Category Archives: Platforms

From the Caterpillar to the Butterfly: Africa’s Mobile Boom Years Are Over, Here’s What Next

For the past 15 years, Africa watchers have been waiting for her mobile phone industry to reach a critical landmark – almost full saturation of the market. This milestone may be close at hand, as recent news and data show. In June 2018, Kenyan mobile subscriptions reached 98% penetration, a 13% jump over the previous […]

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Pondering India’s Cashless Future

Chhotu here accepts digital currency payments via the mobile platform on a daily basis. His QR code is prominently displayed upfront next to the bottles of sauce, and a sticker displays the icons of all the payment apps acceptable to his Bhim app. The Bhim system, launched by the Government of India, is a godsend […]

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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 […]

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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, Business Models, Cashless transactions, China, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Compétitivité, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Loans, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Risk, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will the global trade war lead to more sustainable (and local) consumer products?

In a study titled “Competing In the Age of Multi-Localism”, ATKearney said mounting trade tariffs and other pressures have upended the global strategy – think mass-market production and achieving economies of scale – that has been a business hallmark since the early 1990s. “It’s no longer a viable strategy for many companies,” the study said. […]

Also posted in Business Models, China, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Distribution, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, global, India, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Perspective, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Strategy | Tagged | Leave a comment

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, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Business Models, Design, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Mobile platform, Perspective, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The comparative global impact of Alibaba vs. Amazon

Alibaba Business School and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) brought 29 young entrepreneurs from 11 countries across Africa to the Alibaba campus in Hangzhou, China for the third eFounders Fellowship cohort. Chinese corporate soft power influence is production driven, not consumption focused. Alibaba, the e-commerce giant with digital payment tentacles, has […]

Also posted in Africa, Business Models, China, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, Value | 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 African Consumer Market, 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, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Research, Retail in Africa, Rural Economy, Strategy | 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, Business Models, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Markets, Informal & Flexible, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mobile First Africa: Social Media’s Boost to Rural Productivity in Kenya

Now in business for just six months, he also uses social media pages to sell his products, improving his customer reach. “Through Facebook posts I receive enquiries and orders from Kenyans in the diaspora living in the US, South Korea, South Sudan, UK, Switzerland and Botswana who want the splits to be delivered to their […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, rural, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment