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  • The great rural goldrush

    A COMPANY wanted to market its toothpaste in rural areas. The minty, foaming product didn’t find favour with the paan-/tobacco-chewing populace. Moreover, they questioned, when the company said sweet stuff was supposed to be bad for teeth, why was the paste sweet? The rural communications specialist the company took on did a trial project by getting the same market to sample a version of the toothpaste with less mint, less sugar, less foam and instead of a tube, put it into a box this time ...

    The Hindu Business Line
  • Mobile phones for ordinary folk

    ?Fortune at the bottom of the pyramid? is a compelling idea whose time has come. CK Prahalad, the renowned management guru, has articulated this idea in his award-winning book with the same title (The New York Times best-seller of 2004). The crux of the message is a fresh attempt by leading edge technology companies to make products targeted at the bottom of the pyramid?the four billion people who live in Africa, China, India and South America?whose purchasing power is individually low, but col...

    Financial Express (link opens in a new window)
  • Radioactive: The next billion mobile users, by Stewart Baines

    Last month, the GSM Association announced the second phase of its Ultra-Low Cost (ULC) mobile phone initiative, aimed at making cellular more affordable in the developing world. The first phase, announced at the 3GSM Congress in Cannes, saw Motorola scoop the prize of producing six million handsets at the sub-$40 level. The majority of these handsets have now been delivered to the operators backing the GSM Association initiative, including BSNL and Bharti from India, GrameenPhone fro...

  • HCL unveils PC for Rs 9,990

    HCL Infosystems Ltd on Monday unveiled a fully functional low-cost personal computer at Rs 9,990. Mr Dayanidhi Maran, Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology, launched the Linux-based PC at a press meet. The low-cost PC comes with a 1 GHz processor from Taiwan-based VIA Technologies, 128 MB RAM, 40 GB hard disk, 15 inch digital colour monitor, 52X optical drive, keyboard and scroll mouse. It will support applications such as word processing, spreadshee...

    The Hindu Business Line
  • Intel Scientists Help Sell PCs

    ?Two years ago, we came to the realization that we really need to understand the local markets and find unique solutions for them,? said Willy Agatstein, general manager of Intel?s channel definition and development group. The centers and the new business group aren?t Intel?s first attempt at selling its chips and motherboards to the often-small businesses that build and peddle computers in the less-developed world. The chip giant began working with these computer builders and retail...

    Red Herring
  • The African Hacker, by G. Pascal Zachary

    Chinery-Hesse’s ability to build a thriving software business in an economic climate where the need for information technology is just beginning to grow has tested his ingenuity and made him a celebrity in Ghana. While hardly in the global technical vanguard, Chinery-Hesse is counted as one of a handful of the most important software developers in Africa, says Eric Osiakwan, an IT specialist in Accra who consults for the World Bank. Hermann is our Bill Gates, and Soft is ou...

    IEEE Spectrum
  • Intel Opens Centers for Emerging Markets, by David Needle

    The world’s largest chipmaker wants to capture more of the world’s market for its chips, motherboards and other components. Intel is going about that goal with a new program targeted at select geographies. Called platform definition centers, the program provides locally relevant computing solutions, based on Intel technology, of course. The goals of the new program are anything but modest. Bill Siu, general manager of Intel’s recently formed Channe...

  • Bandwidth Barn Celebrates Success

    Cape-based technology incubation centre UUNet Bandwidth Barn is celebrating its fifth anniversary by boasting a success rate of 78%. Since its creation in 2000, the Barn has become SA’s most successful incubator for fledgling hi-tech companies, says GM Odette Potter. In the past five years, of the 142 businesses that have passed through our doors 111 are still in operation. This overall success rate is astonishing considering that most companies come to the Barn...

    Business Day
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