Tag Archives: innovation

Opportunity spaces vs ideas – business development for the BoP markets

Ideas or concepts are not the same as opportunity spaces or gaps in a particular market. Exploratory user research can identify opportunities for innovation, that is, either unmet needs or gaps in the existing ecosystem which could be filled by a product or service with the intent to create and provide value. On the other […]

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Spotting an opportunity in Kinshasa’s informal markets

After writing yesterday’s post on the proliferation of superficial analysis being used to exemplify emerging consumer market opportunities in Sub Saharan Africa, I was pleased to find this  Afribiz article demonstrating clearly how on the ground observations can help identify spaces for innovation and new business in the informal markets: At first glance, Kinshasa might […]

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Insights from the South African low income market (BoP) opportunity

I came across this article from South Africa titled “Why companies should care about the low-income market” which has some excellent insights about this demographic and opportunity space. Also called the ‘BoP or Bottom of the Pyramid’, it is the mass majority segment in the emerging middle class in Sub Sahara today (per recent reports.) […]

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Invention vs Innovation from the customer’s perspective

    An invention is not an innovation until it is adopted by the users ~ John Heskett   We think that technology has all the answers or can provide that magic silver bullet.  If we can simply build that shiny, new widget or make an app for the service, customers are bound to flock […]

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Going solar as mainstream consumer choice

This shelf of alternate power supply equipment displayed in a Nairobi department store caught my eye.  It was in the consumer product section along with fridges, washing machines, TVs and a host of small appliances.  It was the first time I’d seen such a wide variety – batteries, solar panels, lamps – so casually displayed […]

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Cracking the informal markets in Sub Saharan Africa: the need for strategic improvisation

Ernst & Young’s Consumer Products division  released a report for global consumer product companies interested in growing in Africa where they highlight the challenge of cracking the informal markets, described thus: The informal economy is a key feature of life in Africa — estimated to account for around 42% of GDP in 2000 with the […]

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Should you launch in emerging markets first? Some examples of an Africa first strategy

That is the question posed by Prof.  Vijay Govindarajan in Harvard Business Review.  A short piece, co-authored with an undergraduate student, its basic premise is that for medical devices and other impedimenta of the health care industry such as diagnostic tests, there are benefits to launching in emerging markets first before entering the advanced first […]

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Visible sign of market creation for a product designed for social impact

It struck me when I saw this Moneymaker pump by Kickstart on a street corner matatu stand in Nairobi while wandering around a market with Muchiri who was shopping for shoes. I’m giving this level of detail so you can see the context in which we spotted this classic and oft quoted example of a […]

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The African Experience Matters for Next Generation Mobile Web

Ever since Steve Song put up this image of the undersea cables linking Africa to the rest of the world, I’ve been thinking about what it might mean. When a landlocked country like Botswana which was totally dependent on slow and expensive satellite links for accessing the net is able almost overnight to slash connectivity […]

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Semacraft Announces Africa Innovation Tour June 2011

As Africa gets connected to the world wide web, there is an increasing hunger for relevant content and services in local languages. This has led to the rise of developer communities congregating in openly shared community spaces where new applications, software and technology can be nurtured and incubated. The mobile phone is the platform of […]

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