Serving Asia’s Emerging Middle Class


Eden Strategy Institute today announced the findings of the Asia Emerging Middle Class Survey, a study conducted in partnership with JANA mobile, to learn about the behavior of the region’s growing base of emerging middle class consumers.


The report included responses from 4,000 EMC consumers across India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. This is the first of several Eden initiatives to contribute to the understanding of the unique needs and behavior of the region’s EMC consumers.

It is the first survey of its kind that reveals their earning, saving, and spending behavior; their hopes, fears, possessions, material attachments, and aspirations.

“The Emerging Middle Class represents an untapped market of over half a billion consumers. Unlike the traditional middle-class, EMC consumers may have irregular income flows, and are highly discerning about longer-term value of their purchases,” says Mr. Calvin Chu Yee Ming, Partner at Eden Strategy Institute.

“Multinationals need to take a collaborate approach to innovate around their unique contexts, needs, and desires in order to successfully bring relevant products that help these consumers escape from the poverty cycle,” he explained.

Eden will subsequently convene a series of in-depth market immersion and joint innovation labs to facilitate bring best-of-breed partnerships to develop and fulfill the promise of Asia’s Emerging Middle Class, and is extending an open invitation for expressions of interests from multinational companies.

The mobile survey was conducted in partnership with Jana Mobile and leverages Jana’s connections with 237 mobile operators, which reach 3.48 billion emerging market consumers in 70 countries.

“Jana has the world’s largest emerging market research panel. The aim of our founders, Nathan Eagle and Ben Olding, is to enable more effective advertising, better insights and more disposable income in the pockets of emerging market consumers. We are thrilled to be collaborating with Eden on this unprecedented effort to engage the region’s emerging market consumers,” says Anurag Banerjee, MD APAC for Jana.


Respondents were asked questions relating to their household income and expenditure on essential and non-essential goods. In addition, respondents were asked to reveal their greatest hopes and fears in life, their current possessions, and what items they could not do without.

Asia's Emerging Middle Class

Data gathered through the survey shows that:

  • The biggest hope of the EMC consumers are having a healthy life, becoming rich and becoming closer to God.
  • Respondents from all countries surveyed chose health as the number one thing that they are most afraid of losing, over their jobs, friends, social statuses, savings, and their houses.
  • Emerging Middle Class Consumers from all countries would save the extra money if their income was doubled.
  • Emerging Middle Class Consumers from all countries also value their friendships more than their houses.
  • Indonesian Emerging Middle Class Consumers would rather lose their savings than lose their houses.
  • There is a high Internet penetration among EMC consumers. Philippines ranked highest, with over 57.9 percent of respondents having Internet access.
  • More respondents in Vietnam revealed that they could not live without fast food (20.4 percent) than mobile phones (18 percent).

The full report is available for download on