Enough for now with giving attention solely to the limitations imposed by this financial crisis — instead take a break and concentrate on the coming opportunities. There is an immeasurable potential to grow your business, but it requires a market shift.
This market shift can be summarized by the term ‘peopleization’ — meaning the ‘massive people markets’. Never before in history have there been markets with the size and density of today’s. Three realities define peopleization and they are having a remarkable influence on the future of business.
The world is growing — huge
The current population of the world is nearing seven billion and growing by 135 people per minute. To put this in perspective, note that it took from the beginning of history until the early 1800s for the world’s population to reach one billion. Then, in 1927, more than 125 years later, it passed two billion. In 1987, the world population was five billion; 12 years later, in October 1999, it passed six billion.
Now every 14 years the world will grow by another one billion people. It’s no wonder that so many people are concerned about what this means for our future. You also need to be attentive to what this means for your business.
When we talk about world population, we may be distracted by the magnitude of the number. So, let’s break down what it means for the population to grow by one billion every 14 years. That means the world grows by approximately 71.5 million people each year, or close to 196,000 people per day. In other words, every eight days or so the world’s population increases enough to add a city the size of Beirut.
The world is becoming eastern
Think about this: while the West is sleeping, the entire rest of the world is working — literally and figuratively. The focus of the world is no longer on the West. Success is and will continue to come when you turn to the East. At one point, if you wanted to make it big, you had to succeed in Europe and then it moved to the US. Now if you want to make it big you must succeed in China and India.
The world is now an Asian World. The picture is changing; the developed world is growing at a measly rate of two people per minute and the developing world at an astonishing rate of 151 people per minute.
In terms of economic size, China will soon by-pass Japan and the United States. China is today’s powerhouse. The power of the market shift comes alive when you add together GDP growth and population growth. For example, China is growing at a rate of at least two times that of the US, and they are four times as big. Make this calculation and determine the impact it will have on business.
Asia is becoming the anchor economy of the world. They are the leading global importer; in addition, they are now a leading exporter and trendsetter. They not only dominate the region, they have a controlling interest in the world. This is the location of future business.
The world is urban
In 2007, the world reached the invisible, but momentous milestone of becoming an urban world with more than 52 percent of the world living in densely populated, high- rise cities. And the growth of the urban world is not showing any signs of slowing down as every second two people make the dream-fulfilling journey from the rural world to the urban world.
While the world’s urban population grew very rapidly over the 20th century (from 220 million to 2.8 billion), the next few decades will see an unprecedented scale of urban growth in the developing world. The cities of the emerging markets will comprise 81 percent of the urban footprint and be home to more than five billion people. The cities in the East are exploding compared to the snail’s paced growth of the cities in the developed world.
In order to make the market shift, you need to be able to answer a couple of questions: “What does the market shift mean for my business?” and “How can I make the shift?”
How can you succeed if you are not there?
Tommy Weir, Ph.D., is executive director of the EM Leadership Center, specializing in strategic leadership development for fast-growth
and emerging markets.