Category Archives: Indigenous & Traditional

It’s way past the time to consider the Informal Economy as a distinct commercial environment

Regardless of continent, it is now high time we accepted the informal economy (unformal or unrecognised or unorganized sectors) as a commercial operating environment in its own right. The continued oversight is rapidly coalescing into a gaping void of hiccups and failures, by large companies, non profit institutions, and startups, alike. This issue goes far […]

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Launching Our Digital Documentation Project: Ibadan’s Tailors, Traders, and Textiles by Nigerian/British artist Folake Shoga

After months of hard work, I am very honoured and proud to announced our new digital documentation project by my friend Folake Shoga, a Nigerian/British multidisciplinary artist with more than three decades of experience. She went on a journey of discovery through the twists and turns of the informal value web that holds together West […]

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A matter of timing: seasonal opportunities

These stalls full of water pistols and balloons sprouted overnight a couple of days before the spring festival of Holi (March 13th 2017) – these vendors are neither local nor regulars in the market complex. They’re here to offer seasonal products and might even have been invited by the local shopkeepers to provide attractive temporary […]

Also posted in Biashara Economics, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Economy, Emerging Markets, India, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, rural, Rural Economy, Strategy, User research | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Time to reach consensus on the #informaleconomy debate

As yesterday’s post showed, the unforeseen outcome of India’s demonetization initiative on the rural cash economy arose due to the lack of disaggregation of all that tends to get lumped together under the umbrella label “informal”. Segmentation would lead to more impactful design of policy and programmes. WIEGO has an excellent review of the academic […]

Also posted in Analysis, Assumption filter, East African Community, Economy, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, South Asia, Sub Saharan Africa, User research, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unforeseen outcomes of India’s demonetization shine light on the value of our design philosophy

Latest news on India’s demonetization informs us how the rural economy is bearing the brunt of this initiative. The action was intended to target wealthy tax evaders and end India’s “shadow economy”, but it has also exposed the dependency of poor farmers and small businesses on informal credit systems in a country where half the […]

Also posted in Analysis, Assumption filter, Banking, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Frameworks, Income, India, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Process, Research, Rural Economy, South Asia, Strategy, Systems, User research, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

Insights on the psychology of cash money – Demonetization vs Financial Inclusion

The flurry of commentary on the Great Indian Demonetization of November 2016 has thrown up some nuggets of insight worth considering more deeply. Santosh Desai explores the psychology of cash money in the Times of India blog, linking the need for tangible evidence of income to physical labour, as opposed to those of us with […]

Also posted in Alternative currency, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Income, India, Mobile platform, Perspective, Risk, Savings, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An economy of trust

Cash on credit is the caption given to this cartoon by the BBC. Neighbourhood groceries are offering their regular customers cash advances in addition to bread and milk. While the media is filled with a plethora of stories of heartbreak, my own suspicion is that we’ll discover the resilience of the cash intensive informal sector […]

Also posted in Alternative currency, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, India, Informal & Flexible, Perspective, Research, Risk, Systems, Value | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Analysis of the mobile phone’s impact on cash flows and transactions in the informal sector

As we saw, Mrs Chimphamba needs to juggle time and money as part of her household financial management in order to ensure that expenses can be met by income. We also saw that the mobile phone was made viable and feasible by the availability of the prepaid business model that gave her full control over […]

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Seasonality as an element of contextual planning for emerging consumer markets

Growing up as a Hindu expat in multicultural ‘West Malaysia’ of the 1970s and 80s, it was a matter of course that every festival would be a big occasion. We had Christmas in December, and Chinese New Year soon after, to be followed by Hari Raya (Eid) and Deepawali – each of them deserving of […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Analysis, ASEAN, Assumption filter, Biashara Economics, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Emerging Markets, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Strategy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Research Question: Why is the informal retail sector so persistent and resilient?

Retailing in India is currently estimated to be a USD 200 billion industry, of which organised retailing makes up 3% or USD 6.4 billion. By 2010, organized retail is projected to reach USD 23 billion and in terms of market share it is expected to rise by 20 to 25%. (Sinha et all, 2007) These […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Business, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Economy, Emerging Markets, Ghana, global, India, Informal & Flexible, Marketing, Perspective, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Retail in Africa, Risk, South Asia, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, urban, User research | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment