To succeed in emerging markets, be local
Those dispatches I linked to in the last post make a critical point about how multinationals can succeed in emerging economies:
Adapt your products to the Indian market. Suzuki, one of the greatest foreign corporate success stories here, makes car horns louder for Indian drivers and back seats comfier than front seats because so many people have chauffeurs.
Too many companies (see Starbucks first moves in China, for example) try to make the consumer adapt to their product rather than make their products adapt to the consumer. But as Suzuki shows in India or KFC in China, you can do very well by bringing a multinational brand/resources to a new economy as long as you leverage that brand support behind a product local consumers actually want.
Rocket science? No. But you'd be surprised how few big-time companies actually do this.