Why a platform business model is key to digital transformation in emerging markets



Platform business models are key to thriving in emerging markets as they create operational efficiencies, foster innovation, and encourage go-to-market excellence. According to Clayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe Technologies, a leading fintech enablement partner, the platform economy opens up a whole new world of opportunities for solution-driven businesses.


Having evolved over the years, today’s platform economy has led to a new breed of digitally driven, disruptive business models. The most distinctive characteristic of this new model is the ability to expand into new markets by simply making the platform available within new territories.


Ukheshe’s own journey began in 2018 as a SMME focused digital banking platform, established to address financial inclusion. Millions of people in South Africa, and billions in developing markets globally are underserved by the mainstream financial services sector, making it ripe for new technologies and solutions that upend traditional business models.


Latin America, Africa and South-East Asia will continue to grow and drive innovation into the fintech sector simply due to the scale of the opportunities in these markets. Having unique insight into the challenges of financial inclusion, it became clear that Ukheshe could make a far more substantial impact as a digital-first fintech enablement partner. By forming strategic partnerships with banks, telcos, and other financial services providers, we enable these organisations to become more agile and quickly pursue financial inclusion for their customers with tailor-made payment solutions.


While disruption and rapid change are inevitable and should be encouraged, the platform business model also lends itself to an environment in which the real benefits of strategic cooperation, rather than outright competition simply for its own sake, can be realised as well. This is a promising outlook for emerging economies, where the need for solutions to real-world pain points in various sectors such as health, agriculture, and financial services, among others.


Embracing a platform business model that drives digital transformation has allowed Ukheshe to develop a solid value proposition as a market-leading fintech enablement partner. Rather than compete with major institutions, traditional banks and telcos who may not have the time and resources to build their own fully integrated SaaS platforms, Ukheshe has responded with fully integrated solutions that fast tracks financial inclusion for them.


The need for development in key sectors presents a myriad of exciting opportunities for astute business leaders, both foreign and domestic, to launch and expand their operations in developing markets in Asia, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. These are regions where growth is rapidly shifting from industrialisation to technology-fuelled digital transformation.


Ukheshe’s own aptitude for bringing innovative payment technologies to traditional issuers and acquirers while enabling major organisations to solve numerous legacy payment challenges speaks for itself as the company expands its operations in new markets across the globe. Financial services play an important role in promoting economic growth and reducing poverty and social inequality at the grassroots level. In this exciting and dynamic environment that the most sustainable and competitive companies are those that come up with the business models and technology to fit local needs.


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