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Africa Rising: How 900 Million African Consumers Offer More Than You Think Hardcover – 29 Aug 2008

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Financial Times/ Prentice Hall; 1 edition (29 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132339420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132339421
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 467,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Vijay Mahajan holds the John P. Harbin Centennial Chair in Business at McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin. He has received numerous lifetime achievement awards including the American Marketing Association (AMA) Charles Coolidge Parlin Award for visionary leadership in scientific marketing. The AMA also instituted the Vijay Mahajan Award in 2000 for career contributions to marketing strategy. In 2006, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur) for his contributions to management research. He served as the Dean of the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad from 2002-2004.

Mahajan is author or editor of ten books including his recent book Africa Rising published by the Wharton School Publishing in 2009. His last book on market opportunities in developing countries ( also published by The Wharton School Publishing), The 86 % Solution, received the 2007 "Book-of-Year" Award (Berry-AMA) from the American Marketing Association. He is one of the world's most widely cited researchers in business and economics and has been invited by more than 100 universities and research institutions worldwide for research presentations. He edited the Journal of Marketing Research, and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and delivered executive development programs worldwide.

Mahajan received B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur, his M.S. in Chemical Engineering and Ph.D in Management from the University of Texas at Austin.

Product Description


"a revealing primer for businesses hoping to gain a foothold on the continent. Part travelogue, part textbook, part who's who of global businesses operating on the continenet..." - This is Africa (readership 100,000)

From the Back Cover

Profit from the World’s Largest Untapped Market: Africa’s MORE THAN 900 MILLION Consumers!


“This book lays out a powerful portrait of the growing opportunities in Africa. It is clear to us that any global firm interested in growth must see Africa as an essential part of its portfolio.”

--E. Neville Isdell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company, USA


“While we consider Africa one of our most important markets, we are very aware that it is often overlooked as a place to conduct sustainable business. This book shows that Africa offers opportunities equal to other developing regions that receive more attention. Through the Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards, we have committed to promoting high-quality coverage of the business environment in Africa. This book makes an important contribution in providing a vivid picture of the African market opportunity.”

--Paul Walsh, Chief Executive Officer, Diageo, UK


“This book presents a compelling argument for waking up to the potential of a continent with a population of over 900 million and a high rate of growth. The African continent is rich in natural resources and presents opportunities across a wide cross-section of industrial and commercial areas for companies with appropriate business strategies and a genuine commitment to improving the quality of life of the local population.”

--Ratan N. Tata, Chairman, Tata Group, India


“Unilever has invested in Africa for over a century and is committed to building strong market positions in the region by meeting the needs of African consumers. As this book highlights, the opportunities for consumer goods companies are considerable and the potential to do business in Africa is much greater than many companies realize.”      

--Patrick Cescau, Global CEO, Unilever, UK


“Bravo. The timing of this book is perfect. It will be much quoted. I especially like how Professor Mahajan uses the voices of Africans to bring it to life, alongside the research.”

--Barbara James, former Managing Director of the African Venture Capital Association and founder of the Henshaw Funds, the first independent pan-African private equity Fund of Funds, Nigeria/UK


With more than 900 million consumers, the continent of Africa is one of the world’s fastest growing markets. In Africa Rising, renowned global business consultant Vijay Mahajan reveals this remarkable marketplace as a continent with massive needs and surprising buying power.


Crossing thousands of miles across the continent, he shares the lessons that Africa’s businesses have learned about succeeding on the continent...shows how global companies are succeeding despite Africa’s unique political, economic, and resource challenges...introduces local entrepreneurs and foreign investors who are building a remarkable spectrum of profitable and sustainable business opportunities even in the most challenging locations...reveals how India and China are staking out huge positions throughout Africa...and shows the power of the diaspora in driving investment and development.


  • Recognize that Africa is richer than you think
    Africa is richer than India on the basis of gross national income (GNI) per capita, and a dozen African countries have a higher GNI per capita than China.
  • Aim for Africa Two
    Opportunities exist in all parts of the market, particularly the 400 million people in the middle of the market.
  • Find opportunities to organize the market
    From retailing to cell phones to banking, companies are succeeding by building infrastructure.
  • Develop strategies for the most youthful market in the world
    Companies are recognizing opportunities from diapers to music to medicine in a market growing younger every day.
  • Understand that Africa is not a “media dark” continent
    From Nollywood to satellite to broadband, media is exploding on the continent.
  • Recognize the hidden strength of the African diaspora
    The African diaspora brings resources and knowledge to African development and expands the African opportunity beyond the continent.
  • Build Ubuntu markets
    Create profitable businesses, sustainable growth, and social organizations by meeting basic human needs.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Jan 2009
Format: Hardcover
Public perceptions of Africa in the United States and other developed countries are colored by the many appeals we receive to give humanitarian aid to those who are dying and news stories about corrupt dictators, atrocities, wars, and civil wars. Professor Vijay Mahajan has traveled extensively in Africa and recently interviewed many business leaders to get a sense of what the future holds for the continent. As a result, he provides a more accurate and up-to-date perspective on how you should think about business opportunities and practices in Africa than you probably have. Although the title suggests that the book is all about Africa as a market, Professor Mahajan also provides lots of interesting information about successful business models and methods that have been developed and are being used by Africans.

The biggest misunderstanding about Africa is to assume that all countries are more similar than different. With lots of statistics and comparisons, you'll agree that the details are significant information that you should be sure to understand before making business decisions about doing business (or not) in Africa. People who are excited about doing business in India should also be excited about the opportunities in Africa. Professor Mahajan's thorough understanding of India helps make that point clear.

Although I have a lot of graduate business students in Africa who wrote practical papers for me about their businesses and those of their clients, I was pleased to see that this book expanded my knowledge of countries where I do not yet have students. I was intrigued. I think you will be, too.

Well done!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. M. S. Nkolokosa on 1 July 2010
Format: Hardcover
The West has, for a long time, been fed on a diet of constant bad news out of Africa. As a result, Africa's image has suffered badly. Westerners are reluctant to invest in Africa. They are willing to invest in the extractive industries only.

This book reveals a different side to Africa. Professor Mahajan traveled extensively through Africa to research his book. He found a vibrant and dynamic continent full of energetic and resourceful people. The young people of Africa are full of optimism and hope.

African people are not sitting around, waiting to be saved by outsiders. They are taking the problems and challenges of the continent and turning them into business opportunities. Constant power outages are an opportunity to supply diesel generators. Lack of safe clean water is an opportunity to supply clean water in plastic sachets for the equivalent of 10 US cents. Where others see problems, African entrepreneurs see business opportunities. There are a lot of examples like these in the book.

Africa is at the same stage today that India was 10-15 years ago.

This book will appeal to academics as well as the general reader. Its message is one of hope.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Velu on 2 Jan 2009
Format: Hardcover
Professor Mahajan provides an excellent exposition of the emerging opportunities for businesses in the continent of Africa. The research conducted by Professor Mahajan is very thorough and meticulous with many examples and firsthand accounts of the way markets operate in Africa.

The main thesis of the book argues the importance of businesses to create markets in order to tap the large latent demand in Africa. Professor Mahajan clearly articulates that the creation of markets requires firms to innovate their business model i.e., the way revenues are generated and captured as well as the accompanying operational structure. Firms would need to be innovative in their products, pricing, distribution and methods of promotion in order to overcome challenges ranging from emerging infrastructure to the absence of legal frameworks. In short, the book argues that African markets are not `plug and play' markets but require firms to think about and to put in the missing pieces of the puzzle. Prof. Mahajan provides interesting examples of how firms such as Hanouti, Novartis and Unilever managed to complete the missing pieces of the puzzle by various initiatives such as offering credit to creating new distribution systems where none existed. The book also provides interesting examples of African ingenuity via innovation and tendency to leapfrog to overtake other markets. For example, one of the most innovative projects was provided by a non-profit organization, Roundabout, which created a playpump that harnesses the energy from a children's merry-go-round to pump water for rural Africa.
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