Nice Read On GSMA’s Mobile 360 Africa Conference 2016 Overview

Great read on GSMA’s Mobile 360 Africa conference:


1. APIs: a bridge between mobile operators and start-ups in Africa- Especially

(a) Monetisation: Start-ups must understand their path to monetisation and also the monetisation path for mobile operators;

(b)Support: Start-ups need to seek external support in understanding how mobile operators work and how to work with them. This will help them reach out to the right people within the operators and to craft the right value proposition; and

(c) Product Differentiation: Operators are keen on propositions that are unique and will give them an edge in the market. This differentiation should be reflected when reaching out to them.

Barriers that still prevent start-ups in their markets (Rwanda and Kenya in particular) to fully realise the benefits of operator APIs. These barriers include:
(a) Operator’s maturity in the management of APIs (e.g. clear and actionable documentation);
(b) Lack of access to stable sandbox environment;
(c) Difficulty in identifying the API ‘point of contact’ within the mobile operator;
(d) Integration issues with some APIs (often requiring to connect through a VPN); and
(e) Lack of standardised APIs across markets.

Author: Venkata Gandikota

Venkata has more than 13 years of technical engineering, research, ideation, strategy and business modeling experience. Based on his experience with the Indian market and realizing also the need for affordable & sustainable solutions for Finland and other European markets, he started The Nordic Frugal Innovation Society in late 2013 with 2 colleagues. By organizing ideation workshops and 2 major conferences involving Cities, Universities, and businesses he started to mainstream the concept in Finland and the Nordics. Gandikota has also written several articles focusing on frugal innovations in the Finnish media. He has also been helping Finnish businesses in India as CEO of Indianeer Consulting and gives guest lectures at JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Jyväskylä. He has a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from India and a Masters in Environmental Engineering from USA.