Market Research & Commercialisation Strategy for a Smart Infant Incubator in Kenya

Villgro Africa was engaged to conduct market research and provide advisory services on market insights and go-to-market strategy for the uptake of a smart infant incubator in Kenya. The client was interested in better understanding the market and human impact potential for this innovation. They engaged Villgro Africa to develop a comprehensive business and commercialisation plan that would highlight how their innovation could be manufactured and sold in Kenya.

As a starting point, Villgro Africa conducted an assessment to explore the feasibility of manufacturing the incubator in Kenya. This work culminated in a report that highlighted the state of the healthcare system, focusing on the medical devices market and local manufacturing abilities. As a reference point, the team compiled a list of research questions, and utilised a mix of desk research and key stakeholder interviews to get answers to these questions. The overall goal was to understand the market and assess opportunities that existed for the incubator. The team also conducted analysis on all data received from desk research and interviews before identifying and reviewing key themes. Each theme was examined to gain an understanding of the interviewee’s perceptions and motivations. Stakeholders were defined as those who are directly impacted by the incubator and those who may be indirectly affected. These ranged from regulatory bodies, manufacturers, distributors and clinicians, among others. The work culminated in a manufacturing feasibility study report.

As a follow-up to the market research, we developed a commercialisation plan that included a supporting financial model. The team worked on validating market assumptions through interviews with key stakeholders and collecting user feedback. Twenty-six stakeholders were interviewed across six hospitals in Kenya. The team also networked and held workshops to define a strategy for creating a supply chain of the incubator (when it's ready for commercialisation) from development as a class IIb medical device, to manufacturing, deployment, and maintenance.