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MNCs Try To Innovate To Meet Needs Of Rural Indians

May 7, 2010: 01:43 AM EST
Looking to make a market from Indian’s vast rural population, MNCs have been trying to innovate to create services suitable for people that often earn less than $2 a day. Companies have been studying villagers to gain insights into which services or products might take hold. Unilever achieved success with its low-cost sachets in the 1980s, but has struggled with later innovations. Phone companies are looking at new services geared to illiterate consumers in very rural areas, and Google is working on an online bulletin board for people that can’t read or use a computer. Despite the evident difficulties and high failure rates, MNCs are driven to persist in hopes they can establish themselves in this long-term growth market.
Eric Bellman, "Rural India Journal: What MNCs Do Right and Wrong in Rural India", Wall Street Journal, May 07, 2010, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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