A Lean Pooling Organization..A move for the Sahel region
The Sahel region’s dynamic demography will be as much as 330M in the next 30 years. The Sahel is potentially the nest of future workforce and above all a probable solid consumer base. The middle class, as the basis of attractive markets, constitutes a smaller share of the overall population. This state of fact calls for lean investment projects which address specific need of precise and reduced scale demand.
In order to improve the perception of the risk involved in investing in the region, accurate data, collected fast and at a low cost is an important requirement. Thus, to ensure decisions effectiveness, a sustainable solution is to set up a lean pooling organization -LPO-.
In the region, there is currently a huger gap between the available statistics and the current economic state of the region. These publications, highly aggregated, are certainly relevant for government officials and country wide projects but present little to no insights for SMEs.
In fact, the region lacks reports with the business acumen one can expect in order to act on or pull out from a bad investment, considered from a financial perspective.
LPO value proposition is achievable because it’s intended to operate like a technology firm.
First of all, nowadays, with the penetration rate of mobile phones, the internet, the use of sensors, partnerships with IT firms, the ability to collect alternative reliable data is made affordable. Internet coverage in the region is very low, but mobile phone coverage is high enough -and rising- to guarantee the ability to reach the population and gather effective data. Telecom companies’ profits are shrinking due to a tough competition, so setting a partnership is a way to generate extra revenue. For the moment, considering the share of literate and smartphone owners, the collection of the data has to be made through calls and in various languages.
A concrete offer would be to push survey message to their customers and each customer answering the question receives extra call, SMS or internet credits paid for by LPO. The cost of setting up a multilingual call center is considerably lower than the face-to-face interview conducted by actual statistics institutions. The centralization of the data can be made in real time by note taking with a numerical interface. Making this part of the process efficient ensures consistent cost-effective polling thus worthy the investment for economic agents which can be considered as sunk cost. Data collection is the cornerstone of quality reports and subsequent decision.
Analyzing and providing valuable understandings of a marketplace to businesses is potentially accelerable thanks to data mining and visualization software.
The edge of the insights will help small and medium companies test the sustainability of their business model with reliable data. The final goal is to adjust the offer of products or services thus reducing consistently the risk of failure.
Consumers’ frustration is the result of dissatisfaction, sometimes demonstrations -energy sector, education, telecoms, levels of price- that are not addressed.
Polling, if used correctly will also ameliorate consumers’ view point of a new offer. In fact, their needs and expectations are considered and used to improve a product with shorten time lag. The public relation impact of such a service enlarges the market of LPO to public sector and state held corporations. Organizations have got to adapt to the era of information spreading at the speed of the light by addressing every issue or take every opportunity with the sense of emergency required today. This is only achievable with the availability of high quality data, consolidated and tailored for decision makers in order to address timely a precise question.
Giving organizations insights of the perception their best asset (consumers base) have of their performance leads to a better fulfilment of the social contract in between companies and the society in general. And this is for the greater good. There is a market for data that is yet to be exploited.
The ambition of this initiative would be to use successful technological startups and companies experience so as to consistently reduce the delay between the consumers/citizens need of products, services or infrastructure and the supply by firms and public administrations. The bold goal is to make sure there is a market before undertaking any investment thus reducing the risk, improving returns on investment and creating a virtuous cycle of Sahelian markets boom. This goal is achievable by going in the field of decision making efficiency along with a strong network of professionals able to integrate the whole decision process by building bridges between consumers and organizations.