The economies of the emerging markets are witnessing an accelerated rate of growth, especially after the lifting of the Covid-19 related restrictions (except in a few countries). This is an exciting time to expand your operations in these markets for high returns.
- What are emerging markets?
Emerging markets are defined as the economy of any developing nation that is opening up and getting more involved with the global economy as its economy expands.
- Opportunities for product leaders in emerging markets
For product leaders, emerging market sourcing gives them a huge opportunity to innovate and grow. Some of the new possibilities that product leaders can exploit in the emerging markets include the following:
1) Space for innovation: The emerging market acts in a way that is quite distinct from advanced economies. This gives you ample opportunity to find innovative solutions for designing your existing products so that it fits with the unique requirement of the market.
Make sure that the product fits the unique behavior of the emerging market. It may not be the way that the product was originally designed.
2) First introduce a product in your niche: As a product leader, if you have something unique to offer, then you will get the first mover’s advantage. It is a huge benefit that you can use to your advantage by establishing your brand as a solution to a problem in the minds of your target audience.
3) Positive impact: When you are trying to add new features to make the product fit in with the market requirement, you should carefully analyze which features create the most impact on the customers. As a product leader, you must target those customers who need your solution the most. This strategy is far better than providing a substitute for a product that already exists in the market.
- Challenges for product leaders in emerging markets
While it is true that emerging markets offer lots of opportunities for product leaders to provide exciting and innovative solutions for the pain points of the customers, it also poses a few challenges.
1) Localization: Emerging market sourcing is one of the steps that you must take to succeed in these markets. Increased localization helps you to keep down the cost and make your products more competitive. The level of localization is very important if you wish to engage with the customers in the emerging market successfully.
As a product leader, you must make localization a part of your product development process. This will help you to think and create unique solutions that fit in with the requirement of the different markets at the design and development stage itself.
2) Infrastructural challenges: When you are looking at emerging market sourcing, then you must also keep into account the infrastructural challenges that you are likely to face. When you are expanding your local manufacturing to improve localization, then you may face challenges in terms of inadequate road infrastructure, supply of power, and skilled manpower. However, if you stay on your course, and find innovative solutions to the challenges you are facing, then the benefits will far outweigh the cost.
As a product innovator and leader, to succeed in the emerging markets you should work on a well-thought-out plan. To stay competitive, you must keep your costs down for which you have to start small, hire local talents, do emerging markets sourcing, and respect the local tech environment.