Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Kenya: Ecommerce ideas for '09

Three key themes. Information. Shopping window. Connections.

  1. Auction website market for land, property, cars, and the like. Also an auction market for housebuilding and other small projects.
  2. Recommend: you want hire somebody, hire somebody who has been recommended e.g. a garage, programmers can market themselves etc.
  3. Financial super market: Comparator table for various tyupes of financial products and allowing the viewer to be able to actually apply for the preferred product from the table. Would require agreement with banks and other providers so they pay a fee for each opened account. Could also use the same as introduction to customers to various products.
  4. Tour guide and booking site: Most peeps in the West have a misconception of what it'd be like to visit Kenya or even Africa. One of my colleagues asked me if we have hotels (I am not kidding and its somebody born and bred in London). Virtual online tours of hotels; lodges and game parks and other places of interest would work a treat. You'd have agreements with the hotels and others to get some commission for every package booked through your website.
  5. Virtual real estate site: sign up all the estate agents so you host and advertise all their properties. Similar to tour guide but this time it'll be a virtual property tour so that potential buyers can see the house, see the plot and location rather than having to travel thru 3 hours of traffic jams on Thika/Ngong/Mombasa road.
  6. Farmers website: Where they can sell their produce, get farming advice and tips, vetinary service hire
  7. Entertainment supermarket: vcds', cds, digitized tapes, you pay to burn on to your system
  8. Law courts auctions: One of the ways of getting goods and property cheaply. You can't do it unless you are in Kenya though. Why not work with the courts to get this done online complete with pictures or short-films.
  9. Virtual help desks: Q&A for specific IT issues for Kenyans
  10. Online library: Hosting professional tution and notes, university papers, thesis, past exam papers, useful school text books and especially those used in primary and secondary sschools. Parents pay a small monthly or annual subscription
  11. Ebank: As far as I know, the high net worthy customers of BBK, Stanchart, KCB don't enjoy ebanking. Why not set up an online bank to do just that? Mbanking is also an option though I know some guys have it in beta form.
  12. Networking club: To host professionals, common interests e.g. paragliding, bungee-jumping, fishing etc
  13. Map Kenya and sell the software

There are many other ideas, but fibre optic needs to hit and have the expected penetration...

7 comments:

Empower Kenya said...

Mainat,
I like many of your ideas.
The major hindrances are how expensive internet is for most Kenyans and mode of payment.
The good news is fiber optic, Mpesa and Zap may sold many of those hindrances.
My experience is that many Kenyans are late adopters of technology...I have seen many people come from Diaspora with some great ideas only to struggle in getting people to buy into their concepts.

MainaT said...

Your pt about Kenyans being late adapters of technology is one I worry about because I encountered it with cellphones. I was trying to set up a dealership with a friend in 2001, but he didn't really get the idea at the time even though he had the capital to start...

Maishinski said...

Most of your ideas are viable and have worked well elsewhere.

Online Commerce in Kenya is long overdue!

a lot of Jamaaz are just chilling for that high speed internet to hit Nairobi. Won't be long, after that happens, before peeps book one way tickets back to Kenya.

pesa tu said...

The ideas can work.Its only payment sysytems i.e. credit cards and home delivery sytems that may slow it down.e.g. if a kenyan buys a book on Amamzon he has to pick it from the post office=no home delivery

MainaT said...

The credit cards. I think Visa and others are working v hard to increase penetration. They have the technology to reduce fraud.
On the distribution and delivery systems-post on the way.

Boris Bowen said...

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