What challenges are "Base of the Pyramid" ventures facing in the idea phase?
Nasir Muhammad ConsultingConsulting
1 point. Voted up by
If it is a start-up, ideally, the principles would be local, making point one moot.

Start-ups would be limited in it's scope by either the lack of financing or lack of knowledgeable personal capable of implementing the business plan, thus the principles would need to focus or fail in the incubator phase.

If we a dealing with an established business interested in investing in a foreign market, which by the formulation of your questions, is the thrust of your thesis, then all of the above, except, financing would be a problem in the idea phase.
Sep 04, 2011
At the idea phase,the main challenge is the ability to envision the critical aspects and dynamics that will arise when taking the project beyond the initial idea phase.

Of course the lack of financing to test the idea on a large enough scale to give economic and social indicators and to forsee the need for the test phase leads to many a failed venture. - Vincent Mutavi 8 years

Frederik Pétursson MadsenCo-founder AfricaPace
1 point. Voted up by
At the Danish BOP Learning lab we held a workshop in spring 2011, which included leading companies from Denmark. The workshop facilitated sharing of experiences on doing business with low-income consumers.

The participating companies at the workshop were categorised according to the phase of their project, i.e. Idea Phase, Start-up Phase and Scale Phase.

The companies in the Idea Phase identified 4 key challenges.

1. Lack of local knowledge: Involves all essential areas as local markets dynamics, customer needs, local regulation, local partners and other essential information. Finding the right partners as well as identifying the optimal mode of cooperation is particularly challenging for companies.

2. Focus: The wide range of opportunities within the BOP segment, means that companies find it difficult to find focus. Many companies find it difficult to focus geographically as well as sector-wise, which is why a BOP strategy often becomes too large of an assignment to embrace.

3. Finance: Difficult to secure finance for an unproven product/service in a unfamiliar market.

4. Support from management: It is a challenge to convince the management about the relevance, strategic importance and potential profitability of the project, especially if no pilot project has been conducted to show concrete opportunities.

Companies who have moved from the Idea Phase to actually implementing projects recommended:

1. Take action and test your idea: First and foremost it is crucial to move from the analytic phase to an action oriented phase. Success greatly depends on starting up with a small-scale project in a specific (or limited number of) markets in order to identify opportunities as well as prove the concept/product/service targeting the BOP segment.

2. Entrepreneurship (intrapreneurship) is about doing, failing, learning and building. In this process it is essential to start small and agile and build in several steps, milestones and deadlines in the projects.

3. It is important to choose markets and partners carefully.

Aug 23, 2011

Petronella du ToitFounder ZA Trade
Base of the Pyramid = Access to information and communication, and nothing else!
Dec 12, 2011
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