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Business Model Innovations for ICT Based Services for Low Income Segments in Emerging Economies

Researchers  :- Prof Rekha Jain

Affiliation of Researchers :- IIMA

Publication Details :- Published in the Journal of Global Information Technology Management, 17(2), 74-90

Publication Date :- August, 2014

Abstract :-   

Although proliferation of mobile services in emerging economies like India has made it possible to provide a variety of services such as banking, health, education etc., to low income segments (LIS) through mobiles, it is challenging to do so. This is owing to a variety of factors, including, low levels of digital infrastructure and literacy and poor propensity to pay. On the other hand, given the poor state of basic services delivery, these networks offer a mechanism to improve this state. Therefore start-ups that develop contextual business model innovations (BMI) are important. Notwithstanding its importance, there is very little work on what factors contribute to BMI for LIS in emerging economies in this area.

This paper contributes to both empirical and theoretical knowledge by developing case studies on business model innovations using ICT based services in India. It identifies the dimensions of differences between developed countries and emerging economies with respect to i) the factors that contribute to ICT based business model innovations for LIS and ii) the role of the start-ups in this situation.

Further, it integrates two existing strands of theory: value creation through BMI in e-business and low income segments in emerging economies by developing a conceptual model. It posits that the start-ups act as boundary spanners between the institutional and infrastructure environment on one hand and the business model innovation embedded in the ICT based service delivery model on the other.