Viewpoint: How Emerging Markets Will Be Disrupted by Tech
By Hasnain Malik, Tracy Kivunyu
Disruptive technology always challenges entrenched interests, be they economic or political. It usually needs a benign regulatory environment, scale in the addressable consumer market and access to funding to drive standardisation and adoption.
Candidate disruptive technologies include automation, artificial intelligence, aeroponics, block chain, batteries, clean energy, drones, stem cells, 3-D printing and virtual reality.
The repercussions should these technologies gain traction are far from straightforward for emerging and frontier markets. Some bring economic benefits (such as greater documentation of the economy, greater inclusion of lower income segments in economic development), some challenge the security and defence mechanisms of governments (easier to mobilise protests and carry out terror) and some may cause the largest, developed economies to take less interest in emerging market supply chains (and less interest in protecting the security of those supply chains) if manufacturing migrates back to developed economies.
Photo courtesy of Steve Jurvetson.