and will quickly exploit. There is a huge pool of entrepreneurial energy among small business owners, farmers, taxi drivers, entertainment providers and many others. Far from being lazy or ignorant, they are street-smart and energetic. Africa Rising shows plenty of instances, and also points to such multinationals as Unilver and Coca-Cola in stimulating demand and meeting widespread needs. The exammples are interesting and often striking. Nollywood, the rapidly expanding Nigeria-based (hence the "N")is a major producer of films, for instance, and the equal of Bollywood as a social force.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Vijay Mahajan, author of The 86 Percent Solution: How to Succeed in the Biggest Market Opportunity of the 21st Century, and eight other titles brings us a wonderfully balanced view of Africa.

Decades ago, Mahajan, a US marketing professor from India predicted his home country's future success that we see today. Now, he does the same with "Africa Rising."

The author discusses how much of the world views Africa as a charity case, rather than a market opportunity with more than 900 million consumers. Various market segments are explored in this text, including: food, clothing, medicine, shelter, cell phones, bicycles, automobiles, education, water, and more. Colorful photos are also included. Such areas like the media, advertising, and entertainment [and Nigeria's booming film industry, termed, "Nollywood"] were also outlined with detailed examples of growth sectors.

This book is highly recommended for Africanists, Marketers, Entrepreneurs, Business Leaders, Students, and more. Some large firms, such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Guinness, have already taken full advantage of the African arena, with not only their products, but with clever advertising systems for repeat business and culturization.

As a Master of Business, I found this text to be truly enlightening, and hope that others will take part in the growth and sustainability of Africa's economy.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book has a great way of giving business a new perspective on how Africans are perceived in the consumer driven world. On one hand it is good to see Africa and Africans being recognized as more than third world hardship cases. On the other hand by putting them in the category of consumers, like this book does, are we really giving them a better life. The US has become a nation of consumers and now we are faced with failing economic numbers that haven't been seen in three decades and a collapsing economy that can easily rival the great depression. Africans need to be thought of as more than dollar signs and it should be looked as the potential of being a grand social experiment that extends far beyond the playground to commit the same mistakes of the first world nations surrounding her.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very useful book if you're interested in exploring the business opportunities in Africa. Mahajan makes a convincing case that Africa is an overlooked market that could be the next new frontier in business. While everyone else is obsessed with India and China, those countries are looking to Africa. Indian and Chinese investors have seen the rise of their home markets, and expect the same to occur in Africa. This alone makes the book - and Africa - worth paying attention to.

The point of the book isn't so much to systematically analyze Africa's economy or business opportunities on the continent, but rather to generate awareness and excitement over the investment opportunities in Africa. In this purpose, it succeeds brilliantly. He provides compelling examples of successful African businessmen and foreign investments in Africa.

The book is written in the style of many marketing books, which is generally a collection of exciting anecdotes but little thorough analysis. This can be fun and exciting but also misleading. I'm not always convinced that the anecdotes always translate into the broader reality. For example, he compares the investment potential Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa (NEKS) to the Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRICs). However, there are real concerns about political stability in the NEKS that simply aren't present when dealing with the BRICS (except perhaps Russia). For example, in Nigeria there are occasional terrorist actions against oil pipelines; in Kenya, election violence in 2007 and increasingly frequent mob lynching; and in South Africa, serious doubts about the new president Jacob Zuma. Imagine if India had elected an alleged rapist as prime minister rather than a former finance minister!
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