Mail & Guardian Bottom of the Pyramid and Stokvels

Tue Oct 16, 08:30 - Tue Oct 16, 16:00
Glenhove Conference Centre, Johannesburg, 2196
Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) refers to people who live under $3,000 (about R34,000) annually. In South Africa (SA), it is estimated that approximately 30 million, or two out of three people, live at the BoP.
Even though low-income consumers at the BoP living in townships are struggling and are facing major challenges and social problems with the current tough economic environment, this market remains vibrant and represents great buying power. Their aggregate purchasing power and consumer behaviour mean this vast group of people make up a significant market segment.
When the total buying power of the low-income consumer groups are calculated, the BoP in SA represents a $40 billion market or one third of the entire SA market.
In this regard, there are massive business opportunities for companies to tap into the BoP. However, strategies to successfully enter BoP market challenge the traditional business models. The business model would rest on low margin per unit and high volume. Businesses and marketers are now scrambling to understand these consumers and find a way to speak to them in a language and a way they will respond to. It is not as simple as deploying traditional media and marketing as they do not necessarily have an impact on the BoP market. Hence, new business models, marketing strategies and measures need to be implemented to reach this massive and unexplored market.
A stokvel is a savings group to which members regularly contribute an agreed amount. The group then decides on how that money is shared, whether it is a monthly pay-out or invested and shared at the end of the year. Some stokvels even invest their money in long-term investment products such as property or a business venture. Membership boasts a myriad of personalities, ranging from ordinary “gogo” to CEO of blue-chip companies.
Stokvels – the power of a collective, pervade all levels of society and continue to be on the rise in SA. There are over 800 000 stokvels in SA and the stokvel market is valued between R33 billion and R50 billion.
In this regard, there are countless opportunities for brands and businesses to engage, partner and leverage on this growing stokvel market. However, despite its huge spending power, most businesses and marketers still do not comprehend fully this powerful, dynamic and lucrative informal banking and business sector.
Opportunities and challenges for BoP and Stokvels
  • Are there low-hanging fruits?
  • What are the real needs, products and services required?
  • How do businesses approach and operate successfully in such unique and complex environments?
  • How to engage, grow brands, volumes, channels and market share?
  • What work and what don’t? What are the success stories?
  • What are the best ways and new ideas to engage with low-income consumers?
  • What are the innovative township marketing strategies?
  • How can brands enhance township shopper?
  • How to adapt your marketing strategy for these untapped unique markets?
  • How to leverage on digital technologies and innovation to unlock the BoP and stokvels markets?
  • What are the business models, distribution, storage and processes to deliver real value and serve these elusive consumers?
  • How do you customise products, production, packaging and prices?
  • How to gain access to stokvel funds?
  • Is the competition low?
  • Can you overcome challenges with local partnerships?
  • What are the implications and winning strategies for businesses?
  • Can business still make profits whilst making a social impact?
Objective of conference
M&G will bring industry experts, leading companies and practitioners to provide the latest trends, exclusive insights, effective strategies, best practices and new ideas to expand into the BoP and stokvels markets.

For more information to book seat/s, group discount and/or to be a sponsor/partner, email [email protected] or call Tel 011 250 7300.
Overview: Key trends and insights
  • Unlocking the true DNA of the informal markets
  • What are the real needs, products and services required?
  • Insights and innovation required to operate successfully
  • Business opportunities and challenges
  • Potentials in consumer goods, building materials & housing, medicine & healthcare, transportation, energy & sanitation solutions
  • Future strategies for businesses and brands
(Lebo Motshegoa, Managing Director, Foshizi)

Lucrative informal economies – what businesses are missing out and how to tap into BoP
  • Kasinomics – informal economy beyond the boardroom
  • Where are the real opportunities?
  • Customising your existing business models, products, distribution and processes
  • Unique insights, success stories and learnings
(GG Alcock, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Minanawe Marketing, Author of ‘Third World Child’ and ‘KasiNomics’)

Marketing to townships – winning tools and tips
  • How to adapt your marketing strategy for this untapped BoP market?
  • What are the best ways and innovative methods?
  • Selling products to spaza traders – what, where, when and how
  • How brands are purchased in informal retail
  • Shopper behaviour key influencers
  • Building trust in the low-income market
  • How do consumers get more bang for their buck?
  • Growing you brand and maintaining brand loyalty
  • Language, community member, celebrity power and special occasion marketing
  • Challenges and opportunities to grow your brand
(Mpume Shange, Chief Executive Officer, Expressive Through The Line)
(Gill Mkhasibe, Chief Executive Officer, The Mkhasibe Group)

Business opportunities, consumer education, innovative distribution models and local partnership to achieve success
  • Ways to work with wholesalers and influence their spaza customers
  • Understanding cultural differences and the framework spazas operate
  • How can trade marketers optimise distribution networks to spazas
  • Adapting product offering & promotions, consumer brand loyalty and cultural influences
(Amir Sheikh, Secretary General, Somali Community Board SA)

Mobile marketing – Let’s get personal with the lower income consumers
  • Unpacking the challenges facing the lower income South African
  • How marketers can leverage on mobile technology to succeed
  • WHY and the HOWs
  • Using the latest tools available to make mobisite data free, leverage “the chat bot” on WhatsApp and making videos truly personal
  • Turning the mobile phone into a SELL phone!
(Candice Goodman, Managing Director, Mobitainment)

Corporate insights
Strategies and solutions for the lower end of the market
  • Appreciation of the lives in the BoP
  • Key principles and required profile likely to set us up for success
  • Value chain align
  • Critical stakeholder alignment
  • Assessment tools in consideration of value creation
(Thembisa Mapukata, General Manager: Innovation, Digital & Direct Channels, Old Mutual Foundation Market)

AVBOB case study
(Keboneilwe Mosweusweu, General Manager: Funeral Services Operations, AVBOB Funeral Services)

Social media and the township consumer - how to drive influence 
  • Is Black twitter a thing?
  • Is there a rise of township based social media influencers?
  • My mom’s best friend is on Facebook!
(Xolani Wiseman Sedibe, Managing Director, Black Smoke)

Strategic Insights & Dialogue
Evolution of stokvels and future opportunities
  • Engaging and unlocking strategic partnerships between Stokvels and the private and public sector
  • Smart shopper wholesales stolvel card and grocery stokvel account
  • Leveraging on Stokvels to engage and educate community
  • Successfully engaging with stokvel members
  • How businesses can access the stokvel funds
  • What stokvels members want from brands
  • Potential partnership and collaboration
  • What work and what don’t?
  • Success stories and best practices
(Andrew Lukhele, Chairman, National Stokvel Association of South Africa (NASASA))
(Mizi Mtshali, Chief Executive Officer, NASASA)
(Busi Skenjana, Founder and Managing Director, Managing Director & Founder, Stokvel Academy)
(Members of Stokvel groups)


Speakers confirmed to date:
  • Keboneilwe Mosweusweu, General Manager: Funeral Services Operations, AVBOB Funeral Services
  • Xolani Wiseman Sedibe, Managing Director, Black Smoke 
  • Mpume Shange, Chief Executive Officer, Expressive Through The Line 
  • Lebo Motshegoa, Managing Director, Foshizi
  • GG Alcock, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Minanawe Marketing, Author of ‘Third World Child’ and ‘KasiNomics’
  • Candice Goodman, Managing Director, Mobitainment
  • Andrew Lukhele, Chairman, National Stokvel Association of South Africa (NASASA)
  • Mizi Mtshali, Chief Executive Officer, NASASA 
  • Thembisa Mapukata, General Manager: Innovation, Digital & Direct Channels, Old Mutual Foundation Market
  • Amir Sheikh, Secretary General, Somali Community Board SA 
  • Busi Skenjana, Managing Director & Founder, Stokvel Academy 
  • Gill Mkhasibe, Chief Executive Officer, The Mkhasibe Group
  • Members of Stokvel Groups
Event will be moderated by Michael Avery, Anchor, Classic Business, Classic FM

Middle to senior level professionals and business practitioners responsible for the following functions from across industry sectors:
  • Marketing
  • Market Research
  • Channel marketing
  • Segment
  • Sales
  • Consumer Insights
  • Brand
  • Business Development
  • New markets
  • Product Development/Innovation
  • Strategies
  • Advertising
Others from
  • Advertising and media agencies
  • Academia
  • NGOs
  • Government/Regulator
  • Foreign chambers of commerce or industry bodies whose members are keen to do business with BoP and Stokvels in SA


Mail & Guardian Bottom of the Pyramid and Stokvels
Glenhove Conference Centre, Johannesburg, 2196
52 Glenhove Rd, Johannesburg, 2196, South Africa
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