Category Archives: Value

Samsung took its commitment to the African market very seriously

This article in the Financial Times caught my attention first for it’s mention of Samsung’s seemingly innovative adaptation to the harsh operating environment prevalent across the African continent. It reminded me of the very first exploratory user research programme I had been part of, for Samsung, back in early 2008. That was a seminal trip […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Emerging Markets, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, rural, South Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, User research | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prepaid Mobile: The Business Model that Empowers

It feels like a long time since I last pondered the nuances of the prepaid business model, until I came across some words written by Indian social media researcher Swati Janu. She documented her observations on the infrastructure of insecurity from the tenements of New Delhi.  There’s value in reflecting on how our understanding only […]

Also posted in Airtime, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Income, India, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How the African movable assets bill can unleash innovation opportunities for the rural economy

As Kenya joins Zambia and Zimbabwe in ratifying a Movable Property Security Rights Act, there’s a sense that the floodgates to innovation in access to finance might be taking place in rural Africa, south of the Sahara and north of South Africa. Kenya’s law also goes beyond the cows and goats and allows a borrower […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Alternative currency, Biashara Economics, Business, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Cattle, Consumer Behaviour, Design, East African Community, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Income, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Livestock, Loans, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Research, Risk, Rural Economy, Scarcity, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Tanzania, Technology, UCSD, Uganda, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Livestock as movable assets and financial collateral: Collected insights

Following in the footsteps of Zimbabwe, Kenya has just passed a law on the use of movable assets as collateral for loans. President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law a Bill allowing borrowers to use household goods, crops, live animals and even intellectual property to secure commercial loans in a move aimed at boosting access […]

Also posted in Africa, Alternative currency, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Cashless transactions, Cattle, Collection, East African Community, Economy, Ecosystem, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Literature review, Livestock, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, rural, Rural Economy, Sub Saharan Africa, Tanzania, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Launching Our Digital Documentation Project: Ibadan’s Tailors, Traders, and Textiles by Nigerian/British artist Folake Shoga

After months of hard work, I am very honoured and proud to announced our new digital documentation project by my friend Folake Shoga, a Nigerian/British multidisciplinary artist with more than three decades of experience. She went on a journey of discovery through the twists and turns of the informal value web that holds together West […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Biashara Economics, Business, Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Fashionomics, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Nigeria, Perspective, Photography, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Retail in Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Seeing

Michael Bierut writes a paean to the power of observation in his introduction to the new print run of George Nelson’s How to See. His concluding words resonated deeply: The unifying theme behind all of Nelson’s lectures – and, indeed, behind his life’s work – was a simple, and optimistic one: by seeing more clearly, […]

Also posted in Analysis, Design, Perspective | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

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, urban | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

An Africa Expert on Beneficiaries maybe the wrong Expert on Customers and Consumers

As the African markets increase in opportunity and visibility, the corresponding increase in need for experienced personnel is also felt. Many consumer facing companies hire “old Africa hands”, often former employees of various nonprofits and their projects. The assumption is that knowledge and experience among “poor” Africans implies knowledge and experience of African consumers and […]

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Does the human-centered design industry believe in it’s own process?

Listening to users, and incorporating their feedback is considered the key differentiator for the practice of human-centered design. Yet, one wonders, if the design industry has understood that this philosophy must necessarily include the feedback from their clients as well. That is, while we are all aware of the navel gazing tendencies displayed by design […]

Also posted in Design, Frameworks, Perspective, UCSD, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Time to reach consensus on the #informaleconomy debate

As yesterday’s post showed, the unforeseen outcome of India’s demonetization initiative on the rural cash economy arose due to the lack of disaggregation of all that tends to get lumped together under the umbrella label “informal”. Segmentation would lead to more impactful design of policy and programmes. WIEGO has an excellent review of the academic […]

Also posted in Analysis, Assumption filter, East African Community, Economy, Frameworks, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, South Asia, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment