Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Live@WWAC: Emerging Markets by the numbers

The most exciting part IMHO of Cisco’s business is what it is doing in the emerging markets. What are broadly called “emerging markets” by much of the world are by Cisco re-defined somewhat. China and India, which are the emerging markets most people focus on are part of the APAC theatre. “Emerging Markets” as Cisco defines it is Russia&CIS, eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America.

Anyway, no matter how you slice and dice it, they are cool markets to focus on.

Cisco in India by the numbers: half the size of China but growing at 2x to 3x China’s growth. This underscores why Cisco made some key investments in India a few months back.

But the real undiscovered country (or countries) are the Emerging Markets (Cisco’s definition, that is). By the numbers: 129 countries, 61% of the planet and 37% of the population.

What to know something else? In these areas broadband goes to only 5% of the households and only 1% of the population. This to me sounds like opportunity on top of opportunity.

Opportunity for companies like Cisco because they get to sell the gear to up overall BB penetration. That’s interesting, but not earth-shattering interesting.

What will turn heads is what people in emerging markets will do once they get the fat pipes to the Internet. We’ve already seen what can happen in more developed parts of the world when people get BB access, they turn into shopkeepers, bloggers and other engines of economic and societal growth. BB is helping to power and sustain the huge GDP growth we are seeing in China and India. And hopefully the same positive impact on economic growth and standard of living will be seen in Cisco’s Emerging Markets as BB increasingly gets rolled out more.

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