Who really knows what is going on in RoW markets? How can your company do business there?
The very term ‘RoW’, which stands for “Rest of World”, implies that these markets are an afterthought to a separate primary focus. The term is traditionally employed in the automotive sector to designate a group of markets whose volume profile and regulatory frameworks are such that manufacturers supply them with products that are designed to fit a range of similar markets rather than a specific country. By contrast; countries that demand enough volume to attract manufacturers’ attention create stringent homologation requirements around issues like emissions, safety, and fuel quality specifications that manufacturers must adhere to for their imported products to clear customs.
Many RoW markets also happen to be African markets. With African populations and incomes skyrocketing, these markets are growing fast. Businesses have started to realize that African markets represent a real consumer base. The mobile phone explosion on the continent has been a key sign for global investors. With SIM card penetration now greater than half of the total continental population, large international corporations are becoming aware of these new consumers. Markets that were formerly only considered nameless parts of the RoW conglomerate are developing into their own distinct entities.
- First, we must recognize Africa and specific markets as real and independent entities. It is not enough to simply change the images or the language on our marketing collateral. African consumers are culturally and socially different, and deserve a different approach. Nuevva harnesses our deep understanding of Africa for the businesses, products, and services we market.
- Second, African consumers and countries are ready for a different consumption experience. Selling in Africa should no longer be extractive or exploitative, instead market activities should be linked to encouraging development in local African communities to strengthen tomorrow’s middle class consumers. And in the global context of growing resource scarcity and blossoming populations, those consumers will see growing limits to their consumption options. If companies selling products and services in Africa can promote more sustainable consumption, the outcome will be safer for our world.