Category Archives: Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector

Can Africa’s Informal Trade Ecosystems Provide Lessons for Navigating Uncertainty and Volatility in the post Pandemic World?

It is virtually impossible today to consider emerging markets without taking into consideration the vastly different operating environment of the majority of the countries in the global South. As the map, based on GSMA data, above shows clearly in bright red and blue, the clearest indication of this difference is in the way mobile telephony […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Informal & Flexible, Mobile platform, Strategy, Work in Progress | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

IMD Case Study – how Mpesa’s adoption transformed Safaricom

There is a case study on Safaricom that supports my viewpoint – that first one must consider the operating environment pragmatically prior to design and delivery of services for low income markets for a successful outcome that then drives the transformation of both the customer base and the corporation, giving rise to new ecosystems and […]

Also posted in Africa, Airtime, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Kenya, Mobile platform, Perspective, South Africa, Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Mobile telephony and low income customers: Market conditions drove product development and pricing

Many who were around and as obsessed by the entry of mobile telephony in the global South during the early years of this century will recall this eyecatching graphic used to illustrate the announcement by Cameroonian researchers Victor and Irene Mbarika that can now be pointed to as the moment Africa’s mobile revolution was born: […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Assumption filter, Biashara Economics, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Literature review, Mobile platform, Perspective, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Work in Progress | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is a business inclusive if its doing business in rural Africa? Why modeling economic capacity matters

Whether a business thinks of itself as inclusive or not, it must consider the sustainability of revenue streams and their expected duration, prior to committing themselves to infrastructural investments in rural locations of the global South. Those that position themselves as inclusive businesses – regardless of size, must consider the value being created for their […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Distribution, East African Community, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Income, Informal & Flexible, Literature review, Marketing, Perspective, rural, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, User research, Work in Progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Closing the Circle: Can integration of the flows in the post consumption ecosystem of Global North & South aid resilient recovery for all?

It was in July 2009 that I first attempted to visualize the significantly large subsector of informal recycling that fed the informal industrial ecosystem with re-processed ‘raw’ materials for their manufacturing output. The first draft was based on what I’d seen and documented in The Philippines, and in India, during the fieldwork for the ‘prepaid […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, China, Consumer Behaviour, East African Community, Economy, Ecosystem, Frugality, Ghana, global, India, Informal & Flexible, jua kali, Kenya, Perspective, Research, Retail in Africa, Senegal, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Tanzania, Technology, Uganda, User research | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Half a year, 2020 : The Remote Resilience and Recovery Project

I have umpteen drafts saved, of posts I began writing since the last published one on 29th February this year, and never finished. 2020 has outdone itself in its impact on all of human society, across our entire planet. I have been active on Twitter, where my literature reviews, in service of the pivot I […]

Also posted in Africa, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Design, Ecosystem, Flexibility, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Perspective, Retail in Africa, rural, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, urban, User research, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From Flat to Fragmented: Observing the Impact of Sudden Jump in Complexity on Startup’s Development Journey

With increasing diversity of factors that impact the product development journey comes increasing complexity in managing the product development process. For startups in particular, there is little difference between the startup’s development journey and the product development journey. Consider the phases of the startup development journey as illustrated by StartupCommons below: Validation and Growth phases […]

Also posted in Articles on Design and Innovation, Design, Ecosystem, Education, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, global, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Projects and Reports, Research, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology | Tagged | Leave a comment

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

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 […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, Airtime, Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Design, East African Community, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Research, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, UCSD, Value | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Design Prepared to be Responsible?

Last week, I was invited to join a 60 strong group of pan African thinkers in law, human rights, gender, debt and related issues to convene in Nairobi to explore the concept of predatory lending now being delivered direct to your handheld device. As a human centered designer, I was rocked back on my heels […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business, Business Models, Design, Ecosystem, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Rural Economy, Strategy, Systems, Technology, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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 […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Frameworks, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Research, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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