Category Archives: Business

The Research – Practice Gap for a Kenyan Mobile Startup Business

There is very little literature on business operations management, and product development methodology  that actually helps African SMEs and startups to navigate their own operating environment with its local characteristics. Analysts struggle with frameworks and processes developed in highly industrialized contexts as a means to evaluate the strategies of businesses and solutions with local or […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Design, Frameworks, Innovation Planning, Mobile platform, Perspective, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, User research | Leave a comment

Is Design Prepared to be Responsible?

Last week, I was invited to join a 60 strong group of pan African thinkers in law, human rights, gender, debt and related issues to convene in Nairobi to explore the concept of predatory lending now being delivered direct to your handheld device. As a human centered designer, I was rocked back on my heels […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Design, Ecosystem, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Rural Economy, Strategy, Systems, Technology, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Emergence of a decentralized digital economy? Snippets from Nigeria and Kenya

Continuing the conversation from the recent posts on app enabled demand redistribution as well as digital platforms being used by informal sector economic actors to boost their own productivity and efficiency, I thought to share snippets from these two recent articles I just came across, as cases in point. From Nigeria, West Africa: How WhatsApp […]

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Lessons from the Informal Economy: Managing on Irregular Payments in the Gig Economy

Last week, an unusual report was released in Great Britain. Lloyds Banking Group (LBG), together with the Resolution Foundation, addressed the question of earnings volatility in the UK, a first for a developed country with a formal economy. Their research and analysis made use of anonymised transaction data from over seven million LBG accounts. That […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Banking, Biashara Economics, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Frameworks, global, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Strategy, Systems | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chinese investments in African tech will transform the fintech landscape

A recent article brought to my attention this report on the pattern of funding experienced by fintech startups in East Africa and India with rather damning results. 90 percent of the capital invested by “Silicon Valley-style” investors went to startups, technically in East Africa, with one or more North American or European founders. These results […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Alternative currency, Analysis, Assumption filter, Banking, Business Models, Cashless transactions, China, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Compétitivité, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Loans, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Risk, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, Value | 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 African Consumer Market, Biashara Economics, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Ghana, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, urban, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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, African Consumer Market, Analysis, 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

Connectivity, Communication, and Commerce: The 3 Cs of Africa’s Smartphone Led Future

Recent headlines touted the decline in marketshare being seen by smartphones on the African continent, and the concurrent increase in sales of basic devices. Yet a closer look shows that this shift might only be numerical due to the opening of new markets in heavily populated DR Congo and Ethiopia – first time buyers are […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Analysis, Assumption filter, Business Models, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Markets, Informal & Flexible, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Strategic Entry of China’s Transsion into the Vacuum Left by Nokia in Africa

If you’re outside Africa, you’ve never heard of them before, but a mobile phone brand called Tecno has been painting Kenya blue ever since I started fulltime fieldwork there in late 2011. It was in Mombasa that I first noticed the name and wondered what it was about. Over the years, I saw the line […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, China, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Design, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

India’s Hidden Middle Class and the MNC Conundrum

The Economist writes a rather breathless take on a theme very popular just over a decade ago – the Great Indian Middle Class so longingly hoped and wished for still hadn’t emerged to satisfy the consumption habits preferred by the global multinational brands. Where were they, the article shrilly asked, unquestioningly promoting China’s middle class […]

Also posted in China, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, Emerging Markets, India, Marketing, Perspective, South Asia, Strategy | Tagged , | Leave a comment