A few years ago (2004), C.K. Prahalad wrote the influential book Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits. The book recognized that the world’s billions of poor people have needs and buying power. This segment of the world population is an immense and untapped opportunitiy for companies, but companies have to be able to learn new ways on how to serve them. It is not just simply to provide them with low cost products and services already in the marketplace, but it means innovations and new ways to reach consumers and help them to satisfy their needs.
Nokia announced in November 2008 Nokia Life Tools, a range of innovative Agriculture information and Education services targeted to non-urban consumers. Designed specifically for emerging markets, Nokia Life Tools helps overcome information constraints and provides services to this next generation of mobile users.
The 29 of June 2009 Google has announced in the Google Mobile blog “Designing SMS apps for mobile Africa“, with Google SMS and Google Trader.Google SMS is a suite of mobile applications which provides access, via SMS, to information on a diverse number of topics including health and agriculture tips, news, local weather, sports, and more. Google Trader is a marketplace application that helps buyers and sellers find each other. Users can find, “sell” or “buy” any type of product or service, from used cars and mobile phones to crops, livestock and jobs.
Emerging markets are an untapped opportunitity with millions of people with needs and wants. People there do not usually have Internet access, but often have mobile phones. Here the opportunitiy with services based on mobile phones and SMS.