Mantra For C-Suite Executives In Finland & EU Who Want To Really Grow Their Business (Hint: It Involves Emerging Markets)

Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia

I would like all C-Suite Executives, be they from Startups, SMEs or Big Corporations, to repeat this “Mantra” every day right after they wake up.

Domestic Growth Is Not Enough For My Business

Exports To Developed Economies Is Not Enough For My Business

Growth For My Business Should Increasingly Come From Sales In Emerging Economies

The last part, especially, will not magically happen. They will need to understand the market and create or co-create solutions that B2B and B2C customers in those emerging markets will buy. There is definitely space for high cost solutions but more often than not the solutions that are needed are those that have these Frugal Innovation attributes: quality, sustainable, accessible and affordable.

Pawan Goenka Of Mahindra & Mahindra Says Disruptive Innovation That Combines Frugal Engineering & IT Expertise Is A Must For Indian Automotive Players

Pawan Goenka, Executive Director of Mahindra & Mahindra, says disruptive innovation that combines frugal engineering and IT expertise is a must for Indian Automotive players.

Source: http://www.mahindra.com/business/automotive
Source: http://www.mahindra.com/business/automotive

Today, almost all major global OEMs have an India development centre with plans to increase sourcing and use India as its manufacturing base. With the government’s support, OEMs and suppliers have put in herculean efforts in shaping the industry’s achievements. There’s no surprise that India is ranked 10th in the auto segment of the Future Brand’s Country Brand Index (CBI) for 2014-15 – the only segment where India is featured among the Top 10 across industry sectors like FMCG, electronics, fashion and luxury.

Having said that, one still needs to wonder, ‘Have we established a rational and emotional value proposition of Brand India?’ It is still associated as an LCC (Low Cost Country) with lower level of manufacturing quality and has a long way to go to improve its aspiration quotient. Will a customer in the UK aspire to own a car because it is ‘Made in India’ or will he rather pay a premium for one designed and made in Germany?

……..

We do need to find the platform on which to build (automotive) Brand India. I believe we have two platforms to build on – frugal engineering and IT expertise. The latter has been an acknowledged strength of India for some time but more in terms of providing software expertise to the world and not in terms of building this expertise into our own (automotive) products. Can we take a pole position in this? In the last several years, frugal engineering is being recognised globally as a strength and not a way to cut corners. The world acknowledges that India invented it and frankly all others are now imitating it, thanks to the exposure they now have to Indian engineering ecosystem. Can we translate these two strengths into a brand image of India – not that of an LCC with low labour cost as the only advantage, but of a country that has the ability to design products differently and use its IT expertise to give customers a product that others cannot?

Brand building has an extremely long gestation period to reap any formidable result. In spite of challenges, the automotive industry has continuously steered the path of creating world-class products, building a manufacturing ecosystem and frugal innovation.

Read his entire column written for Autocar Professional here.

Gave A Talk At “Visit Startup India” Pre-Event At Aalto Ventures Program In Espoo Today

The Nordic Frugal Innovation Society (TNFIS) is a partner with Startup Europe India Network.

Startup Europe India Network (SEU-IN) connects the European and Indian Startup ecosystems. It is a partner for growth, investments, and strategic sourcing in the European and Indian digital markets. SEU-IN works with Startups, Investors, and Corporates to accelerate growth, investments and innovation. SEU-IN is set out as the key initiative for Startups in the “Agenda for action 2020” between EU and India.

SEU-IN is organising for the first time an event to help jump start it’s mission in a big way Between October 17-20, 2016, it is taking a delegation of EU startup ecosystem actors to India. It contains 2 parts.

Part 1: VISIT STARTUP INDIA (“VSI”) takes a selected group of European Startup ecosystem players to visit India and meet with with their counter-parts and policy makers in Delhi and Bengaluru.

Part 2: On the final day of the visit, VSI participants also attend the Startup EU India Summit (“SEIS”) in Bengaluru.

 
Did a pre-event at Aalto Ventures Program this afternoon to spread the word and Praveen Paranjothi from SEU-IN joined in via Skype to answer questions posed by the attendees. Thanks to AVP for hosting and for the free Coffee/Tea for the attendees.

Source: Aalto Ventures Program
Source: Aalto Ventures Program

Interested? Check out the website links provided above or reach out to me via email or twitter.

MIT’s Tata Center -Affordable Next Generation Mobile Health Devices Will Use Machine Intelligence And Advanced Algorithms

MIT Tata Center for Technology + Design was founded in 2012 with funding from Tata Trusts.

Since then the centre has been working to address the challenges of resource-constrained communities, with an initial focus on India. Amongst the many projects that they are working on, this current project seems really interesting and had the ability to scale not just in India but to other emerging markets as well has a chance to become reverse innovation for the developed world.

I am talking about their project “Machine intelligence to enable the next generation of mobile health tools” .

Source: www.mit.edu
Source: www.mobilehealthlab.com

What the MIT team wants to do is elaborated on MIT news website:

Although pulmonary testing equipment such as the body plethysmograph, impulse oscillometer, spirometer, and gas diffusion meter are available in many modern hospitals, this equipment typically costs over $100,000 and is extremely scarce in developing countries.

….

Fletcher and Chamberlain teamed up with pulmonary experts at the Chest Research Foundation to develop a more general solution for diagnosing pulmonary disease that employs a simple mobile stethoscope and a common peak flow meter, which together cost less than $50 in low volumes. Using a combination of input methods — including the microphone, USB, and augmented reality — they developed a mobile application that is able to reliably capture various data on a mobile phone, and then run machine-learning algorithms to predict the probability that the patient has a specific pulmonary disease.

They initially built the world’s first USB-powered mobile stethoscope collaborating with the Chest Research Foundation in Pune, India. According to the Mobile Health Lab’s website:

Plugged into a smartphone, its companion app transforms the device into a low-cost diagnostic tool, which health workers and nonspecialist physicians can use to diagnose lung disease.

This team won the $100 000 third prize in Vodafone’s 2015 annual Wireless Innovation Project awards program.

This is a a quality, accessible, affordable solution- Meaning a true Frugal Innovation!

Below is a really informative video on how they plan to use new technology to make affordable pulmonary healthcare solutions.

Brookings Institution’s Financial and Digital Inclusion Project Shows Kenya Topping It’s List Amongst 26 Emerging Economies

Brookings Institution recently released a report titled “The 2016 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project Report”

Their 2016 report assesses financial inclusion ecosystems in 26 geographically, politically, and economically diverse countries based on four dimensions of financial inclusion: country commitment, mobile capacity, regulatory environment, and adoption of selected traditional and digital financial services.

Source:https://www.brookings.edu/research/the-2016-brookings-financial-and-digital-inclusion-project-report/
Source:https://www.brookings.edu/research/the-2016-brookings-financial-and-digital-inclusion-project-report/

Brookings has launched these rankings in 2014 as a way to examine access to and usage of secure, affordable formal financial services among underserved populations and released it’s first report in 2015. Back in 2015, Kenya also topped the list.

Read the whole report here.

Nokia Cuts It’s 360 Degree VR Camera “Ozo” Price By 25% As It Enters Chinese & Other Emerging Markets

Source: https://ozo.nokia.com
Source: https://ozo.nokia.com

So, if you haven’t heard of Nokia’s OZO camera, here is a brief overview.

Ozo is touted as the world’s first professional Virtual Reality camera. As you can see from the image it can capture 360° spherical video at 30 FPS and 360×360 surround sound via it’s 8 2K cameras.

Nokia just announced that they are now selling Ozo in the Chinese market and with that press release they also announced new global pricing of $45K USD (€40K Euros). This is down from $60K that it was priced so far.

So Nokia is entering the Chinese market with a new global pricing that is 25% reduced from it’s original pricing

We have also previously seen that there is a lot of activity from major players like Google to be in the VR camera business. For example this headline in The Verge – “Google is working with IMAX to build a cinema-quality Jump VR camera”

If we checkout Google’s VR page, it shows how it wants to be in the commercial as well as the consumer sector and with collaorations with IMAX, Jump, and Go Pro; Google has the deep pockets and the knowledge base to become a competitors to Noika’s Ozo.

Google lists that the Jump camera rig consists of 16 camera modules in a circular array and it costs $15K.

Source: https://vr.google.com/jump/
Source: https://vr.google.com/jump/

Both Google-Gopro Jump and Nokia Ozo seem to be aimed at the professionals but at the same time there are also good, affordable alternatives aimed at the consumer market, eg: Vuze VR. Going on sale at $799, it puts VR in the hands of budding professionals who can’t afford the expensive Gopros and Ozos but also for families who want to record their own activites.

Source: Vuze VR
Source: Vuze VR

Albeit $799 might be still costsly for VR to take off in the consumer market but these are really early stages, and I can imaging a sub $500 VR camera rig in a year or two.

Few final thoughts:

  • Nokia realizes that for faster adoption to occur globally, it needs to reduce it’s original price
  • Entering and selling in China and eventually in other emerging markets also has pushed Ozo to be offered at a 25% lower price
  • There will be competitors from USA, China and maybe India who will start to offer a frugal alternative just like it happened in the smartphone arena and Nokia wants to be in the drivers seat with it’s own offerings.
  • I will Be Talking At Visit Startup India Pre-Event At Aalto Ventures Lab at 13:00 On August 30, 2016

    Would you like to hear the hottest news from Indian startup scene?

    Come on Tuesday 30.8 to AVP Space – Tongji Lounge to hear how Startup Europe’s partner TNFIS (http://tnfis.org/) is connecting European and Indian startup and investor ecosystems – startups, scaleups, investors, corporates and policy makers.

    AVP Event Photo1

    I will be speaking along with a Skype video in from Praveen Paranjothi of Startup Europe India Network to answer your questions.

    VisitStartupIndia_New2016

    VISIT STARTUP INDIA (“VSI”) is a mission to take the European startup ecosystem (startups, scaleups, corporates, investors) to meet with the key-players in the Indian digital & ICT space in Delhi and Bengaluru, two major startup hubs.

    VSI is organized by Startup Europe India Network (“SEU-IN”), in collaboration with Startup Europe initiative of the European Commission. JOIN the visit and meet with key Indian startups, investors, corporate innovators, and hear directly from the Indian policy makers on the startup environment and the Indian market opportunities. VSI participants also attend the high-profile Startup EU-India Summit in Bengaluru on their final day of the visit.

    Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 10.09.03

    Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 10.09.39

    Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 10.08.33

    Startup Europe India Summit (SEIS) is a huge startup event exploring both growth and investment opportunities but also exploring insights about the European and Indian digital markets. In this pre-event you have a possibility to hear beforehand what are the biggest themes of the event and what cool is actually happening there.

    Event is free for everybody so don’t miss this chance. See you there!

    Read more about Visit Startup India Summit:
    www.visitstartupindia.com

    Bloomberg – Alipay Is Keeping Chinese Tourists In It’s Ecosystem Even When They Travel In Europe

    Source: https://intl.alipay.com/

    Alipay was launched in China in 2004 by Alibaba Group and its founder Jack Ma. It is an online payment platform and currently has about 400 Million users.

    Bloomberg now reports that for the vast number of Chinese tourists visiting Europe, Alipay has started to make their lives as a tourist easier by signing deals with brick and mortar retailers in Europe to bulk up its offering for Chinese tourists and expats. It’s seeking to add extras to its mobile wallet app for Chinese travellers in France, the U.K., Germany and Italy.

    About 120 million Chinese tourists traveled last year, and their most popular destinations outside Asia were France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany, data by the China Tourism Research Institute showed. They spent $875 each on average while traveling.
    ….

    In a world where all roads lead to payments, Alipay’s latest initiatives show hand-holding customers through their purchases is a key function of the business. The end-game for these digital giants, regardless of which side of the globe they’re on, is to become an important driver of commerce and put themselves in a position to take a cut of transactions they help generate.

    GSMA’s Ecosystem Accelerator Has Released It’s Insight On Tech Hubs In Africa And Asia

    GSMA has released it’s insight on tech hubs in Africa and Asia.

    In Africa alone GSMA have identified 314 active tech hubs: Accelerators, Incubators and others while there are 287 in South and Southeast Asia , a number that keeps on growing on a weekly basis.

    Wharton Knowledge – The Power Of A Missed Mobile Call In Emerging Economies

    Quick.. If you want to have an effective way to do mobile marketing in emerging economies, what do you do?

    Well… try this proven technique.

    There are different names for it.

    In India it is called missed call.
    In Philippines it is called miskol.
    In Africa it is called beep.
    In Indonesia it is called memancing.
    In Pakistan it is called flashcall.

    In an insightful article on the culture of missed calls, UPenn Wharton takes us through the origin of this issue 5 years ago and how it is thriving in the here and now.

    If one has ever heard the concept of “collect calls”, this must sound familiar. This is the concept of reverse charge call where the calling party wants to place a call at the called party’s expense.

    Under the concept of “Missed call marketing (MCM)“, a similar thing is happening in the emerging economies.

    According to an article on The Hindu, Ozonetel Systems– a pioneer and a leading provider of on-demand cloud communication services in India has handled 700 missed calls in 9 months leading upto February 2016 and will handle a billion missed calls in a year.

    Consumers call back in response to ads targeted at them, but hang up without connecting.

    Companies then call them back or send messages with deals, coupons and offers.

    More than that, the companies gain valuable information of customer interests, preferences and profiles so that ads can be more precisely targeted. Ozonetel has been handling missed calls for the past four years.

    Such has been the power of the MCM phenomenon that ZipDial, an Indian startup that was successful in capitalizing on the prevalence of “missed calls” and was bought by Twitter in early 2015.

    The way in which these MCM marketing firms work is quite simple and is illustrated in this figure below:

    Source: https://www.ozonetel.com/

    According to the Wharton article, the missed call marketing has even crossed the income divide, where in recently a luxury housing project had a “Give a missed call to xxxxxxxxxx for more information” tucked away at the bottom of each page.

    Politicians and political parties, have been using them to reach to their followers and for their membership drives.

    Employer provident funds and Banks are using MCM to help their members with tracking their account balance.

    Nestlé’s Bunyad is an iron-rich product specially focused on school-going children to prevent iron deficiency. The brand offered free talk-time top-up to anybody who gave a missed call and listened to the Bunyad message. “We called the user back through an automated system, educating them on the issue,” says Jafri. “The response was way beyond our expectations. Also, we now have a database of these listeners to engage them further with Nestle Bunyad.”

    How big is the business in India? There is no simple answer. Three years ago, The Economic Times put it at Rs. 5 billion (approx 75 million USD). But that was in the days before Big Data came into the picture. “Trial prices start at Rs. 1,000 (less than $15) a month,” says Sunil Jain. Add a substantial dose of number crunching and the bill could shoot up to 100 times as much. “The size of the market is difficult to estimate,” says Rajesh Jain.