London, 21st September, 2011: World-leading research company Kantar TNS has completed an in-depth study, commissioned by Movirtu, to build an understanding of the needs and attitudes of the rural poor in Tanzania, India and Senegal. These regions have the highest concentration of ‘bottom-of-the-pyramid’ consumers, living on less than $2 per day, and this research was conducted to identify the real potential of mobile technology in empowering these farmers, women entrepreneurs and young people to improve their quality of life in these areas.

Kantar TNS and mobile identity management specialists, Movirtu partnered to discover and to respond to the core needs of individuals living on very low incomes who use mobile, but face a range of constraints in technology use and adoption. The qualitative research, conducted with 100 people, confirms the importance of building human insight to inform the development of products that address emerging market demands.

Bob Burgoyne, Associate Director, Knowledge and Insights, Kantar TNS East Africa, said, “Mobile technology presents huge potential for empowering the millions of people living in rural poverty. But this potential cannot be realised without first getting inside their world – understanding their goals and the challenges they face in their day to day lives. We know that for many people in these markets, the mobile phone provides the first access point to communication; however we needed to understand the barriers to entry and the obstacles to overcome to drive adoption.”

By better understanding the role of mobile in their lives, Kantar TNS and Movirtu have drawn key conclusions about how technology can address some of the fundamental aspirations in these communities, including:

 -   The power of young people’s advanced knowledge of mobile technology in encouraging older users to grow their skills and confidence – where over 70% of internet users in India are school children, students or young men

 -   The importance of mobile access in supporting education, in countries where as little as 1% of university-aged people are studying

 -   The role mobile technology can play in helping farmers access support and services – while also empowering new generations to move away from subsistence farming

 -   The importance of new social media evolving to reflect existing models of community interaction and networks in rural areas, where 62% of farmers in Tanzania trust local leaders vs just 15% newspapers and 10% mobile sources

Ramona Liberoff, Executive Vice President of Marketing, Strategy and Planning at Movirtu, said, "We recognise the importance of listening to users tell us their needs and daily realities in our focus markets of Africa and South Asia. Kantar TNS’s extensive footprint across Africa and India and their combination of sector excellence and on the ground cultural understanding meant that they knew the right approach to take to build insights about the complex and evolving needs of our end-users, whose mobile needs are very different from more affluent or urban consumers. This research was critical to inform our product development – ensuring that we really will deliver benefits to these communities and can be a valuable partner to our mobile operator and NGO clients.”

Bob Burgoyne continued, “Our partnership with Movirtu proves the crucial importance of putting research at the heart of innovation, by painting a picture of true need. By using real human insights to fuel product development, businesses the world over have the chance to create solutions that can transform the lives of millions of people.”

Movirtu is committed to developing services that empower emerging market consumers. To further enhance understanding of the dynamics of this market across the whole mobile ecosystem, they are making the results of their findings publicly available. The compelling conclusions build an understanding of cultural nuances and changing lifestyles.


About Kantar TNS

Kantar TNS advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and stakeholder management, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, Kantar TNS has more conversations with the world’s consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world.

Kantar TNS is part of Kantar, one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups.

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About Kantar

Kantar is one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups. By uniting the diverse talents of its 13 specialist companies, the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business community. Its 28,500 employees work across 100 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at each and every point of the consumer cycle. The group’s services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies.

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About Movirtu

Movirtu is a leading provider of mobile identity solutions to wireless telecommunication service providers. Its award winning Cloud Phone™ software already enables mobile operators to service the one billion people who earn less than $2 a day, living in rural poor communities in Sub-Sahara Africa and South Asia. Movirtu's solutions also bring mobile banking services and personalised information services to those without a handset, SIM card or bank account. Demand for Cloud Phone™ applications extends to the 3 billion people who own more than two SIM cards living in developed markets. Movirtu is a private company, headquartered in London, UK with offices in Centurion, South Africa.