http://businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_04/b3968089.htm

The article talks about C.K Prahalad - the motivator behind the push to the "bottom of the pyramid". this topic has been well publicised so I wont go into the details but here are a couple of concepts that the article touches upon that I would like to elaborate on:

#1 Innovation can come from any part of hte value chain in emerging markets
#2 Microtransactions are here to stay esp in emerging markets

First for #1, The article quotes Bharti Telecom which has innovated by outsourcing most of the operational elements of hte telco value chain. Over the last few years, the tier 0/1 telcos have taken a beating due to overcapacity , consolidation/scams, overpromise of 3G etc. In the developed world, the innovation is still focussed squarely on the customer interaction side with triple convergene, IPTV etc but Bharti had a different challenge. It couldnt really scale its operations to reach millions and drive grass roots.

For #2, the example in the microcredit lending industry is a great one. Think of others like retail music, SMS etc that are all multi billion $$ industries in their own right in many an emerging market. Extrapolating this phenomenon to other software markets like manufacturing. People often associated with hosted software - it doesnt necessarily have to be the case. "On premise" software can be licensed in a pay as you go model.