Penetrating China’s Gray Market

Friday, July 10, 2009 10:06
Posted in category Going to Market

A few years back, my team was working on a program to understand the needs of Shanghai’s elderly. It was a program initiated through a conversation on what it would take to implement the American “Meals on Wheels” program, and through our study of one district one thing became apparent.

That there was a huge market being missed.

A market whose potential market size I was once again reminded of (Shanghai has roughly 2 million over the age of 65) when reading Ogilvy’s report Embracing Change, Realizing Dreams (written by Kunal Sinha).  26 pages in length, this blunt overview into China’s gray market to, will surprise few:  That in the race to capture China’s up and coming middle class, firms are missing the opportunity offer products and services to those that actually have money in the bank time on their hands, and are looking for outlets.

That while “hip-hop” granny troops may be an up and coming market, the need for specialized care services and facilities are well known and opportunities exist.  Needs that will only continue to grow as China’s population only gets older (Shanghai is expected to be 20% over the age of 65 by 2020), and through changes in culture and geography, many of these elderly will find themselves in a position where they need to rely less on their families for support.

Filled with interesting profiles and anecdotes, this is a report that I would highly suggest reading as it is quite insightful, it is entertaining, and it offers some insights into what will be one of China’s more interesting markets.

For more on this topic, I also suggest the following articles/ reports:

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2 Responses to “Penetrating China’s Gray Market”

  1. calvin says:

    July 12th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    It is really a good info. I got once same situation via a product research that elders are asking simple operation system on digital products such as remote controllers.

  2. Rich says:

    July 13th, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Electric mahjoong tables!!!

    Of course, I have had a real estate business plan in my mind fr a while as well.. and were there an investor out there looking to secure two buildings to develop a first class home for the elderly I would be happy to discuss that as well.