Emerging market innovation is now spreading to the developed world
Necessity is the mother of invention
Recent cases of reverse innovation – when products and services are developed in the emerging world and then spread to the developed – are showing that emerging markets are becoming the world’s testing ground.
The Financial Times highlights several standout products that are spreading from their home markets:
Chinese bike-sharing startup Bluegogo has taken its improvements on existing bike-sharing model to the US. The company, along with fellow Chinese bike-share startup Mobike, developed a model without docking stations that allows for wider adoption and cheaper bikes. The dock-less model has run into issues related to bike littering, including with Bluegogo’s launch in San Francisco, but the benefits are so great that it will likely stick with some adjustments.
South African insurer AllLife found a way to provide health insurance for “uninsurable” HIV-positive clients, using algorithms to assess insurance risk and determine the price of cover on a case-by-case basis. With the success covering 100,000 HIV positive clients, the company has now partnered with Royal London to offer diabetes patients life insurance in the UK, using the same innovative approach.
Renault’s Kwid car was originally envisioned as a car for the local Indian market, developed by French designers working in Chennai. But the budget model has proven so successful that it is being exported to Indonesia, with planned expansion to other markets.