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Posts Tagged ‘consumer products’
GIM Expert Featured in Fox Business: Who Needs Cash? Online Banking for the World’s Poorest

Excerpt. For full article, please use this link.

“Players in the financial-services industry are traveling to the world’s most cash-rich locales, scouring rural villages in an effort to tap an untouched market where some 2.4 billion people have yet to open a bank account.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that there’s a tectonic shift in technology here, a leapfrog opportunity,” said Gordon Cooper, Visa’s head of emerging market solutions. “We are quite certain that the real opportunity lies in non-traditional growth.”

Sobhani, who focuses on U.N.’s growing inclusive markets initiative, said providing the poor access to financial services through mobile platforms is a “critical enabler.”

That ranges from governments and relief programs providing and tracking direct aid to earthquake victims in Haiti to the ability of hooking rural farmers up to the grid in what led to the creation of Sub-Saharan Africa’s first commodities exchange in Ethiopia.”

Read more:

Q&A with Olayinka David-West, case author of Tetra Pak and Food for Development Nigeria

Olayinka David-West is a lecturer of Information Systems at Lagos Business School, and has over 19 years experience in the local IT industry. She is also an academic director at the Enterprise Development Services (EDS) Centre of Pan-African University. She combines her teaching and research interests with industry consulting engagements in the areas of Strategic IS Planning, IT Personnel Selection, IT Assessment & Review/Due Diligence, E-Business, Business Planning, Software Selection & Management, Systems Implementation, Project & Change Management, Process Improvement and Systems Design. Her research interests include the adoption, utilisation and performance of of information systems in organisations, IT governance, and issues relating to the development of IT organisations. Olayinka is currently enrolled in a doctoral programme at the Manchester Business School, and is researching e-banking performance for her DBA thesis. In addition, she holds an MSc in Business Systems Analysis and Design from City University, London, and a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Lagos. She is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT) and an academic advocate to the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).

In collaboration with local governments, Tetra Pak West Africa (TPWA) developed a state‐wide school feed programme using Nutri‐Sip, a maize‐based meal supplement.

To download the Tetra Pak Food for Development case study from the GIM database, please click here.

What is Tetra Pak’s Food for Development programmes’ basic value proposition and what makes their financial models sustainable?

The value in food for development programme offered by Tetra Pak comprises of the ability to deliver basic nutrition to the Worlds most vulnerable – children in developing countries. The Tetra Pak FFD programme can only be financially sustainable with adequate investment in backward integration of the raw materials for food production. As we saw in the case of Nigeria, the importation of the soy-based product was affected by systematic logistics issues in the Nigerian ports; also in the case of local production, adequate supply of the raw materials, working infrastructure and Government commitment to purchase, and enabling policies are critical for private sector participation and sustainability.

What were the main challenges faced by Food for Development in Nigeria and how could this initiative have been scaled up?

Where health and nutrition are the main responsibilities of Governments, continuity in government administrations is one of the major challenges of food for development in Nigeria. In addition to the policy and funding issues, other challenges included logistics management, project management, and community relationship management.

What is the importance of Food for Development programmes for a country like Nigeria?

FFD programmes are important in a country like Nigeria due to the high occurrences of malnutrition in children. In addition, deployment of the initiatives through schools also encourages school attendance for both male and female children especially amongst discriminating communities.  In addition, with increasing discussions on food security, FFD programmes will also help enhance Nigeria’s industrial and food processing capabilities.

Q&A with Tram Nguyen-Stevenin, author of MAI Vietnamese Handicrafts case study in Vietnam

Tram Nguyen-Stevenin was born and raised in Vietnam. She graduated from ESSEC MBA with a focus in Marketing & Sales, and has 13 years of international management experience acquired in both the association sector and private sector. She effectively managed Sales & Marketing for the largest European and American multinationals operating in Telecommunications and e-commerce & Online Financial Services. For over 2 years, she has been the Executive Director of a Business Organization (European Chamber of Commerce) in the developing and exciting country of Vietnam. She accepted this appointment which is somehow different in her corporate career path as a key opportunity to promote and facilitate trade and investment activities between the EU, her welcome mainland, and Vietnam, her born country. After her term at EuroCham, she is now back to the business world as the Marketing & PR Director at K+, the first media joint-venture ever in Vietnam between the Canal Plus group (Vivendi) and the national broadcaster Vietnamese Television VTV.

Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts (MVH), a member of the Worldwide Fair Trade Organization, trades handicrafts produced by a network of artisans (in majority women) in small remote villages.

To download the MAI Vietnamese Handicrafts case study from the GIM database, please click here.

What is MAI Vietnamese’s basic value proposition and what makes its financial model sustainable?

At the origin an income generating and educational project, MVH was established with the objective to generate direct income and promote self-reliance for the poor and the disadvantaged minorities through fair trade. Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts acts as a primary trading agent and reaches out to neglected women in underdeveloped areas and employs them as producers.

In order to make the financial model sustainable, MVH is also actively involved in long term product development, marketing activities and design to offer quality, environmentally friendly and trendy products.

What would you say was critical about the actor ecosystem that enabled this business to be successful?

Organized in the beginning as an association, MVH could benefit from the valuable support of the Ten Thousand Villages and Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). MCC sponsored the participation of MVH at a handicraft fair in Hanoi and a study tour afterwards in Thailand. MCC also sent a marketing consultant to assist the association in trading efforts.

What have been the benefits for the company in partnering with the World Fair Trade Organization?

As a member, MVH fully benefits from the guidance and business tools of the World Fair Trade Organization.

Organized following the Fair Trade standards (transparency on financial results and use of profit, annual general meeting,..), the company was for instance provided with a WFTO software to calculate from the selling price the final net income for the producer, after deduction of the cost of raw material and labor.

Besides,  the company gets access to a platform of information and relevant partners and customers.

What have been the main challenges of decentralizing the business model?

1. The coordination of a decentralized network has a cost in terms of time and logistics as these small groups work from their homes, located in remote areas. On the other hand, mutual benefit is observed in between the 2 parties in terms productivity, loyalty and scale as artisans get more professional and skilled.

“We are aware of the higher evident cost and complexity involved in running a decentralized model compared to a centralized model of production” the founders say. “However this decentralized approach is the very fundamental of our business model, as we aim to reach out to ethnic minorities and isolated villages with traditional savoir-faire in handicrafts.”

2. The quality control and deadline challenges. On a standard basis, the orders are ready for shipping within 3 months: MVH contractually ensures the production is delivered to their warehouse by the producers in 75 days, so that the company can proceed with the quality check and the packaging within 15 days. The most common quality issue lies in the finishing work of the goods.

However, the payment scheme adopted by MHV is designed to favor the producers and encourage respect of quality and deadline: unlike the common practice to pay producers only upon reception of the merchandise by end-clients, MVH settle a prepayment from 30 to 50% at the order, and pays the remainder under 48 hours at reception of the merchandise in their warehouse, right after the immediate quality check. This feature reduces considerably the payment term (as opposed to a standard 30 to 60 day waiting period). As producers are ensured to get paid immediately upon quality check, they can work with a constructive mindset and focus on high quality standards and on time delivery. To end with, Mai also distributes rewards to the groups for on-time delivery and good quality.

What has been your personal experience going through the GIM training and case research process?

Going through the GIM training and case research process has been such an enriching and self-fulfilling experience for me.

On a professional level, I could learn how to lead and structure a research, how to analyze and link these operational businesses to a broader development perspective.

On a personal level, I had the opportunity to meet and exchange with great and insightful people (GIM team, fellow researchers, business owners and case related stakeholders). The interactions and lively discussions I had within the case research process were most rewarding and interesting.