Category Archives: Risk

Research Question: Why is the informal retail sector so persistent and resilient?

Retailing in India is currently estimated to be a USD 200 billion industry, of which organised retailing makes up 3% or USD 6.4 billion. By 2010, organized retail is projected to reach USD 23 billion and in terms of market share it is expected to rise by 20 to 25%. (Sinha et all, 2007) These […]

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Japan’s Indian Strategy for the African Consumer Market

One of the most high-profile events Kenya has hosted since independence begins this week when heads of state from across Africa and the Prime Minister of Japan Mr Shinzo Abe jet in for the Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD). It will be the first time that Ticad has been held outside Japan and […]

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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, Distribution, Ecosystem, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Research, Retail in Africa, Rural Economy, Strategy, User research | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The hidden cost of doing business #informaleconomy

This looks like its a low cost business operation with low barriers to entry. All you need to do is find a decent tree under which to display your wares. The reality is that these entrepreneurs have numerous fees and costs that they must pay in order to do business, regardless of how informal it […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Economy, Expenses, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Research, Retail in Africa, rural, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why I’m cautious about most mobile platform consumer research in Africa

StanChart’s price tracker rolled out in Nigeria is a great example of where and how mobile phones can really add value in understanding the African consumer market and add substantially to its scarce database. What concerns me however is the increasing promotion of the ubiquitous cellphone as the means to gather consumer insights for all […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Analysis, Assumption filter, Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Emerging Markets, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Research, Retail in Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Breaking the caste barrier: Aspirations, upward mobility and the brass ring

We don’t talk about this much. India’s caste system is an intangible barrier to upward mobility. We assume the ‘untouchables’ are a one lumpen mass of poor. Is the post liberalization economic growth finally offering opportunities for change? “Post-liberalization, the country witnessed a transition from the caste-based occupations and services to modern businesses. Looking at […]

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Perspective: Critical Analysis of The African Hype Cycle by Gartner

The very fact that this hype cycle exists is a signal of the increased importance and visibility of the African continent’s place in the global landscape for technology. Released recently by Gartner, the 2015 Hype Cycle for ICT in Africa, is far more interesting for its depiction of the perspective and worldview of Gartner’s analysts […]

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Meeting the challenge of consumer demand

Understanding consumer demand is an inherent part of the informal trader’s expertise. In the cash economy, unsold inventory is sunk cost. The balance between risk and return is a constant juggling, interwoven with the need for incoming cash flow to meet outgoing expenses. This tabletop – informal retail – caught my attention for its unexpected […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Analysis, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Frugality, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Strategy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment