High Tech & Electronics who are keeping their eye on the ball of their underlying business should pay attention to a Wall Street Journal story that appeared in early July.

 

The story, “Why Companies See Bright Prospects in Rural India,” describes how international newspaper headlines focus inordinately on what happens in the corporate world, both in good times and bad.  There’s a sort of near-sightedness that occurs around Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities, while the more dynamic activity in Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities is worthy of note:

 

In the villages and towns, it has been a very different picture. “The rural market is insulated from the global meltdown,” says Harish Bijoor, CEO of brand and business strategy consultants Harish Bjoor Consults. “The rural part of our economy has been untouched by credit cards and mortgages as known in the West.”

 

"The slowdown experienced by India on account of the IT (information technology), real estate, financial services and automobile sectors was an urban phenomenon," says Ajay Gupta, founder and CEO of ruralnaukri.com, which focuses on jobs in the rural sector. "However, the negative impact of all this on urban India has been more than offset by encouraging performance in rural areas. The rural economy has provided a cushion. Overall sentiment in the country was different from other parts of the world where each household had at least one person with a pink slip."

 

The point here is that many HT&E companies are looking to the developing countries to grow their market share, but the question is whether they are looking in the right place. Existing sales, marketing and service management (SMS) technologies might focus the HT&E companies on the homogenous and dense population centers of Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities, but not enable them to reach the Tier 3, 4 and 5 cities.  Those cities diverse cultural attributes and scattered geographic locations make that difficult. That’s a mistake, and the Wall Street Journal piece explains why.

 

Indeed, HT&E companies need to look a the new capabilities of high performance sales networks that operate over the Cloud in order to harness next generation SMS and reach the full breadth of emerging economies. Next generation SMS using the Cloud will provide the HT&E enterprise with the scalable capabilities to reach the emerging markets, to be able to sell through tens of thousands of small networked partners that can reach emerging market customers. – Han Tiong Law