By Nnamdi Odumody
Every great nation which has achieved sustainable development is built on a strong foundation of innovation. From when Henry Ford in the early 20th Century pioneered the Ford TT as the world’s first assembly line, to General Motors range of cars targeted primarily at American consumers, and Volkswagen Beetle evolution as the premium vehicle for the Germans during the Second World War due to its shape, size and cost, local brands have defined the economic prosperity of nations.
After the Second World War when the shift in global manufacturing relocated to Japan as a result of the Kaizen Revolution which Dr Edward Deming introduced to the Japanese, Soichiro Honda, Shiji Toyoda, Akiro Morita and Konosuke Matshushita began the development of the now global brands – Honda, Toyota, Sony and Panasonic – by creating world-class products primarily for the Japanese, later Asian and finally global markets.
China’s rise as the world’s second largest economy and major technological player will not have been possible without these brands, engineered primarily for the Chinese consumers
Brand Category King
Alibaba Electronic Commerce
Huawei Telecommunication Equipment
Xiaomi Consumer Electronics
Tencent Consumer Internet
BYD Electric Automotives
DJI Consumer Electronics
Baidu Consumer Internet
Ping An Insurance Financial Services
Ant Financial Financial Services
Oppo Telecommunication Equipment
Oneplus Telecommunication Equipment
Face++ Artificial Intelligence
In Nigeria, a couple of local innovators and businesses have actually come up with world class products engineered for our local market. In Agriculture and Healthcare, FASMICRO’s Zenvus and Medcera are intelligent solutions to transform the Nigerian agricultural and healthcare industries for the 21st century using artificial intelligence respectively.
Dr Collins Agu of I-Habitat has developed the Obuno and Amadioha range with about 80 percent local components for Smart City and other Internet of Things applications in Nigeria. Deji Oduntan and his team at Gokada are trying to redefine the customer experience with motorbikes, a popular means of transportation in urban cities such as Lagos where traffic gridlock is the order of the day.
Marcel Ofomata with his company Amaecom Global has provided a flexible structure of getting finance for your assets. Chidi Ajaere has changed the face of interstate transportation with his GIG Motors offering the best customer service in the industry while Interswitch helped millions of Nigerians enjoy financial services through its platform. Konga has provided Nigerians who cannot withstand the stress of going to markets or shops with a convenient alternative, via e-commerce.
Outside the shores of Nigeria, in Kenya, MKOPA has come up with the most scalable solution to solar energy consumption for homes in Africa while BRCK is an invention borne out of necessity to solve a common problem on the continent by providing access to internet connectivity even in rural underserved locations.
Through the development of world class products engineered for our domestic and African markets, and patronage by Nigerians, local products and services will boom, delivering a highly diversified economy, not dependent on receipts from hydrocarbons for survival. The opportunities and capabilities are there, African policy makers, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders must find all the elements to unlock the promises.