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Nanyang To Study Tiger Consumers

New Institute on Asian Consumer Insight Opens At Nanyang Business School with $77m funding

By  Stephen Bush

Mon Aug 15 2011

A new research centre at Nanyang Business School will focus exclusively on understanding the Asian consumer, a demographic set to be a dominant global economic and political force over the coming half century

The Institute on Asian Consumer Insight will open at Nanyang Business School with the aim of researching, quantifying and understanding the Asian consumer. At its head will be the former Columbia marketing professor, Bernd Schmitt.

From the late 1980s onwards, analysts began to speak of a coming ‘Asian Century’, just as the 20th Century had belonged to the United States of America and the 19th to the British Empire.

Since the economic reforms of the 1970s, China has averaged eight to ten per cent GDP growth and is due to overtake the United States as the largest economy in the world by 2038.

India, which since the late 1980s has enjoyed comparable rates of growth, is likely to have overtaken the United States by 2050.

The emergence of these two Asian juggernauts has been accompanied by the rapid growth of the smaller, so-called “tiger economies”: Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea which, through the development of export-focused industries, have seen drastic growth since the 1960s.

With growth comes the creation of newly affluent consumers with their own demands, aspirations and concerns.

Servicing the demands of this growing class of Asian consumers will be a vital part of business success in the 21st Century. Nanyang’s new Institute, with $77m in funding over the next five years, will invest in understanding what drives the Asian consumer.