What Works Case Studies - Asia

What Works Case Studies - Asia

Read these in-depth case studies about the social and economic benefits of using information and communications technologies in the developing world.
These case studies from the World Resources Institute Digital Dividend go deeper into some of the most promising projects that use Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) to create social and economic benefits in poor communities throughout the developing world.

The studies provide a detailed description and analysis of each business model, the market segment in which it operates, its successes and challenges, potential replicability and scalability. If possible, the study also documents the social impact of the venture. Digital Dividends contracts teams of MBA students, under supervision of business school faculty, to research and write our business case studies, as they are uniquely suited to provide unbiased, professional assessments of the business models at low cost. Using MBA students has the added advantage of helping to interest a generation of future business leaders in microenterprise and global development issues.

For a more complete list of case studies, please view their updated Case Study Library on NextBillion.net.

Case Study Summaries -- Asia

What Works: n-Logue's Rural Connectivity Model
Author: John Paul. Digital Dividend Case Study, December 2004.

n-Logue Communications is setting up a sustainable network of wirelessly-connected Internet kiosks in rural villages throughout India. Through the kiosks, villagers are able to access a wide-range of relevant local language content and services aimed at enhancing the quality of life of rural Indians. To enable its rapid expansion, n-Logue has employed a three-tiered franchisee model that empowers local entrepreneurs to invest in and help run the network. As the company scales, there is enormous potential to leverage n-Logue's rural networks in ways that take advantage of both existing and new technologies in the areas of health, finance, agriculture, e-government and civil society empowerment.

Go to Executive Summary or read the Full Case Study.

Smart Communications, Philippines
Author: Sharon Smith. Digital Dividend Business Case Study, September 2004.

Smart Communications has transformed the cell phone market in the Philippines by enabling electronic sales of airtime via short message service (SMS) and by reducing the unit size of such sales to as little as US$0.03. This innovation has enabled millions of low-income Filipinos to access communications services - 98% of Smart's subscribers are l ow-income, pre-paid customers. Its distribution system, using SMS technology, allows merchants to re-sell minutes, taking a commission on every sale, in essence creating a business opportunity for 450,000 entrepreneurs.

Go to Executive Summary or read the Full Case Study.

Authors: Ajay Sharma and Akhilesh Yadav. Digital Dividend Business Case Study, August 2003.

Through its AKASHGANGA Automatic Milk Collection Systems (AMCS), SKEPL Pvt. Ltd. is using simple technologies to revolutionize the dairy industry in India. The Dairy Cooperative Societies that use the system are able to process greater quantities of higher quality milk, while also saving money through reduced staff requirements. For farmers, lines are shorter, less milk is spoiled and payment is quick and accurate. The systems are successfully being used at more than 750 dairy cooperative societies (DCS) spread throughout the Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Go to Executive Summary or read the Full Case Study.

e-Choupal, India
Authors: Kuttayan Annamalai and Sachin Rao. Digital Dividend Business Case Study, August 2003.

In a country where 200 million people are engaged in farming or related activities, ITC is developing its internationally competitive agricultural business by empowering, not eliminating, the independent small farmer. The company is setting up of a network of Internet-connected kiosks, known as e-Choupals, through which farmers can receive all the information, products and services they need to enhance their farming productivity and receive a fair price for their harvest. Through the choupal, ITC sources the farmer's produce directly, reducing its procurement and transaction costs. Currently ITC has set up 4300 e-Choupals covering six states and 25,000 villages. By 2010, the e-Choupal network plans to cover over 100,000 villages, representing one sixth of rural India, and create more than 10 million e-farmers.

Go to Executive Summary or read the Full Case Study.

ICICI Micro-Banking, India
Authors: Todd J. Markson and Mike Hokenson. University of Michigan Business Case Study, December 2003.

University of Michigan Business School, 2003. ICICI Bank, India's second largest financial institution, is betting its future expansion on leveraging new partnerships and innovative uses of ICTs to profitably market banking services to the poorest of the poor. The bank has combined its capital and expertise with the social mobilization strength of existing microfinance organizations and self-help groups (SHGs), in order to help such groups scale up their activities. In two years alone, the company has increased the number of SHGs it serves from 1,500 to more than 8,000. To further increase their rural presence, ICICI has also partnered with several Internet kiosk networks that will utilize ICTs to provide online banking services. By formalizing the rural financial services market, ICICI is fulfilling the long unmet demand for rural credit at an interest rate that enables the borrower to lift themselves out of poverty.

Read the Full Case Study.

Aptech's Vidya, India
Authors: Mayank Dhanuka, Dan Price, and Warren Teichner. Digital Dividend Business Case Study, August 2003.

Vidya, Hindi for "knowledge," is a computer literacy program run by Aptech Ltd., one of the two largest computer education and training companies in India. As a part of its corporate citizenship effort, Aptech launched the Vidya program in 1999 to expand its course catalog beyond the company's core offerings targeted at computer professionals and corporate markets. The pricing of Vidya has provided opportunities to many low-income students that would otherwise not have able to afford computer training. Aptech has introduced Vidya at approximately 1,250 of the company's 2,449 centers in India and enrolled more than 350,000 students.

Go to Executive Summary or read the Full Case Study.

What Works: Grameen Telecom's Village Phones
Author: Nevin Cohen. Digital Dividend Business Case Study, June 2001.

Grameen Telecommunications uses Grameen Phone's advanced GSM technology in stationary village phones owned and operated by local entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs purchase the phones with money borrowed from Grameen Bank, and sell phone services to customers by the call. An average of 70 customers a month uses each phone. This shared-access business model concentrates demand and creates relatively high cash flow, even in poor villages, enabling operators to make regular loan payments and still turn a profit.

Go to Executive Summary or read the Full Case Study.

What Works: TARAhaat's Portal for Rural India
Authors: Caitlin Peterson, Vivek Sandell, and Dr. Andrew Lawlor. Digital Dividend Business Case Study, July 2001.

Aiming to stimulate employment and economic opportunities, TARAhaat is setting up a network of franchised village Internet centers in rural India. Through these 'TARAkendras', villagers can access the local-language TARAhaat portal, a site which provides a wide range of social and economic information, as well as educational and other services, The locally-relevant content-from market prices to marriage opportunities to educational material-is what drives the model at the village and peri urban level. TARAhaat, which has set up 30 TARAkendras so far, earns its revenues through fee for service, membership fees, and commissions.

Go to Executive Summary or read the Full Case Study.

Reprinted with permission from World Resources Institute -- Digital Dividend Project.

To read another Global Envision article about expanding communications in poor communities, see Village Phone: Multi-stakeholder Partnership in Action.


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