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Governments and communities frequently view online marketplace operators such as Uber and Amazon with suspicion and trepidation. Those fears aren’t unfounded, professes digital market consultant Amane Dannouni. Such global powerhouses often upset the delicate balance of a country’s commercial ecosystem. Dannouni advocates a better way, explaining that platforms that align business strategies and tactics with the needs of local economies will benefit greatly in the long term.


Global online marketplaces threaten local businesses and disrupt existing social ecosystems.

Uber’s launch in Singapore in 2013 sparked concerns for the country’s taxi drivers. Colossal online marketplaces such as Uber, Amazon and Airbnb disrupt existing markets, causing officials to worry that the global interlopers will raise unemployment, reduce wages, avoid tax obligations and put local companies out of business. These trepidations are legitimate. As supplies rise, prices and profitability naturally drop.

However, in some countries, online entrants are boosting local businesses and helping communities. For example, online marketplaces allow women taxi drivers in Egypt to work without fear of harassment and have enabled eco-travelers to discover beautiful, offbeat Kenyan destinations, bringing tourism money to nearby communities.

Platforms can avoid negative externalities by crafting...

About the Speaker

Digital market expert Amane Dannouni is a partner at the Boston Consulting Group.

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