Building or bringing infrastructure is key for businesses in developing economies.

Building or Bringing Your Infrastructure in Developing Economies: Strategies for Efficient Business Development

The decision of whether to build or bring your infrastructure is a pivotal one for businesses venturing into developing economies. While these markets offer immense growth potential, they often lack the robust infrastructure found in developed countries. This article will explore the factors influencing this decision and strategies for successful business development in such environments.

Key Considerations

  1. Existing Infrastructure: The state of existing infrastructure in the target market is the first and most crucial factor to assess.
    • If basic utilities like reliable electricity, water supply, and road networks are absent, building your infrastructure becomes a necessity.
    • Conversely, if some infrastructure exists, businesses might consider bringing their own to supplement or enhance it.
  2. Cost-Benefit Analysis: Building infrastructure from scratch is capital intensive, requiring significant investment and a long-term commitment.
    • Businesses must weigh these costs against the potential benefits of enhanced operational control, customization, and reduced dependence on external providers.
    • Bringing your infrastructure may involve lower upfront costs, but can be limiting in terms of scalability and flexibility.
  3. Regulatory Environment: The regulatory landscape of the target market plays a critical role in the decision-making process.
    • Governments often incentivize infrastructure development through tax breaks, grants, and streamlined approvals.
    • Businesses must navigate these regulations and ensure compliance to avoid legal complications and delays.
  4. Local Partnerships: Collaborating with local partners can be instrumental in navigating the complexities of infrastructure development in developing economies.
    • Local businesses or government agencies can offer valuable insights, access to resources, and assistance in obtaining permits and licenses.
    • Partnerships can also help mitigate risks and ensure a smoother integration into the local business ecosystem.

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Strategies for Efficient Business Development

  1. Phased Approach: A phased approach allows businesses to gradually build or bring in infrastructure based on immediate needs and future growth projections.
    • This minimizes initial investment risks and provides flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions.
  2. Technology Adoption: Leveraging technology can be a game-changer in infrastructure development.
    • Renewable energy sources, satellite communication, and modular construction techniques offer innovative and cost-effective solutions for overcoming infrastructure challenges.
  3. Community Engagement: Engaging with local communities is essential for successful infrastructure development.
    • Businesses should seek feedback, address concerns, and ensure that their projects benefit the communities they operate in.
    • This fosters a positive relationship and can be instrumental in gaining local support and acceptance.


  • Google’s Project Loon: Google’s initiative to provide internet connectivity in remote areas using high-altitude balloons is an example of innovative technology adoption.
  • Coca-Cola’s Ekocenter: These modular kiosks in Africa provide clean water, solar power, and essential goods, showcasing a holistic approach to infrastructure development.
  • Partnerships between governments and private companies: The development of special economic zones often involves collaboration between governments and private entities, combining resources and expertise for efficient infrastructure development.

Overall, the decision to build or bring your infrastructure into developing economies requires careful consideration of various factors. 

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