16 January 2012

True Africa ~ MIT DV's Grunitzky's Lomé Reports

Our MIT Development Ventures 2011 True Africa team is reporting from Lomé, Togo as they explore the market potential for their base-of-pyramid professionals directory service. Claude Grunitzky writes...
"...we’re already doing a better job of explaining our True Africa service proposal to the workers we’ve been meeting in corner shops and back alleys. (My nephew/assistant Ayité is great at starting conversations, and he has great people skills. It must run in the family...) I’ve been practicing the pitch in French and local language Mina, and now the words just flow out of my mouth like H20 out of a faucet. True Africa is a free -- I repeat FREE -- mobile directory for local service providers who will get to post their name, occupation, location and cellphone number, in addition to client ratings, through their cellphone, in order to drum up new business by getting unexpected calls from prospective new clients. A bit of a mouthful, I know, but some in our target market seem drawn to the idea nonetheless. Still, many are also questioning the usage of the word “free” because by now everyone knows that there’s no such thing as a free lunch."

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