Michael J. Silverstein Hails 'Continent-Sized Opportunity' in China and India

NEW YORK, October 2, 2012 — China and India combined will add up to a $10 trillion consumer market by 2020. Companies that seize the opportunity can drive growth in China and India and in their home markets as well.

These were the key points Michael J. Silverstein, co-author of The $10 Trillion Prize and Senior Partner and Managing Director at The Boston Consulting Group, made at a lunchtime discussion at Asia Society New York. The event was moderated by Bobby Ghosh, Editor-at-Large at TIME.

Working off a comprehensively developed profile of both countries' emerging middle class and market data, Silverstein discussed the unprecedented consumer revolution in China and India. Careful to note that China and India are both alike (taking steps to drive productivity and personal income) and different (historically and culturally), Silverstein argued they should not be understood as a single country, or even two countries, but as a collection of heterogeneous regions with provincial markets, in sum holding "continent-sized opportunity."

On Western companies' understanding of this market potential, Silverstein stated that "the easy growth in both China and India is in the major urban populations and so everybody gets it. They know how to get to those airports. They don't know how to get to those other airports and they don't know how to pronounce them. And over the next eight years, as we go to 2020, they are going to have to learn. And there are 400 airports in China, not two."

Reported by Susan Young

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