The unprecedented growth of the new middle class outside the western economies will arguably be the most powerful economic trend in the coming decades. As the economic expansion of India, China, as well as others, accelerates, and the spending power of the middle class surges, their demand for world class infrastructure, better healthcare, sophisticated goods and services will also expand exponentially. It is important that firms in mature markets recognize the need to better connect with the rising aspirations of this new middle class to unearth strategic growth opportunities.
Much of the developing world’s growth is centred on rapid urbanisation. At current trends, the growth markets will have over 300 cities of more than 1 million inhabitants by the end of the decade, up from 232 in 2010. Furthermore, there will be 2 billion middle‐class households in Asia – over 1 billion in China and India alone – representing over 25 times the entire UK population. Consumption in these cities is increasing fast, and the middle classes living there want to leapfrog to the latest technology.