In business we like to talk of disruption. To grow, you have to disrupt the incumbents by setting a new basis of competition which will help you to take market share from them. The digital camera innovators disrupted companies like Kodak which built their businesses on thin film photography. In Nigeria, we have seen the old powerful banks like First Bank and Union Bank live under the shadows of Zenith Bank and GTBank which used technology to redesign Nigeria’s banking sector. The market capitalizations of these banks make that disruption very evident.
Yet, it is not always necessary for a company to disrupt for it to grow. To explain that disruption is not always required for growth, I will use free-range chickens, found in most African villages, to create an analogy. A free-range chicken “is a bird that is allowed constant access to the outdoors, with plenty of fresh vegetation, sunshine and room to exercise”. As a teenager, I grew some and it was a very good business!
This bird does not compete for your time. Unlike dogs and cats, you practically do not invest so much time on free-range chickens. In the morning, they leave the house and in the evening, they return. They feed for themselves!
In business, we can be like chickens. Yes, create a new market in Africa even when you are not disrupting anyone. It is not always that one has to disrupt, but it is mandatory that one has to CREATE, in order to find GROWTH.
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