Mobile Technology and Disruptive Business Model in Africa
Mobile technology takes a lead role as one of the game changers of the business world in Africa. It is at the very core of revolution, and it would be wrong not to recognize its efforts in connecting Africans to the global market. This technology is an umbrella of many disruptive innovations in the continent, all geared towards economic development and reduction of poverty levels among Africans.
First of all, let’s take a look at the revolution Africa has undergone in the past decade after the introduction of mobile phones. Referring to the world as a global village is more of a reality now than it was years back before the number of mobile phone and internet users had risen to the number it is today. Having the ball on their court, Africans have taken it their personal initiative to come up with new robust ideas that have redefined business models not only in Africa, but the whole world.
This has had a great impact on the business world and consequently increased employment opportunities, revenue, improved living standards among an infinite list of advantages. Basically, the new market disruptive innovation has achieved more success than its counterpart, the low-end disruptive innovation. The former mainly targets non-consumption of products, which may arise due to a number of issues. These are time spent, skills and overall production cost that results in a hefty price levied on the consumer. With these disruptive innovations, products are made cheaper, easy to use and more affordable, thus making them accessible to more Africans out there. A good example is the mobile money transfer platform in Kenya called M-Pesa.
Even amid all the advantages, there are many obstacles posed on these disruptive innovations, which include lack of infrastructure, and low incomes for development. And in as much as these may slow down the process, they are actually the very basis on which the disruption thrives. There are many examples to support that, and here are just but examples.
1. Opera Max.
This is a data management smartphone application that gives the user protection on public and unsecured Wi-Fi networks, but also regulates the data usage by other applications thus saving you money. It was introduced after the use of smartphones was widespread in Africa following low and affordable prices. The only challenge is that data has remained very expensive for some, with 30% of it being run in the background without the user’s knowledge. This application is very helpful and alerts you when applications in the background are consuming data, as well as give you an option of choosing those that should use data and those that shouldn’t. There could possibly not be a better solution.
This is a South African based application that helps connect professional cleaners to home owners, and in that way create opportunities for the cleaners. This is also very helpful as it makes home cleaning cheap and affordable, but also accessible to everyone in need of the same. One of the outstanding services with Domestly is that they set their own rates and in this case prevents exploitation of cleaners but also provide a range of options to choose from for the home owners.
Other disruptive innovations in this list are the Flare of Kenya, Flutterwave of Nigeria and the bottles app of South Africa.
In light of the above, it is correct to say that Africa is on the go too and will be posing stiff competition to the worlds predominant businesses we adore today.