This research seeks to provide a more concise understanding of multinational Greenfield strategies in emerging markets. A lot has been written pertaining to their conduct in established markets and this has proven inadequate as far as application to emerging markets is concerned. Scholars have developed theories on how multinationals operate but how practical are they on the ground?A two case study approach was seen as the most effective way to grasp the complexities involved in managing multinational firms in emerging markets. The scope was limited to sub Saharan Africa with two retail giants Shoprite and Game being the subject of scrutiny. Literature was developed on the basis of results of previous research and enhanced by in-depth interviews with top retail managers directly involved in the expansion process. Similarities and contrasts between the two firms’ strategies where examined with the aim of acquiring insights on retail Greenfield investments in emerging markets.The findings revealed that in emerging markets successful MNEs are the ones that target customers at the bottom of the pyramid whilst internalising risk and constraints within the context of institutional voids.