The $10 Trillion Prize is written for leaders who need a better understanding of the consumers in China and India. It carries ten key messages:
1.For the first time, we calculate the size of the prize: the $10 trillion that Chinese and Indian consumers will be spending on goods and services in 2020. Over their lifetimes, Chinese children born today will consume nearly thirty-eight times as much as their grandparents did, while Indian children will consume nearly thirteen times as much as their grandparents did.
2.We describe the driving spirit of the consumers: their ambition, their energy, their confidence, their optimism. As a young Chinese woman told us, “I want two houses—a house in the city and a house in the country. I want two children. And I want to send them to school in America. I want beautiful clothes, a handsome, educated husband, and time to enjoy it all.”
3.We stress the need to segment and target these consumers—not only by income but also by region, city, rural community, and gender. The great engine of change is the rising middle class: by 2020, an astonishing 320 million increasingly affluent households whose nearly one billion members will be following their dreams and, in so many ways, emulating Western consumers. In addition, there are the millions of poor, now moving beyond survival, as well as the superrich (more than 1 million households), now joining the global elite. But it is not enough to divide consumers by class. To survive in the big city, you need more income, more hustle, and a tolerance for long commutes. As we will see, middle-class consumers in a megacity such as Beijing or Mumbai can exhibit altogether different patterns of behavior than those in smaller cities. You need to understand these consumers, personify them, and cater to their individual needs.
4.We recommend the adoption of a paisa vasool—literally, “money’s worth”—strategy. Chinese and Indian consumers will be hungry for material goods over the next decade. They will want more than they can afford. Their income growth will be substantial, even if they will still end the decade earning only 10 to 25 percent of Western incomes. They will want goods with full features, luxury elements, and reliability. To serve these consumers, you will need not only raw material and packaging innovations but also a comprehensive, low-cost business model. And these will be transferrable to other markets because consumers around the world will want products that do not compromise on features, ingredients, design, or value.
5.We urge the importance of “local, local” customization. These consumers need to have products and services that are tailored to them—and them alone. If they are rich or poor, if they are urban or rural, if they live in a big city or a little city, if they live in the north or the south, if they are educated or illiterate—all of these factors matter and require refinements to the product and the way it is designed, packaged, and sold. China and India are markets with heterogeneous populations demanding locally customized products.
6.We identify the accelerator mind-set. Speak to entrepreneurs in China or India, and they talk of their ten-by-ten strategy of growing tenfold in ten years. If this sounds extraordinary—even unattainable—in the West, it sounds perfectly rational in the East. Today, in China and India, there is a determined, can-do attitude, and the word impossible is not one commonly heard on the lips of business leaders. Strategy is as they see it: a big-picture vision, colossal dreams, and no limits on opportunity. They do not feel beholden to anyone or bound by text-book business rules and the constraints of commonly held business logic. They start with a clean slate, focus on a specific opportunity, scale up or refocus as needed, learn by doing, and drive relentlessly forward.
7.We introduce the notion of a boomerang effect. The impact of more than two billion consumers wanting more—more foodstuffs, water, housing, transport, luxury goods, education, and health care—will be inflation in supply-constrained commodities, price volatility, scarcity of some resources, and hypercompetition to meet consumers’ needs. The boomerang effect will spread far beyond China and India.
8.We warn of the hit-the-wall scenario. What if China and India do not continue on the path of marvelous straight-line growth? Political instability, natural disasters, bursting asset bubbles, rotten and corrupt institutions, the failure of government entities to invest in the future—each of these could cause projections of growth to veer dangerously off course, with cataclysmic consequences for China, India, and the companies that are pinning their hopes on the new and dynamic generation of consumers. This is why we say that it is important to factor these risks and hazards into any scenario planning process. It is important to be alive to the possibility that the story of “Asia Rising” could change into the story of “Asia Uprising.” The successful future development of China and India depends upon the ability of their leaders and citizens to solve many difficult challenges.
9.We portray the left-behinds—millions of people who, for all the success of the Chinese and Indian economies, remain disconnected and disgruntled with their lot. For now, they offer limited commercial opportunities, but they could offer the prospect of a second wave of growth as the Chinese and Indians pursue policies to foster social harmony.
10.We maintain that there is no inevitability about the decline of the West. We are profoundly optimistic—yet, we think, measured and realistic—about the opportunities in China and India and the positive impact on the global economy, on companies, and on individuals. It was not so long ago that political commentators and historians were talking about the triumph of the West. Now they are talking about decline and the fall of the American empire. But we do not consider this likely. On average, American and European consumers are vastly richer than Chinese and Indian consumers—and this is not going to change anytime soon. If Americans and Europeans adopt the accelerator mind-set, opportunity and growth will rebound. We believe that the consumer revolution is awinner for all, a force for good that can benefit everyone. The new interactions between East and West are energizing, enlightening, and empowering—and ensure that companies and their leaders look far beyond the horizon to a world of infinite possibilities.
We hope you use this book to see the market opportunity in China and India through the eyes of consumers moving from D income to C income, from C income to B income, and from B income to A income. We offer a checklist of requirements for success along with our assessment of risks and how to mitigate them.