With over 40 percent of the world’s population living in emerging countries like Brazil, India, South Africa, and Mexico, there is a wealth of opportunities for companies that can profitably serve these customers. Developing supply chains in these markets, however, goes far beyond adapting the traditional approaches that have been successful in developed countries.

The Supply Chain Innovation in Emerging Markets research initiative focuses on understanding the unique characteristics of existing supply chains in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The initiative aims to develop a deeper knowledge of the challenges and opportunities in identifying the process, as well as the technological innovations that will help build competitive logistics and supply chain networks in those markets.

Goals & Activities

The initiative focuses on three dimensions:

  • Megacity Distribution – One of the distinct characteristics of emerging markets is the existence of highly dense urban areas with a varying range of infrastructure and socioeconomic characteristics. In the first phase, we are working with leading organizations in multiple countries to understand and document the unique challenges and solutions in developing distribution networks in emerging markets.
  • Logistics Enablers – Determine the varying levels of physical, financial, and information infrastructure that allow connectivity within supply chain partners in emerging markets.
  • Disruptive Technologies – Identify the disruptive technologies – or the innovative use of existing ones – that help overcome traditional barriers within the supply chain.

Leveraging the MIT Global SCALE Network of partners, we have access to on-the-ground information of business practices and case studies.

Research activities:

  • Case study development
  • Benchmarking of operations
  • Analysis of performance metrics
  • Assessment of supply chain partner capabilities