5 Things Startups Can Learn from Digital Transformation in Developing Countries

The way the digital technologies have been altering the global economy is revolutionizing. Despite having many tech economies growing big, there are many countries that have yet to experience the technological innovation for developmental benefits like sustainable growth and better governance.

This is where young entrepreneurs can find most of the opportunities. The growing digital economies like India, Pakistan, Philippines and some other Asian countries actually have more opportunities for innovation than that of developed countries. A lot of new tech startups are emerging from developing countries as a result of an improved policy making process. For instance, with the efforts of Ministry of Home Affairs, the birth registration is now online in India along with a lot of other registrations.

Yes, there are a lot of areas to work on because the digital transformation is not an instant technological fix or a one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, it is a social learning process with diverse dynamics and it takes sufficient time to show results. The ultimate goal should be to harness the power of digital technologies to achieve specific socio-economic urgencies.

Whether you are starting up a small business in a developed economy or in a developing economy, there’s a lot to learn from the digital transformation in developing countries. Here are top 5 things to learn:

1- This process is a marathon, not a sprint; as discussed above, to make most out of the digital transformation in a developing country, you need vision, leadership, innovation, learning, and partnerships other than the support from the government, businesses, and civil society. Mark Zuckerberg has particularly focused on a long term vision and led the innovative teams while partnering up with most relevant businesses. Facebook is the result of a marathon and not a sprint.

2- To maximize the surplus you need to nurture the ecosystem; If you want to witness a hyperactive growth, you must have to nurture the ecosystem you are operating in, i.e. if your startup addressed the issue of the education sector, get involved with local authorities. Google’s main source of revenue is from Adword, but to make Adword result oriented they developed a list of other products, i.e. Adsense, Google Maps, and not to forget Android.

3- It demands substantial investment; let it be in developing the organizational capabilities or improving the process of innovation. So, your startup requires investment too, even if your business idea may not require much setup costs, but it does require your time and effort to grow.

4- Success requires solid managerial and technical skills along with leadership, policies, and regulations. Being a startup founder you may have a few skills but you may not have hands on experience of technical matters, marketing or any other area of business; and it requires you to learn all those skills required to take your startup to the next level. You may not have time and resources to master each and every skill, but you should have enough skills to delegate tasks to others.

5- To harness the power, you need strategies to strengthen learning process; this is exactly what a startup requires in order to make an impact. As your business grows, you find a lot of new challenges both local and global and to meet these challenges you must have a learning policy for each employee. Learning will not just help your organization deal with problems, but will also help you increase efficiency and multiply productivity.

privacy and cyber security. It promotes a local ICT services industry that supports a vibrant

The Bottom Line:

Developing countries have a lot of problems to deal with and this is where you have the opportunity to learn from their particular situations, and individual case studies. The more you learn about the innovation of developing countries, the better strategies you can devise for your startup.

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