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2012.11.22 16:50

A Single-Minded Focus

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Today, we intend to pass along a business tip that’s more specific than usual: Create a business that caters to unmarried women in the Middle East.

 

The reason is that singlehood is on the rise in that part of the world—and, for that matter, much of the rest of the globe, as well. The Economist reported recently that in the United Arab Emirates, for instance, “about 60% of women over 30 are unmarried, up from 20% in 1995.” It added: “Singledom is on the rise almost everywhere. Euromonitor, a research firm, predicts that the world will add 48 million new solo residents by 2020, a jump of 20%.”

 

A three-fold jump in single women in the space of under 20 years is staggering in social terms. It’s also a business opportunity.

 

What makes demographics such a rewarding opportunity for the entrepreneur is precisely its neglect by decision makers, whether businessmen, public-service staffs, or governmental policymakers,” Peter Drucker wrote in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Drucker, as we’ve noted, defined demographics as “changes in population, its size, age structure, composition, employment, educational status and income.”

 

 

Overlapping with demographics was what Drucker called “a change in perception.” That can mean that the color red is no longer popular, or it can mean something deeper—such as women perceiving that career independence is something they value. One institution that recognized the opportunities created by women in the workplace sooner than others was Citibank. “Most large American employers considered these women a ‘problem’ as late as 1980; many still do,” Drucker wrote. “Citibank, almost alone among large employers, saw in them an opportunity. . . . These ambitious young women very largely made Citibank into the nation’s leading, and its first truly ‘national’ bank.”

 

Do you have to be brilliant to take advantage of a combination of demographic changes and changes in perception?  No. But you do have to remove obstacles to your eyesight, and most businesses cannot do this. “Those who defy the conventional wisdom and accept the facts—indeed, those who go actively looking for them—can therefore expect to be left alone for quite a long time,” Drucker wrote. “The competitors will accept demographic reality, as a rule, only when it is already about to be replaced by a new demographic change and a new demographic reality.”

 

So, maybe you should open a singles coffee bar in Abu Dhabi. You heard it here first.

 

How should the rise of singledom around the world most influence business models in the years to come?

 

 

 

 

  1. A Single-Minded Focus

    Today, we intend to pass along a business tip that’s more specific than usual: Create a business that caters to unmarried women in the Middle East. The reason is that singlehood is on the rise in that part of the world—and, for that matter, ...
    Date2012.11.22 Views2833 file
    Read More
  2. Labor Pains

    A new episode of “Drucker on the Dial” is available today. Host Phalana Tiller talks with Henry Farber, a professor of economics at Princeton University and author of several landmark studies on the declining stability of employment. Tiller ...
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  3. Are You Feeding Birdseed to Your Cat?

    This piece is the first of what will be monthly contributions to the Drucker Exchange by Brand Velocity, an Atlanta-based consulting firm that is putting Peter Drucker’s ideas into practice at major corporations. You may have heard the (hop...
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  4. Is Profit Too Important to Share?

    Ford Motor has a new chief executive on the way—so who will it be? To be sure, current chief Alan Mulally has to exit first, and that’s not likely to happen until sometime next year, but, according to the The Wall Street Journal, speculation...
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  5. What Peter Drucker Would Be Reading

    Recent selections from around the web that, we think, would have caught Peter Drucker’s eye: 1. The Disappearing COO and the Evaporating Talent Pool: If you’re a COO, you could well be on your way to being an endangered species. Stephen A. M...
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  6. How to Consult Like Peter Drucker

    In his latest column for Forbes online, Drucker Institute Executive Director Rick Wartzman writes about Peter Drucker’s approach as a management consultant. “Why was Drucker so in demand?” Wartzman asks. “What made him so good?” “For starter...
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  7. The Oink, Oink Economy

    The trough can be a delightful place, provided you’re one of the diners. The trouble is, it’s not so delightful for the rest of us. Americans have had to watch as their taxpayer money has gone to subsidize agriculture, favored energy produce...
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  8. Why a Turnaround Isn’t Auto-matic

    Even if you only tuned in to the Democratic convention this week for 30 seconds, you probably heard a reference to President Barack Obama’s rescue of the American auto industry—and the 1 million-plus jobs that have been saved as a result. Vi...
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  9. In Praise of Praise

    Here’s this month’s piece from neuroeconomist Paul Zak. For those who might dismiss some of our thinking as the “soft side” of management, Paul puts “hard science” behind it. Generation Y may be the most coddled generation of Americans, acco...
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  10. A Job—But Not a Living

    Just when we were feeling lousy because so many Americans remain out of work, we ran across this grim fact: Many of those who’ve been lucky enough to find a job in recent years are barely making any money. “A majority of jobs lost during the...
    Date2012.11.22 Views2191 file
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