Tag Archives: business model

Situating one’s rant within business model typology for rural and low income markets

By | April 24, 2021

After yesterday’s post on stripping out social considerations to allow for a pragmatic economic assessment of viability prior to investing in infrastructure for service delivery to rural customers, I looked up literature on the general theme. Site selection as a keyword brought a slew of articles focusing on GIS technology, primarily from the lens of… Read More »

Less Technologically Advanced Societies are not necessarily backward or primitive: Assume at your own risk

By | December 26, 2019

This illustration by Jeroen Meijer of Jam Visueldenken of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, was created for our team during a workshop to capture the insights from a feasibility study on agritech we had completed for the Dutch government’s sustainable agricultural value chain development at Wageningen University’s Economic Research unit back in mid 2013. I’m pulling it… Read More »

The legacy of Uber’s business model and app will outlive the company in Africa

By | August 27, 2019

As news of Uber’s possible decline and fall filters in, it behooves me to take a moment to ponder the implications for sub Saharan Africa’s digital economic ecosystem, particularly the decentralized hybrid one emerging among the erstwhile informal sectors of the economy, such as motorcycle taxis and other on demand services. While Uber itself has… Read More »

Open-Source on Hyperspeed: Next generation innovation lessons from Shenzhen

By | July 16, 2018

In Shenzhen, 山寨 (shanzhai) has a different meaning than mountain stronghold—yet the term so eloquently expresses a continuity, a history, and a genesis. Shanzhai is a Cantonese term, originally used as a derogatory word for knock-offs — because people from rural mountain villages couldn’t afford real Louis Vuitton or officially produced DVDs of Friends. As a result,… Read More »

The comparative global impact of Alibaba vs. Amazon

By | July 5, 2018

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… Read More »

How informal financial services can lower the barriers to formal financial inclusion

By | March 9, 2018

Around 2 and a half years ago, I was on a short visit to Abidjan, the capital of Cote D’Ivoire as a guest of the African Development Bank. They were holding an innovation weekend for young women and men in the Francophone West African region who were interested in becoming entrepreneurs. David O. Capo Chichi,… Read More »

Detailed breakdown of Uber’s business model in Kenya puts spotlight on weaknesses

By | October 25, 2016

Latiff Cherono has just published an indepth analysis of what exactly it takes for an Uber driver in Nairobi to cover the cost of doing business. Here’s a snippet, In this post, I try to understand the root cause of the disconnect between how the customer (who defines the value), Uber (the service that controls… Read More »

Uber’s app lowers barriers to formalization for unorganized taxi industry in Kenya

By | March 7, 2016

This interesting article in the Kenyan news made me think about the role that an app like Uber could play in markets where there’s a high proportion of informal & unregulated business activity. As with much technological advancement, resistance comes with change. Mpesa and the internet were once thought to be passing fads and have… Read More »

Is the pay per use business model changing household purchasing dynamics?

By | January 17, 2016

The process of writing the previous post on India’s energy efficient cook-stove development efforts made me pause and reconsider my assumptions. Here’s the snippet that struck me in the article. Philips took its India stove to more mature markets in Africa, where a raft of foreign-funded stove projects had familiarised customers with the product. This… Read More »

The business model of drinking water in urban Ghana

By | December 8, 2015

In Accra, Ghana, packaging potable water into single serve sachets for the mass market (the prepaid economy) is a business model that has evolved extremely rapidly in response to customer demand and purchasing power. Bottled mineral water for the elite trickled down in quantity and form until the man on the street can buy a… Read More »