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The 86 Percent Solution: How to Succeed in the Biggest Market Opportunity of the Next 50 Years (paperback) Paperback – September 24, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (September 24, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132485060
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132485067
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,064,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Most global businesses focus nearly all their efforts on selling to the wealthiest 14% of the world's population. It's getting harder and harder to make a profit that way: these markets are oversaturated, overcompetitive, and declining. The Invisible Market shows how to unleash new growth and profitability by serving the other 86%. Vihajan Mahajan offers detailed strategies and implementation techniques for product design, pricing, packaging, distribution, advertising, and more. Discover radically different 'rules of engagement' that make emerging markets tick, and how European and Asian companies are already driving billions of dollars in sales there. Mahajan shows how to understand and manage lack of infrastructure and media, low literacy levels, and 'unconventional' consumer behavior. Learn how to redefine the 'real' competition; tap into the informal economy and unconventional channels; leverage expatriate word-of-mouth; pool demand to reach critical mass; piggyback innovations on local tradition; and price and package to reflect local realities. As traditional markets become increasingly unprofitable, emerging markets become the #1 opportunity for growth.

About the Author

The 86 Percent Solution How to Succeed in the Biggest Market Opportunity of the Next 50 Years About the Authors

Vijay Mahajan, former dean of the Indian School of Business, 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.

Mahajan is author or editor of nine books. He is one of the world's most widely cited researchers in business and economics. He edited the Journal of Marketing Research, and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and delivered executive development programs worldwide.

Kamini Banga is an independent marketing consultant and managing director of Dimensions Consultancy Pvt. Ltd. Her clients have included Cadbury, Philips, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, and many others. She has traveled extensively in Asia and Southeast Asia, conducting training programs on market research and consumer behavior. During a three-year stint in London, she worked with the Harris Research Center as a consultant on ethnic issues for companies including British Airways and the BBC.

Banga writes and edits business articles for Economic Times, The Smart Manager, Business Today, and other leading Indian business publications, and is a non-executive director on several company boards. She is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Management, the premier institute for MBA education in India. A former resident of Mumbai, India, she now lives in London.


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Customer Reviews

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Many points in this book are common sense.
K. Johnson
It is very important that as companies refocus their strategies they also consider customer needs most appropriately.
HBS Working Knowledge
And the companies that can develop the right solutions to meet their needs will find a rich source of growth."
Robert Morris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
With regard to the meaning and significance of the title, Mahajan and Banga explain that 86% of the world has a per capita gross national product (GNP) of less than $10,000 per year. So what? Not only do those markets represent the future of global commerce; "they also present rich opportunities for companies that have the imagination and creativity to envision [consumers within those markets]. But you won't recognize these opportunities through the lens of the developed world. You won't reach these consumers through the market strategies that work in the 14 percent markets. Developing markets have no smooth superhighways, no established consumer markets, no distribution networks, and, in many cases, no electricity. Developing markets are younger, behind in technology (but rapidly catching up), and inexperienced as consumers. These markets are very different. Yet with creative solutions tailored to their distinctive characteristics, ...you can realize the rich opportunities of these 86 percent markets."

Mahajan and Banga have carefully organized their material within eleven chapters which range from a rigorous analysis of "the lands of opportunity" to a "Conclusion" in which they explain why the markets in underdeveloping countries "not to be missed." More specifically, they discuss what they describe as a "complex tapestry" of convergent civilizations in which there really do seem to be almost unlimited opportunities to increase both the standard of living and quality of life for hundreds of millions of consumers. The challenge for those companies which attempt to market various goods and services in those markets is to understand their unique characteristics. To me, it seems at east as important to understand what they are not as it is to understand what they are...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Business is obviously always on the lookout for growth opportunities. In the book The 86% Solution - How To Succeed In the Biggest Market Opportunity of the 21st Century by Vijay Mahajan and Kamini Banga, the argument is made (and quite effectively) that the largest new markets are in the developing countries... 86% of the world. However, the rules are significantly different in those markets...

Contents: The Lands of Opportunity; Don't Build a Car When You Need a Bullock Cart; Aim for the Ricochet Economy; Connect Brands to the Market; Think Young; Grow Big by Thinking Small; Bring Your Own Infrastructure; Look for the Leapfrog; Take the Market to the People; Develop with the Market; An Opportunity Not to Be Missed; Index

Many companies that have tried to move into these developing countries did so by following the same rules that worked in the richest 14% of the world. They more often than not failed miserably. The economies are different, the purchasing power is different, and the market plays by different rules based on culture. The authors do an excellent job in showing how a different approach to these markets are necessary in order to succeed. For instance, in "Grow Big by Thinking Small", they explain that developing country consumers are using to buying what they need when they need it, and only the amount they immediately need. They often don't have either the space to store bulk quantities nor the extra income to stockpile. Trying to sell laundry detergent for 100 loads will fail. Selling enough soap for one load for a few pennies will work. The margins are thin, but the volume is huge. Your company needs to figure out how to make it all work.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By HBS Working Knowledge on October 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The 86 percent" here 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. According to Vijay Mahajan and Kamini Banga, companies can no longer afford to not pay attention to emerging economies. Their book is a persuasive argument that is full of nitty-gritty advice and practical examples.

The book is likely to appeal to managers trying to expand market reach as well as managers in developing countries who want to think differently about strategies that may succeed in their own environment. This book may also benefit leaders of governments, non-governmental organizations, and other organizations who want to better understand the complexities of the developing world's business environment.

Both authors are well-versed in the challenges of marketing to the poor. Vijay Mahajan holds a chair in business at the University of Texas at Austin and is a former dean of the Indian School of Business. Kamini Banga is an independent marketing consultant and managing director of Dimensions Consultancy Pvt. Ltd. She travels widely conducting training programs on market research and consumer behavior, and writes and edits articles for top Indian business publications.

Beginning even in the first few pages, their practical ideas make sense: 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.
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