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Emerging Markets

  • Key lessons startups can take from Domino’s Pizza’s massive foreign expansion

    Not too long ago, US pizza chain Domino’s Pizza established a South African presence. To date, there are eleven stores spread across Cape Town, Gauteng and Durban, with plans to open even more in future. Success in this market is very lucrative -- a Euromonitor report estimated that fast food sales in South Africa topped R24-billion in 2012. A key to success for international brands entering new markets is a proper knowledge and deep understanding of the target market. Investing time and resources into understanding the local customs, preferences and tastes is often what separates the successful brands from...

  • How innovative entrepreneurs can help solve poverty

    The world has made great progress in reducing poverty, but with an increasing number of people moving to cities, more help is needed to solve health, education and crime problems. It's here that entrepreneurs can help. Whether they be from poor communities themselves, or from well-off suburbs, entrepreneurs should be urged to get stuck in with finding solutions. With the increased focus on social entrepreneurship, programmes and interventions abound. Increasingly better access to the internet in poorer areas has also levelled the playing fields (it's how a 24-year-old in an Indian slum is able to make US$1 600 a month selling...

  • Uber continues to adapt, launches rickshaw on-demand feature in India

    Uber has just announced another India-first: UberAuto. Uber app users in Delhi, India’s capital city, can now hail auto rickshaws within the app and pay for the ride in cash. For now, UberAuto is a cash-only-service, and this too is an India-first – in no other country does Uber enable cash payments. Uber has thus come a long way since its arrival in India with luxury sedans, UberBlack. Compact cars followed with UberX, and then hatchbacks with UberGo. Now we have three-wheelers in UberAuto, as the US-based company adapts to India’s value-conscious mass market. Uber’s homegrown rival Ola, which just raised...

  • Brazil, India move to shed red tape for business

    As growth in emerging markets stalls, Brazil and India, which have long had some of the world's worst red tape for firms, are looking to reduce the burden. While Brazil's government is acting to tackle its ailing economy (the OECD says it will contract by 0.5% this year), India's reforms are driven by a pledge by President Narendra Modi to make Indian business more competitive. India more than Brazil needs to reduce paperwork for businesses. Last year Asia's third biggest economy was ranked 142 by a World Bank report, below Sierra Leone and Cambodia. Brazil was ranked 120. Since late last year the government has taken...

  • What we can all learn from India’s huge startup growth story

    As emerging economies around the world stumble along, one exception stands out -- India, where growth is set to overtake China soon. Now a new report ranks Asia's third largest economy as the fourth largest startup ecosystem in the world. The report, released last month by India’s IT association Nasscom, places the country behind only the US, the UK and Israel and notes that should the current trend continues, India could rank second by 2017. Nasscom says India currently has 3 100 technology startups (which it describes as tech firms that have started since 2010), employing 65 000 people. This is against 41 500 such firms...

  • 20 startup accelerators in India we should all know about

    While India is lagging behind other Asian markets in terms of venture capital, there is no dearth for startup incubators and accelerators in the country. Apart from the traditional accelerators run by governments and IT majors, a host of multi-national majors like Target Corp and PayPal also ventured into startup incubation recently. Most of the angel/seed/VC investors in the country and elsewhere are working closely with these incubators — majority are located in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi — for funding opportunities. Here we bring you a list of the 20 most active tech startup incubators in the country. 1. Microsoft Ventures Location:...

  • Bagging $100m: how WorldRemit is filling Africa’s remittance market gap

    Founded in 2010 by Somali entrepreneur Ismail Ahmed, WorldRemit -- a London-based tech startup providing low-cost international money transfers -- made headlines a few weeks ago when it raised US$100-million in series B funding. Having personally experienced the frustrations of using traditional money transfer agents, WorldRemit's founder Ahmed set out to create a service that would use technology to improve the sending process, enhance compliance and reduce the costs for the customer. I’m not surprised at all by the success that WorldRemit has achieved, and in my previous article I urged African startups to look at the bigger picture: the opportunity presented by the remittances and...

  • Lumkani is going to Silicon Valley, wins $50k social entrepreneurship prize

    Lumkani Fire Detection has won the South African leg of Chivas Regal's Win the Right Way competition -- a global initiative that sets out to find and support the world's top social entrepreneurs. The Cape Town-based startup has developed an early-warning fire detection system for dense settlements. The small fire detection device consists of heat detectors that send an SMS with GPS locations to community leaders and the local fire department in times of danger. In 2014 Lumkani also won the award for best startup in the Global Innovation through Science & Technology challenge; the overall prize in the Comfortable Home...

  • Rocket Internet launches Everjobs career portal, to target Africa, Asia

    It's only been a matter of time before Rocket Internet got onto the online jobs classifieds space. And so, the German startup factory has today announced the launch of a new online jobs portal called Everjobs. Initially, the startup will set up shop in Sri Lanka after which it plans to target the fast-growing African and Asian markets. Everjobs was born out of Myanmanr's work.com.mm, which is said to be the number one site for job seekers in the country. Co-founder Ronald Schuurs said, "We see an immense opportunity to create a convenient job portal for economies on the rise in Asia...

  • MTN, UCT’s Graduate School of Business whip up R15m innovation deal

    One of Africa's top business schools, the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB), and major telecom MTN have announced a multi-million rand partnership that would further help them catalyse innovation in emerging markets. According to the press release, MTN Group is dedicating R15-million over the next three years in the university's local innovation hub, the MTN Solution Space. Backed by the UCT Vice Chancellor’s Strategic Fund, The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship as well as SAB, the Solution Space was launched in March last year. It aims to break the mould of traditional business...