Tag Archives: bottom of the pyramid

Financial Behaviour Patterns Observed Among Households in Rural Informal Economy in Asia

By | July 24, 2017

This is the original working paper of the research conducted on rural household financial management, in developing country conditions, pioneering the use of methods from human centered design for discovery, during Nov 2008 to March 2009, aka the Prepaid Economy Project. It was peer reviewed by Brett Hudson Matthews, and I have incorporated his comments into… Read More »

The values gap in banking the unbanked

By | July 6, 2015

Back in 2008, after my first deep dive into the African consumer market, on behalf of Samsung, I’d identified something I called the “values gap” as an intangible barrier between the first world’s consumer brands, and the mindset and worldview of the majority market, then referred to (erroneously) as the “Bottom of the Pyramid.” The… Read More »

What is The Prepaid Economy anyway?

By | July 14, 2014

Young Kenyan digital currency blogger Michael Kimani has been asking questions on the future of the “Prepaid” economy, given the rapidly evolving financial landscape of his home country. While Twitter might be good enough for a rapid give and take, it’s constrained as a platform for any meaningful dialogue requiring more than 140 characters at… Read More »

India recognizes the economic contribution of street vendors

By | October 27, 2013

What Indian economic phenomenon is at once marginal, even illegal, and enormously independent and entrepreneurial? That would be the street vendor, the small capitalist of the poor, and reservoir of off-the-books penalties that grease the machine of every municipal authority and police station in urban India. There are an estimated 10 million street vendors (another… Read More »

Affordability is not the same as a lower price point

By | August 4, 2013

Third party informal kerosene sales point deep interior of rural Eastern Kenya. Photo credit: Niti Bhan Absolute price of a product has always been assumed to be the means to successfully reach the BoP customer and the concept of affordable is often a synonym for cheaper. While price bands do matter when targeting this market,… Read More »

Dangerously obsolete: questioning the use of the all purpose label “The BoP”

By | March 21, 2013

Siim Esko wrote a short piece on his blog that inspired me to write out these thoughts. Since much of his work focused on the BoP in India and I’ve recent East African experience with the demographic, it was but natural for us to compare and contrast the challenges and the conditions of the lower… Read More »

The Informal Economy Symposium, Barcelona on October 12th 2012

By | September 13, 2012

Our aim with this symposium is to explore the global scope, innovations and potential futures of the informal economy. Opening Keynote will be John Keith Hart, who coined the term “informal economy” and the day long symposium on the 12th of October will be closed by John Thackara.  There will be three panel discussions, as… Read More »

Europe could stop fighting it and see if informal economy has lessons to teach

By | September 9, 2012

Scanning recent writing on the informal economic activity in the wake of the Great Global Recession brings to light the ongoing struggle to deal with it.  Is it good or is it bad? Will it help or is it hindering? Don’t forget the taxes being left unpaid by the economically challenged citizens trying to feed… Read More »

5 lessons from design planning for the bottom of the pyramid

By | September 6, 2012

1. Consider the design of the entire ecosystem in a holistic manner rather than the product alone The majority of industrial designers in studios and corporate departments around the world are tasked with the design of a specific product or application, isolated contextually, for the most part, from the larger ecosystem of the market primarily… Read More »

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

By | September 3, 2012

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… Read More »