The ‘Middle’ segment of regions like Asia, Africa and South America represent an enormous opportunity – literally billions of people growing in wealth and consumption and newly connected via smartphones. This segment is, in my opinion, universally poorly addressed with the exception of China where this has been understood and the success of many of its services stand testament to this.
Many startups and people seeking to enter these regions seek to emulate Western products and services where target audiences are inundated with incredible and well thought through products and competition is intense. Startups in markets like India are failing to address or understand the needs or drivers of these new (smartphone) users. This is partly because culture and education produces a strata based society where each level fails to understand or empathise with the needs of those either above or below them in social standing.
For those that can build and develop services which appeal to this segment and deliver material value to them the market is open, uncluttered and huge.