Category Archives: urban

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, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, rural, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, User research, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coronavirus side-effect: Transformation of China’s business models, logistics, and service delivery

Just the way the SARs epidemic kicked off China’s e-commerce revolution back in 2003, the ongoing COVID-19 containment strategies maybe triggering an even larger transformation of the Chinese economic ecosystem. I went looking today for the earliest signals of what might be underway. Rural China is facing the biggest challenge right now as the spring […]

Also posted in Analysis, Business Models, China, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Distribution, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Migrant worker, Mobile platform, perfect storm, Perspective, Platforms, Research, Rural Economy, Scarcity, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What happens when the informal economy is not criminalized? : Case of Hargeisa, Somaliland

In Hargeisa, the role of the informal economy during and after conflict has been vital to conflict prevention and peace-building. A recently released report by Cardiff University and Somaliland research partners on their work related to the role of urban informal economies in conflict zones offers us perspective from another angle. A little thin on […]

Also posted in Africa, Biashara Economics, East African Community, Economy, Ecosystem, Informal & Flexible, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Report Review, Research, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, User research, Value | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pondering India’s Cashless Future

Chhotu here accepts digital currency payments via the mobile platform on a daily basis. His QR code is prominently displayed upfront next to the bottles of sauce, and a sticker displays the icons of all the payment apps acceptable to his Bhim app. The Bhim system, launched by the Government of India, is a godsend […]

Also posted in Airtime, Alternative currency, Analysis, Banking, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, India, Informal & Flexible, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, South Asia, Strategy, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Competitive Advantage & Customer Relationships: Lessons from Market Mummies of Ghana

How would you differentiate yourself in this informal retail market? Ghanaian market research guru Gerry van Dyke took a closer look at the market ‘mummies’ – Mama Biashara, as we call her – and their consumer marketing techniques in the “non-label environment”. His findings form an excellent foundation for understanding marketing and customer relationships in […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Biashara Economics, Business, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Ghana, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zambia’s inclusive approach to various sectors in the informal economy is worth noting

The Zambian government most recently announced that they would provide certificates to illegal (artisanal) miners in order to recognize and formalize their activities. In addition, they were being encouraged to form cooperatives – a legally recognized organizational structure – that would permit further benefits to this informal sector. Compared to the challenges Ghana is facing […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Biashara Economics, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Migrant worker, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Time to acknowledge the social cost of mobile and apps driven disruption

From Lagos, Nigeria comes this moving human interest story that looks at the downside of modern technology and it’s impact on livelihoods. For those who must hustle to make a living, send the kids to school, or put food on the table, smartphone driven digitization of the services they used to provide are disrupting their […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Ecosystem, Income, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Nigeria, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, Technologie, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Predictability is a business investment in the informal sector

Street vendors are often assumed to be livelihood actors, eking out a precarious living while darting in and out of traffic at the lights hawking their wares out of a basket or bucket. Not so in the south side of New Delhi where this trader in household linen and fine textiles has staked out his […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Markets, India, Marketing, Perspective | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

India: Dragging the reluctant elephant into a digital, cashless future

My recent immersion in Delhi a mere four months after demonetization (or, notebandi as it’s locally known) was a bit of a letdown. Oh sure, there were numerous, visible changes in the 2 years since my last trip – mostly very clear indicators of India’s socio-economic development – but none of the sense of chaos […]

Also posted in Alternative currency, Analysis, Biashara Economics, Cashless transactions, Culture, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, India, Innovation Planning, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Process, Research, South Asia, Strategy, Systems, Technology, User research | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

As global firms (MNC) pull back from emerging markets, what does this mean for Africa?

Last week’s issue of The Economist drilled down deeper to cover the retreat of globalization – at least in the most visible form, that of the multinational brands dotting cityscapes around the world. The retreat of the global company, they trumpet, the end of Theodore Levitt’s vision. Credit Suisse takes a concise yet comprehensive look […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Business Models, China, Compétitivité, Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, East African Community, Economy, Emerging Markets, global, India, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Marketing, Perspective, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, UCSD, Value | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment