P&G’s farsightedness

The model we used [in 1999] was digital communication. The argument to
senior management was that developing countries moved to cellular communications
much faster than the North did; while only the rich lobbyist and stockbrokers
had cell phones in New York, if you went to Mexico City, everyone had cell
phones because the regular phones did not work. Not only was the adoption rate
faster, but the developing countries will never build the same hardware
infrastructure we did. Based on these observations, we thought that there is a
way to think about consumers we do not serve today, that if we design products
specific to their needs and aspirations and the realities of their life, rather
than transferring products that were designed for Europe and North America, that
we could create large new markets. That was a hypothesis. The key was that we
were going to develop products specific to those consumers –not try to sell them
what was left over from the North.

Corporate Social Opportunity? An interview with George Carpenter,
Director, Corporate Sustainable Development, Procter & Gamble.

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