In Summary
  • Disruption and competition is not happening so much in technology hubs, but in real-life business situations.
  • In food delivery, the companies people used to call to order pizza and burgers are now competing with apps of taxi companies and platforms that they use to pay electricity and water bills.
  • There are also big opportunities in cargo transportation which accounts for 35 percent of the cost of some goods in Africa.
  • In areas of passenger transport, mega disrupters like Uber and Matatus are themselves being disrupted themselves.

Nairobi was once described as a hotbed of innovation. But the story of disruption and competition is not happening so much in technology hubs, but in real-life business situations.

Kiosks and petrol stations are turning in to drop-off points for parcel and e-commerce companies. The SGR has taken away trucking business on the Mombasa Highway and plans for the Naivasha dry port are leading to an atrophy of Mombasa courier firms.

Instagram is disrupting clothes shops at malls. Supermarkets are disrupting restaurants by offering ready-cooked food based on the amount shoppers want to pay.

Co-working spaces, which disrupted offices, are now being partially replaced by bars that have Wi-Fi, coffee, car washes, and free parking that are all conducive for quiet morning meetings.

But the most interesting developments are in the spaces of food delivery, cargo transportation and matatu commutes.

COMPETING WITH APPS

In food delivery, the companies people used to call to order pizza and burgers are now competing with apps of taxi companies and platforms that they use to pay electricity and water bills.

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