Category Archives: Distribution

Platforms that aggregate small businesses can integrate the informal with the formal economy

Continuing my thoughts on Nilekani’s vision introduced in the previous post, I want to use this post to focus on the key element of what captured my imagination from his article “The New Road to Nirvana“: So manufacturing is squeezed on one side by Chinese overcapacity and on the other side by extreme automation. So […]

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The Kenyan informal sector’s well-trodden paths of upward mobility

Studying the dynamics of the informal economy of a particular region in Western Kenya has been an eye opening exercise in questioning one’s own assumptions and frameworks. Other times, I noticed answers to questions I’d never even thought of asking (an outcome of holding implicit assumptions). One of these was career paths and ambitions. The […]

Also posted in Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Ecosystem, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Research, Retail in Africa, Risk, Rural Economy, Strategy, User research | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Reframing the informal sector in the African consumer market: The real African middle class

This is Ruth’s shop, on the side of the highway, approximately 5km on the road to Kisumu, from Busia in western Kenya. Not quite directly part of the borderland’s economy, that trades incessantly with each other, these businesses still manage to feed off the energy of the hustle and bustle of biashara, as it flows […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Analysis, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Research, Retail in Africa, rural, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Changing flows of trade

This unassuming pile of clothes caught my attention on market day in Busia, Kenya. They are mitumba (secondhand clothes) from India. This is a recent development, apparently, as traditionally mitumba tends to come from the ‘west’ (as can be noted by the name on the bag shown below). Clothes sourced from India have begun showing […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, India, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Retail in Africa, rural, User research | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The business model of drinking water in urban Ghana

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 […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Ghana, Informal & Flexible, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Strategy, Technology, urban | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Portrait robot du nouveau consommateur africain

L’avènement de la croissance soutenue en Afrique au cours de cette dernière décennie (en moyenne plus de 5%), notamment malgré la crise financière internationale qui sévit depuis 2008, a créé une classe moyenne. Le profil de ce groupe d’individus varie selon les définitions des uns et des autres. Mais on peut retenir que ce sont […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Marchés africains, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Sub Saharan Africa | Leave a comment

La ruée vers la Côte d’Ivoire des marques internationales

Abidjan c’est la capitale économique de la Côte d’Ivoire. C’est près de 5 millions d’habitants ou plutôt de consommateurs. Et c’est depuis quelques années la nouvelle destination des organisations internationales, banques et institutions financières étrangères, grandes marques internationales dans quasiment tous les domaines. On peut parler d’euphorie. L’offensive des uns et des autres dans la […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Sub Saharan Africa, UEMOA | Leave a comment