Tag Archives: distribution

Market forces transforming the African retail landscape

By | April 16, 2015

Cosmetics giant L’Oreal’s partnership with pan African e-commerce platform Jumia signals a big shift in the way consumer packaged goods companies  address the challenge of reaching the emerging African consumer classes in a cost effective manner. A combination of market forces and on the ground realities points to this solution as a sweetspot for optimal… Read More »

Quality of service at the last mile will make or break African e-commerce startups

By | April 14, 2015

With new e-commerce startups sprouting up everyday, competitive advantage in the urban African context will boil down to their quality of delivery and logistics managment. Given the lack of infrastructure such as home addresses, post codes with embedded information, or  as is the case in India – the last mile of delivery in the form… Read More »

Navigating the African Informal Retail Sector

By | March 15, 2015

Nigeria’s consumer market has captured global attention. A significant proportion of this emerging market opportunity is in the FMCG category. Due to historical reasons, 87% of this retail trade happens in the “unorganized” or “informal sector”.  The market is highly fragmented and inefficient. Yet due to the nature of the informal economy, most of this… Read More »

The need for human agency: Is the middleman always a monster?

By | October 28, 2013

Mobile phone charging receipt, Kenya  Photo credit: Niti Bhan The unfair demonisation of the middleman is apparent in this recent article on solar power products for the low income market in Africa. “Putting African ‘power pimps’ out of business” is the headline and the rest of the text goes downhill from there: It’s hard to… Read More »

Hub and spoke model for new product introductions

By | August 2, 2012

Nairobi’s Central Business District – Luthuli Avenue is the heart of the electronics and consumer appliance trade for Kenya. Chinese businessmen can be seen mingling with Somali traders and wholesalers come from all over the country to see “what’s new”. I saw recently introduced solar powered refrigerators (just 60W) on display, direct from China but… Read More »

New Product Introductions in Informal Markets

By | July 15, 2012

“What’s new?” I asked Peter who runs this mari mari shop in a makeshift market just yards from Nairobi’s famous Kibera, and he proudly showed off the various features of this television set cum DVD player that can run on a small battery if need be. Yours for just $100. Don’t miss the bright pink… Read More »