For years, multinational companies had little interest in lower-end consumers, figuring no money was to be made. Now, they are increasingly attractive to all types of industries, from consumer product makers to technology businesses.
The Trouble With Dirt: Floors can make people sick, so EarthEnable’s founders came up with a market-based solution, but are still testing models
Dirt floors in the developing world make people sick. Replacing those floors with concrete isn’t the answer, as it is prohibitively expensive. EarthEnable’s solution: locally sourced, earthen floors that are 75 percent cheaper than the concrete alternative.
‘The Next Frontier of Financial Services’ (Part 2): Why some m-insurance models have more upside than others, according to BFA’s Jeremy Leach
"The (m-insurance models) that look best are the loyalty and ‘freemium’ models at this stage, primarily because consumers need the market-making capabilities of experiencing their product first, before they are willing to pay for it," says Jeremy Leach of BFA, in the second of a two-part series on microinsurance. He explores the risks and benefits of m-insurance in this Q&A.
‘The Next Frontier of Financial Services’ (Part 1): Jeremy Leach, director at Bankable Frontier Associates, discusses microinsurance’s potential and challenges
Insurers have traditionally steered clear of the base of the pyramid, for a variety of reasons. But that’s changing, says Jeremy Leach of Bankable Frontier Associates, who sees insurance as the "next frontier of financial services." We discuss the state of the sector, and the challenges and opportunities it faces in serving the BoP, in part one of this Q&A.
When It Comes to Cash Transfers, the Medium Matters: The pros and cons of delivering aid via cash, voucher or digital payment in two African programs
Mobile payments have some clear advantages over cash in the developing world, but they are not without limitations. Existing research points to lack of trust, inadequate marketing efforts and inhospitable regulatory frameworks as some of the key factors that limit the adoption of mobile financial services.
Smart Loan Products, Smarter Lending Approach: Kazakhstan’s Asian Credit Fund serves the country’s financially underserved, rural poor
There’s a dramatic income gap between rich and poor in Kazakhstan. Recognizing this, in recent years Asian Credit Fund (founded in 1997 by Mercy Corps) has been targeting the country’s most remote areas, adapting its products to the rural context, with a sustainable twist.
Indian multinational conglomerate Tata Group has donated $15.5 million (Rs 95 crore) to IIT Bombay (IIT-B) to setup a virtual centre, which would focus on developing low-cost technologies for the bottom of the pyramid (BoP) consumers, says a report in The Economic Times, quoting IIT-B director Devang V Khakhar.
- South Asia
On Wednesday, the world marks World Mosquito Day to commemorate the 1897 discovery by British doctor Sir Ronald Ross that malaria in people is transmitted to and from mosquitoes. Ross won a Nobel prize for his discovery, and, since then, mosquitoes have been enemy No 1 when it comes to defeating a disease that takes a life every single minute – most of them children in sub-Saharan Africa. But on this day, let’s focus on approaching malaria in a surprising new way: a vaccine to stop humans from giving malaria to mosquitoes.