Tag Archives: bottom of the pyramid

Financial Behaviour Patterns Observed Among Households in Rural Informal Economy in Asia

This is the original working paper of the research conducted on rural household financial management, in developing country conditions, pioneering the use of methods from human centered design for discovery, during Nov 2008 to March 2009, aka the Prepaid Economy Project. It was peer reviewed by Brett Hudson Matthews, and I have incorporated his comments into […]

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The values gap in banking the unbanked

Back in 2008, after my first deep dive into the African consumer market, on behalf of Samsung, I’d identified something I called the “values gap” as an intangible barrier between the first world’s consumer brands, and the mindset and worldview of the majority market, then referred to (erroneously) as the “Bottom of the Pyramid.” The […]

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What is The Prepaid Economy anyway?

Young Kenyan digital currency blogger Michael Kimani has been asking questions on the future of the “Prepaid” economy, given the rapidly evolving financial landscape of his home country. While Twitter might be good enough for a rapid give and take, it’s constrained as a platform for any meaningful dialogue requiring more than 140 characters at […]

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India recognizes the economic contribution of street vendors

What Indian economic phenomenon is at once marginal, even illegal, and enormously independent and entrepreneurial? That would be the street vendor, the small capitalist of the poor, and reservoir of off-the-books penalties that grease the machine of every municipal authority and police station in urban India. There are an estimated 10 million street vendors (another […]

Posted in Base of the Pyramid, Economy, Flexibility, Income, India, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Migrant worker, Research, South Asia, urban, Value | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Affordability is not the same as a lower price point

Third party informal kerosene sales point deep interior of rural Eastern Kenya. Photo credit: Niti Bhan Absolute price of a product has always been assumed to be the means to successfully reach the BoP customer and the concept of affordable is often a synonym for cheaper. While price bands do matter when targeting this market, […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Consumer Behaviour, Expenses, Flexibility, Frugality, Income, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Value | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Dangerously obsolete: questioning the use of the all purpose label “The BoP”

Siim Esko wrote a short piece on his blog that inspired me to write out these thoughts. Since much of his work focused on the BoP in India and I’ve recent East African experience with the demographic, it was but natural for us to compare and contrast the challenges and the conditions of the lower […]

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The Informal Economy Symposium, Barcelona on October 12th 2012

Our aim with this symposium is to explore the global scope, innovations and potential futures of the informal economy. Opening Keynote will be John Keith Hart, who coined the term “informal economy” and the day long symposium on the 12th of October will be closed by John Thackara.  There will be three panel discussions, as […]

Posted in Africa, Airtime, Alternative currency, Assumption filter, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Culture, Economy, global, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mobile platform, Research, Strategy, User research, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Europe could stop fighting it and see if informal economy has lessons to teach

Scanning recent writing on the informal economic activity in the wake of the Great Global Recession brings to light the ongoing struggle to deal with it.  Is it good or is it bad? Will it help or is it hindering? Don’t forget the taxes being left unpaid by the economically challenged citizens trying to feed […]

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5 lessons from design planning for the bottom of the pyramid

1. Consider the design of the entire ecosystem in a holistic manner rather than the product alone The majority of industrial designers in studios and corporate departments around the world are tasked with the design of a specific product or application, isolated contextually, for the most part, from the larger ecosystem of the market primarily […]

Posted in Base of the Pyramid, Design, Ecosystem, Frameworks, Indigenous & Traditional, Perspective, Process, Systems, UCSD, User research | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Why have I been getting so grumpy about well meaning social enterprise?

Yesterday’s post deconstructing The Economist article on the promise of solar lighting for the millions of poor living without electricity made me question my strongly worded response. Another recent one is from well meaning Guardian, whose first of the 15 innovations they claim will change lives in Africa is the now forgotten Hippo Roller. Even […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, rural, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, User research | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment