Jalak Jobanputra: What in the World? (Video)



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If you love data and tech trends around the world, then you’ll quickly become a fan of Jalak Jobanputra. This past February, Jalak presented the digital and mobile trends to watch around the globe- all from the eyes of an investor. Watch her travel the globe below, and catch our recap of the major trends you need to know.

1. We are experiencing unprecedented connectivity around the world.
Right now there are 7 billion people on the world. This is vast human capital. We are seeing the markets play out in two areas. Developed markets are typically saddled with high deficits and debt and have an aging infrastructure. However, they are home to innovation, stable human capital and great resources. The developing markets are becoming less risky than previously thought for investors. Their growing human capital and tech advances will power development, but issues with infrastructure, agriculture, education, literacy and health are all challenges. While China has a large population, they have an aging issue with 25% of their population exceeding the age of 65 by 2025. On the other hand, India’s growing population and shortage of experienced workers now will grow into an asset, as they have a much more youthful population with large potential for strong innovation. The technology phenomenon is happening across demographics and is unleashing connectivity to people that never had it before.

2. Mobile penetration greatly influences economic growth.
For every 10% point increase in mobile penetration for a country, there is an extra 0.8% increase in annual economic growth in the same country. This means mobile is important. And it’s becoming a bit of a phenomenon, so much so that many individuals around the world now own multiple cell phones. 94 countries had mobile penetration over 100% in 2010, and currently, more people have access to mobile phones than they do to adequate water services. This is a huge market for investors.

3. Most of the world is unbanked.
Ecommerce looks differently in many countries, with fewer individuals engaging in commercial and financial transactions through a banking institution. And those are using a bank more and more are doing so via a mobile device. While the US is burdened by existing infrastructure in regard to ecommerce, the rest of the world is engaging in more technological forms of transactions. In Kenya, SMS messaging is common, with the average transaction at $24. In Japan, contactless payment is common. And understandably so. It’s 40% faster than credit/debit cards and 60% faster than cash. It is commonly used for microtransactions with an $9 average.

Commerce itself is looking different, with a strong move toward discovery and curation. Social recommendations are playing more of a role, especially in Asian cultures like China. Innovations in retail is booming and including this component. So, we’re seeing more things like interactive mirrors in dressing rooms in Brazil that can email photos to your friends for their feedback on your potential outfit purchase. There is still great room for innovation in this area, as people want to make transactions more seamless and social.

Bonus: The next great innovator can come from anywhere.
The need for more reverse innovation where developed markets learn from developing markets and share their existing knowledge is paramount. This should be happening in areas like health. Building out local innovation systems is key. All entrepreneurs need guidance and mentorship. We can do this on a global scale, and doing so will accelerate cross-border innovation.

So, what does all this mean? Jalak did a great job of bringing to light what the next emergent trends will be for developed markets and where we hope developing markets will go. We’re already seeing more governments and local municipalities participate in open data, helping open the door for more innovation. We need to begin to see more of a collaborative spirit with brands across borders. Imagine the possibilities for healthcare brands in India sharing the latest tech for urban doctors reaching rural patients with the UK and the US. Collaboration doesn’t mean competition can’t exist. There is great room for innovation and new ideas in all these areas, which can spur on new services and products. And that can lead to new revenue streams for brands- and better services for consumers. I think we will see this forced in areas that must adapt, like healthcare and mobile.

Watch all our keynotes from February 2012, and don’t forget to share your thoughts on Jalak’s presentation below.

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