How do you reach a billion new customers? 'By Listening To Them'

Professor Payal Arora wrote a book about the billion people in Africa, Asia and South America who have connected to the internet in the last ten years: The Next Billion Users. How can entrepreneurs, investors and web developers help understand this market? An interview with her about this and more was recently published in Het Financieele Dagblad.

Before corona, she lectured extensively on her book The Next Billion Users, about the behavior of a billion people in Africa, Asia and South America who have been connected to the internet in the last ten years, especially with a mobile phone. How is it possible for young women in the Saudi capital Riyadh to organize a fashion show on YouTube? Why are young Indians trying to become Facebook friends with anyone in the world? And why don't they care that the government is following their digital trail?

She looked for the answers in the slums of India, the games factories in China, the favelas of Brazil. Since then, she has been polled daily by companies, she says, who want insight into the consumer of the 'global south' (another term for the third world). Now she is working on her next book. She wants to help entrepreneurs, investors and web developers understand this market.

"They have become my core target group," she says. 'Since my last book, I've been getting ten to fifteen requests a day. Sebastiaan Vaessen recently contacted, he is chief strategist of tech investor Prosus. It invests in the Chinese internet company Tencent, in the Indian meal platform Swiggy. Prosus wants to understand better what drives the users. So that they not only throw capital at the entrepreneurs, but also advice. My readers want to know how they make something that is ready for this market segment. How they can treat consumers as unique, as extraordinarily different. '

Read the entire interview on fd.nl (in Dutch).