Tag Archives: brands

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

By | February 6, 2017

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… Read More »

Breaking bulk and profiting at the margins

By | July 17, 2015

Michael sent me this information from Nairobi last week. He’d spotted informal retail within the context of a mini-supermarket – known as traditional trade in the jargon of consumer product distribution and retail. He adds, “So 500 ml of Rina cooking oil retails for 120KES, 1 litre for 195 KES. What the owner of this… Read More »

Why Indian FMCGs eagerly enter African Consumer Markets

By | March 21, 2015

This chart from that Neilson retail study on sales of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)  shows how Kenya’s retail sector is  significantly more formalized than India’s. Given their decades of experience with their vast, informal markets, is it any wonder that India’s consumer brands find the East African market an attractive proposition?  Their visibility in… Read More »

While you were outsourced: Last 10 years of mobile design, business and emerging markets

By | October 30, 2014

There’s a lot to be said here and I’ve been trying to sort it all out into some kind of logical flow. The global landscape of mobile phones is undergoing a huge shift, and like the iceberg that sank the Titanic, much of it is still under the radar. If I hadn’t gone down the… Read More »

Reflecting on the mobile internet in Kenya

By | October 23, 2011

After the past three weeks of focusing on cyber cafes and internet access in urban and rural Kenya, we’ve been questioning the value of the “mobile internet” statistics provided by operators to the CCK. Muchiri pointed out that since most of our feedback seemed to revolve more around SIM operated routers installed by cybers, or… Read More »

Socially networked mystery shopfront

By | October 11, 2011

We spotted this closed shopfront just before entering Mtwapa – a midsize town about 10km from Mombasa, when returning from a day trip north to Kilifi today. There was no signage to tell us whether it was a cyber cafe or internet center of some sort. But we’re sure they are extremely networked socially.

Communicating value across cultures

By | September 29, 2011

Reading about Cisco’s move to Bangalore in BW’s breathless prose, this interchange struck me forcibly. “It will give them some exposure and it’s a glamorous job … but it could create an Ivy League-type clique of expats who are richer than the locals,” Kay said. “I doubt that most of them will stay long enough… Read More »

Barriers to business with the ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’ : what can we learn from Mama Boi?

By | September 23, 2011

The Monitor Group has made available the complete HBR article “Is the Bottom of the Pyramid Really for you?” (PDF) where the authors frame the debate for multinationals questioning whether to consider entering this challenging though untapped segment of the global marketplace.  They list some of the common barriers faced by executives during their attempts… Read More »