How Your Business Can Make the Most of Megacities

For World Population Day, the UN released its latest forecast, World Urbanization Prospects.

The data contains a list of the most populated cities by 2030. Do you think your city has made the top 10? Chances are, it hasn’t, even though you may certainly feel like it during the morning rush hour.

World Population at a Glance

The world’s population is growing faster than ever. From just 1 billion in 1800, we’ve reached 7.6 billion in 2018. The growth rate is 1.1% each year, which means the planet is gaining 200,000 more people every day, which is 140 per minute.

In the time it took you to read this paragraph, another 13–18 babies were born, and about 5 people have died.

While the considerable growth rate certainly has a lasting impact on the global economy as a whole (e.g. climate change, waste management, and overexploited resources, to name just a few), there are a few direct implications for your small business as well.

The Biggest Cities by 2030

As of now, Greater Tokyo boasts the title of largest megacity with its 37 million residents. But with other cities growing at an alarming rate, will it retain its position by 2030?

Megacities are metropolitan areas with over 10 million inhabitants. According to the UN, there will be 43 megacities by 2030. Currently, there are 31, up from only three in 1975.

Delhi is slated to be the biggest, with 39 million residents. Tokyo (36.3), Shanghai (32.9), Dhaka (Bangladesh, 28.1), Cairo (25.6), Mumbai (24.6), Beijing (24.3), Mexico City (24.1), Sao Paulo (23.8), and Kinshasa (21.9) make up the rest of the top 10.

Where are US cities on the list? Well, New York City with its projected 20 million inhabitants grabbed #13, while Los Angeles will boast 13 million people, hovering around #20.

How to Prepare Your Small Business

Did you notice that the US is significantly underrepresented on the list? With only two metro areas qualifying as megacities, the US seems to be left out of this saturated club.

However, this doesn’t mean your small business has to miss out on the trend. With the emergence of international small businesses, you can participate in any global trends that you deem beneficial for your business.

Even if you’re located in the most remote rural area, you can still do business with the biggest megacities in the world, benefiting from their economic buzz while avoiding their traffic jams and polluted air.

Technology allows you to outsource almost any task apart from your business’ core activities. You can work with a designer from Tokyo, an IT developer from Delhi and a supplier from Shanghai without ever leaving your corner of the world.

Similarly, you can sell your products all over the world, making the most of regional economic upturns while avoiding recessions.

Exporting may help your business survive possible meagre times in the US economy, since you can keep selling your products overseas even if the number of your domestic customers temporarily declines.

Make the most of the economic power of megacities without ever setting foot in them (that is, if you don’t want to).

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