Category Archives: urban

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, FMCG, global, India, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Marketing, Perspective, Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, UCSD, Value | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The dangerous assumption that there’s no competition from the informal sector

In addition, the informal economy of open street markets still dominates 90% of retail in large countries like Nigeria and Kenya, meaning it’s a near safe bet there’s plenty of room to grow. ~ Quartz Africa, Jan 2017 Failure is a risk, and an inescapable function of the amount of resources invested, not just money. […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Biashara Economics, Compétitivité, Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Ecosystem, Ghana, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Marchés africains, Marketing, Nigeria, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Risk, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Snapshot of the Dynamics of the Urban Informal Retail Trade in Nairobi, Kenya

Latiff Cherono quickly made up this diagram during a brainstorming session with Francis Hook and myself on the ways and means to further disaggregate the general category of “Informal wholesale and retail trade” that the Kenya National Statistics Board uses to lump together the second largest sector providing employment in Kenya after agriculture. In urban […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Assumption filter, Biashara Economics, Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Ecosystem, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Migrant worker, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Retail in Africa, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Signs of Interdependency between the Formal and the Informal Economy

There is a lot to be unpacked here – I made a mindmap of the urban African entrepreneur who is the backbone of the visible emergence of a consumer class. I’m drawing from my experience of the Kenyan context. I started this in response to Michael Kimani’s Storify recently on the mythical “middle class” and […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Assumption filter, Biashara Economics, Consumer Behaviour, East African Community, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Income, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Marchés africains, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 3 Assumptions About the African Consumer Market

Claims have been made about the Great African Market Opportunity – in retail, in real estate, in banking, and packaged consumer goods – that drive investment decisions and marketing strategies. Yet, reality has been less opportunistic than imagined – Nestle’s struggles in Kenya back in 2015 are one such example. Here are the top 3 […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Business, Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Markets, Marchés africains, Marketing, Perspective, Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Detailed breakdown of Uber’s business model in Kenya puts spotlight on weaknesses

Latiff Cherono has just published an indepth analysis of what exactly it takes for an Uber driver in Nairobi to cover the cost of doing business. Here’s a snippet, In this post, I try to understand the root cause of the disconnect between how the customer (who defines the value), Uber (the service that controls […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Design, East African Community, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Income, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, Uganda | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Professionals stand above the competition: Branding lessons from street vendors of Africa

Farai Mushayademo’s distinctive dress sense, with a different shiny suit every day, makes him a darling of customers and helps him beat the “rising competition,” he said. This article on the increasing competition for the burgeoning informal economy of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, came less than a month after we saw this smartly turned […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Biashara Economics, Compétitivité, Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, FMCG, Ghana, Marchés africains, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Spot Signals of Local Purchasing Patterns in the Market

This photograph is taken from a regular news item from a Liberian newspaper announcing the opening of a new petrol station in the town of Ganta. What caught my attention is the size of the LPG cylinders being promoted. On the left is the 6kg and on the right is an even smaller size that […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Frugality, Income, Marchés africains, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Retail in Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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