Global Initiatives was fortunate today to have an engaging discussion with Haas ’96 alum Mark Beckford, who spent a significant amount of time developing Intel’s products and solutions for emerging markets. His background includes building strategies to sell to small business consumers in developing countries, setting up a new division to examine these strategies, and focusing on growing Intel’s business in internet cafes in China.
Mark spoke about Clayton Christenson’s books and how they emphasize that products with a simpler, cheaper value proposition will hollow out the existing market. This is how companies should view and approach Emerging Markets. In addition, Mark mentioned that content will likely be one of the biggest challenge areas in emerging markets, particularly since there does not seem to be one solution that applies to all regions. Finally, we engaged in a lively discussion of barriers to product uptake, wimax solutions, new business models, and income divides.
While I greatly appreciated the discussion, I was even more inspired to hear Mark’s story of how his own passion was ignited for “technology that can change people’s lives.”