Tag Archives: Africa

In rural Africa, livestock and produce markets exemplify local, social, mobile ecosystem

Mama Mercy taking a call during our visit to her farm. Her new cow is brown & white. April 2013 Kenya If we can find and support the key enablers of the shamba’s day to day needs, I believe we could assist with increasing the pace of market reach and spread (new market creation). I […]

Posted in Africa, Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Ecosystem, Informal & Flexible, Livestock, Mobile platform, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, rural, Rural Economy, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The need for human agency: Is the middleman always a monster?

Mobile phone charging receipt, Kenya  Photo credit: Niti Bhan The unfair demonisation of the middleman is apparent in this recent article on solar power products for the low income market in Africa. “Putting African ‘power pimps’ out of business” is the headline and the rest of the text goes downhill from there: It’s hard to […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Perspective | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Reflecting on this blog’s genesis after 5 years

I started this blog in late December 2008, in earnest and every day during the first prototype fieldwork for The Prepaid Economy project, one of the iBoP Asia Project’s first batch of Small Grant winners from the ASEAN region. For the first 5 months of 2009, this blog was on the mainpage of my website […]

Posted in About, Africa, Airtime, ASEAN, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Collection, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Economy, Flexibility, global, Income, India, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Migrant worker, Mobile platform, Philipines, Projects and Reports, Research, South Asia, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, urban, User research, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

License plate

Kagio produce market, Kenya 12 April 2013 This post was written by niti bhan and rss originates from www.nitibhan.com

Posted in Africa, Cattle, Indigenous & Traditional, Kenya, Livestock, Perspective, Photography, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, rural, Rural Economy, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The prepaid economy of Africa

As the chart shows, Africa’s mobile subscriptions are 96% prepaid or pay as you go. That is, they are not bound by contract to any mobile services provider. A reasonable number have more than one SIM, to take advantage of different operator offers. This demographic cuts across all income, education and professional barriers, its literally […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Alternative currency, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Ecosystem, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Systems, Technology | Also tagged , | Leave a comment

Traveling on the New Silk Route with African traders to the Far East

The 21st century’s version of the old Silk Road that led caravans of traders from around the world to China and back is the flight path between the African continent and China. Bangkok Airport is one of these new oasis for caravaneers on the New Silk Route, where I caught the Kenyan Airways flight on […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, China, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, global, Informal & Flexible, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Market Segmentation in the Informal Economy

This table is from “How to profit from Africa’s different consumer groups” and the research is from NKC Independent Economists group. There is something lacking in understanding the patterns of purchasing power when segmentation methodology from the formal economy are applied ad hoc to markets which are primarily informal. As mentioned at the end of […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Markets, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Process | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Why have I been getting so grumpy about well meaning social enterprise?

Yesterday’s post deconstructing The Economist article on the promise of solar lighting for the millions of poor living without electricity made me question my strongly worded response. Another recent one is from well meaning Guardian, whose first of the 15 innovations they claim will change lives in Africa is the now forgotten Hippo Roller. Even […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, rural, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, User research | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Informal Economy Problems: Chinese BoP in Africa

Market forces led to the increasing visibility of the street hawkers from China in the informal markets of Africa. Mostly lower income and uneducated, Chinese traders are rapidly becoming the bane of African markets, much like how cheap, Chinese goods disrupted the local informal trade in the early years of the century. An indepth look […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Culture, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Migrant worker, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Sub Saharan Africa | Also tagged | Leave a comment

The continued curse of Cargo Cult marketing in emerging markets

The concept of Cargo Cult marketing is not unknown yet its impact and influence in the emerging markets in which I operate, can be and is, much worse. The so called “Bottom of the Pyramid” (AKA the BoP) markets have conditions that are even more likely to give rise to this blind adherence to conventional […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Analysis, Assumption filter, Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Strategy, UCSD, User research | Also tagged , , , , | 1 Response