Category Archives: African Consumer Market

Financial Patterns at the Last Mile of the Farm to Fork Value Chain

This value web illustrates the last mile of the farm to fork agricultural value chain in the state of Maharashtra, India. We’d mapped it during our project/s for the Dutch government back in mid 2013, where we’d introduced human centered design thinking for sustainable agricultural value chain development. Subsequently, I led a multidisciplinary team conducting […]

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The Mobile as a Post Industrial Platform for Social and Economic Development: Top 3 Trends in Africa

Just over a decade ago, in San Jose, California, I was invited to speak as the Closing Plenary for the CHI 2007 25th Anniversary Conference. The theme was “Reach Beyond”, as this was the 25th Anniversary conference of the Computer Human Interaction society, and as the closing plenary, I was tasked with articulating the vision […]

Also posted in Africa, Analysis, Business Models, Design, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Competitive Advantage & Customer Relationships: Lessons from Market Mummies of Ghana

How would you differentiate yourself in this informal retail market? Ghanaian market research guru Gerry van Dyke took a closer look at the market ‘mummies’ – Mama Biashara, as we call her – and their consumer marketing techniques in the “non-label environment”. His findings form an excellent foundation for understanding marketing and customer relationships in […]

Also posted in Biashara Economics, Business, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Ghana, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, urban, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Designed in China, Made in Africa.

In Ethiopia, Transsion Holdings, a Chinese company, is manufacturing handsets costing as little as $10 in an industrial park outside Addis Ababa. Mobile phone models from Tecno, Infinix, and Itel brands, which all belong to Transsion, to be Made in Africa. Almost 13 years ago, in December of 2005, I wrote my first column for […]

Also posted in Africa, Biashara Economics, China, Design, Distribution, Emerging Futures, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tecno and Nokia: The tale of two brands

Chinese mobile maker’s original brand strategy succeeds in Africa: Transsion’s Tecno This year, Nokia got shoved out of the top 10 most admired brands in Africa list, not bad for a company that had lost its way in emerging markets 7 or 8 years ago. As an old (in all senses of the word) Nokia […]

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Implications of Mobile Money Interoperability in Kenya?

Mobile money pioneer Kenya, has finally gone live this month with account to account interoperability between mobile money services. Neighbouring Tanzania pioneered interoperability between the mobile money services offered by local telcos with a soft launch back in 2014. Fears of cannibalization and zero sum scenarios were unfounded, as documented in an early evaluation report […]

Also posted in Africa, Airtime, Alternative currency, Biashara Economics, Cashless transactions, East African Community, Kenya, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Strategy, Tanzania, Technology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

West Africa’s incipient mobile platform boom will transform the ECOWAS economy

While East Africa has tended to grab the headlines as the mover and shaker in mobile platform innovation, there’s an imminent boom due to emerge in West Africa. The GSMA’s most recent report on the West African mobile ecosystem contains all the signals of this happening within the next 3 or so years. Even in […]

Also posted in Africa, Afrique francophone, Biashara Economics, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Ghana, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Marketing, Migrant worker, Mobile platform, Nigeria, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Report Review, Senegal, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technologie, Technology, UEMOA | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why is the Kenyan mobile loan industry facing just a digital version of India’s MFI problems?

When you make fast, easy, short term loans available on the phone to anyone with a need for quick money, why is it a surprise when high levels of consumer debt are the result? A recent survey by financial inclusion giants like FSD and CGAP discovers that low income Kenyans have not been helped by […]

Also posted in Africa, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Kenya, Loans, Mobile platform, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Strategy, Technology | Tagged , , , , | 1 Response

How do we make a business case for an innovative concept given the data scarcity for the African mass market?

Anzetse Were writes some thoughtful points on the challenges facing private sector innovation in Kenya, and Africa. Two of her points caught my attention, in particular: With regards to the private sector, an interesting point raised is that innovation targeting it must have a business case for adoption otherwise the innovation won’t be absorbed. Innovation […]

Also posted in Africa, Analysis, Business, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Risk, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why does the prepaid model work so well and what are the lessons for business model innovation?

Increasingly, employment is becoming ad hoc and flexible. The gig economy and the informal sector share a common characteristic of incomes which are irregular and unpredictable, unlike the timely wages characteristic of formal employment. Both budgeting and planning thus become a challenge when there’s no predictable paycheck to rely on. Expenses are managed against cash […]

Also posted in Analysis, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, Income, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Research, Retail in Africa, Rural Economy, Strategy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment