Sunday, August 20, 2006

Internet is set to benefit the Rural Indian farmer

The most noticeable of the ICT projects in Rural India are e-Choupal, iShakti, and esagu. Today, they lead a silent revolution that empowers farmers with relevant information to make their lives better.

ITC e-Choupal web portal brings real-time information on weather forecasts and customized knowledge on better farming practices to the farmers' doorstep to improve his crop management. ITC e-Choupal supply chain brings good quality farm inputs at competitive prices to increase his farm yields.

iShakti provides information and services to the farmers through a portal, which has contents pertaining to a variety of rural issues. It enables farmers to have a solution for a pest problem.

Esagu has a three-tier system consists of farmers as end users, coordinators as intermediaries to obtain crop status through digital photographs and text and communicate the advice to the farmers. The agricultural scientists with knowledge system prepare farm advices.

Rural India plans to step up fight against AIDS

According to this news:
Political leaders from across rural India are to draw up an action plan to help stem the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in villages, where the majority of new infections are occuring, officials said. Representatives from 620 districts, as well and mayors and other community leaders, would come together for the first time at a convention to draw up a strategy on how India could strengthen its local response to the pandemic. At this convention, community leaders could talk out against discrimination against those infected with HIV/AIDS, help promote the use of condoms and in some cases decide to make HIV/AIDS a priority when allocating funds from local budgets.

ICICI shaping a business plan to solve Rural India Banking puzzle

ICICI's CEO Kamath says:
We believe that to break into the top league of global banks, ICICI will have to follow a course that few banks in the world have done -- and that is, leverage the rural economy. This is something that most banks don't do because it requires hard work. So our challenge is to invent a new business model where we can create a distribution base effectively in 600,000 villages in India, and to learn to do that at one-tenth the cost of urban India. Just to put that on a scale that someone could understand, we believe that to succeed in urban India, we need to do be able to do business at one-tenth the cost of the West. The challenge is to be able to work with partners because we believe that the branch-led model will not work in this context. For example, we might partner with a local financial institution, a micro-finance agency or a company -- someone who is already in the village for a business purpose. We might even partner with someone who is selling fertilizer or seed or tractors. How can we leverage these partnerships to do business? That question drives the need for a new business model to reach out to this market.

The biggest risk is the failure of the monsoon. Now can you lend to rural India without fixing this risk? What we did was to ask if this was an insurable risk. Could we get such insurance? The answer was yes. Could we then sell this insurance to the farmers? Again, the answer was yes. Finally, we asked if this insurance could be further reinsured outside India so that the risk was shared even more widely. Yet again, the answer was yes.

The typical approach to rural lending has been through micro-loans, and that has certainly had some degree of success. But a large-scale rural banking model where you are ultimately trying to reach a population of 600 million people has not been done. That is our challenge -- and also our opportunity.

Rural India set to get Soho-style homes

According to this news:
National Housing Bank in association with public sector banks, is all set to launch a new scheme called Productive Housing in Rural Areas. The scheme, aimed at providing housing in the rural areas, is likely to cost Rs 1,500 crore. Of this amount, NHB may fund about Rs 500 crore. About 25 to 30 districts had been identified for the project.

“We will provide the basic dwelling unit while banks will provide the work area in a house. Owners will need to present a proper business plan for repayment of loans,” Sridhar said (Chairman and managing director of NHB). NHB is also drawing up a plan for integrated townships to be set up next to small industrial clusters in semi-urban areas. “Depending on the area, the cost of the project could vary from Rs 500 crore to Rs 2,000 crore,” Sridhar said, adding that the plan was yet to be finalised. The townships would require independent schools, hospitals and shopping areas, he added.

Guest (tourist) is treated like God in Rural India

I am from a rural Indian village and I was taught by my parents: "Matru Devobhava, Pitru Devobhava, Acharya Devobhava, Atidhi Devobhava" which means "Regard the mother as God, the father as God, the preceptor as God and the guest as God". This is followed even now in rural villages. Recently Washinton Post carried an article about Rural India tourist visit. Editor writes: Here, in India's heartland, they really do treat guests like gods. Even sick ones.

On a different note, I wrote about 20-30 foreigners tourist visit experiences in India.

Rural India Primary Education challenge: Anyone there?

A worldbank's $12+ billion dollar bill cannot solve the primary education puzzle. The challenge of educational quality is a difficult one. Money is needed, but is not enough to solve the problems. Ideas, expertise and experience are equally important.

Rural India prefers branded products

India's 742 million strong rural population, outsizing the US and Europe, is moving towards branded products. Education for women is more than a politician's promise; it's a marketer's delight. Television, cable TV and FMCG products have penetrated the south far more than any other region in India. Ashok Das, MD, Hansa Research says, “Penetration driving strategy better for east and north, while for south the question is how to get value from consumer already using your product and brand.

Reliance to invest $5 billion in Rural India

Accroding to this news:
Reliance plans to invest $5 billion by 2011 to put both the farms and the stores on the road to modernity, connect them through a distribution system guided by the latest logistics technology, and create enough of a surplus to generate $20 billion in agricultural exports annually.

Rural India corners chunk of industries, jobs

Who says economic reforms are urban-centric? The countryside has outperformed urban India in the number of enterprises it houses. Over 61% of the enterprises engaged in economic activities other than crop production and plantation are in rural India compared to just 38.7% in urban areas, according to the figures of the Fifth Economic Census.

Low-cost ATMs for rural India : IIT Chennai invention

According to this news:
Grammteller, unlike other ATMs is meant to be a cash dispenser, which plugs into a kiosk PC, which acts as a tunnel between the dispenser and the bank server thus bypassing use of the 'switch' used by ATMs. The 'financial transaction switch' is an enterprise server that connects the ATM to information from various sources, which then dispenses with the switch, thus reducing the cost of the machine to about Rs. 50, 000. The server is encrypted and runs on a proprietary format developed at IIT-M.

Unlike the PIN numbers log-in access facility, Grammteller is equipped with biometric sensor so that once the customer's fingerprints are registered, PINs need not be used.

Aimed at the rural market, the low-cost ATM makes it more user-friendly for people in rural India who are more into 'finger impression' mindset for taking cash. The thumb-impressions are being registered at the TeNet Lab at IIT-M and are stored and authenticated by ICICI servers in Mumbai.

Good links on Rural India - 2

Please see the first set of links.

K-yan : An e-learning system developed by IIT Mumbai for Rural
WiMAX is good for rural India : Key players in the market are Alcatel, TI, Motorola
Idea launched Mobile PCO services for Rural India
Tarahaat: Network of franchised rural communities and business centres
Highest paid occupation for men in Rural India is Masonry
Telemedicine - Providing Rural India with Quality Healthcare
India innovators foundation to help grassroot innovators in finding investors
Hansdehar is the first village in India to have an official website along with complete its citizens details
Nowpos to offer voice mail services for rural
Tata-Teleservices and ZTE corporation to deploy CDMA2000 in Rural India
3G mobile services to Bridge Rural-Urban Digital Divide
Rural India skips the copper wire and heads straight for wireless networks
Stockholm Competition : IT solutions for the benifit of masses
NTPC lamps to light up rural India
Cellphones answer the call for computers in rural India

Rural schools helping students to get into IITs, Olympiad events

Past few days, this news from Bihar is in top headlines: Ramanujan School of Mathematics helping rural students to get into IITs. Bhaskaracharya Pratishthana in Pune also helps students to get into IITs and Mathematics Olympiad events. Similarly in Kolhapur in Maharashtra, some ignited minds do help rural students.

This should be an eye opener for the people who think reservations are necessary.

Low cost wireless mesh network to provide cheap, reliable data and telephony

A former Silicon Valley dot-commer and members of the underground security group Cult of the Dead Cow are working with local Tibetan exiles to change that using recycled hardware, solar power, open-source software and nerd ingenuity. The volunteers are building a low-cost wireless mesh network to provide cheap, reliable data and telephony to community organizations. A rural village 7,000 feet up in the Himalayas (Dharamsala Wireless Mesh) is an example of "light infrastructure," a concept gaining popularity among tech developers: decentralized, ad hoc networks that can deliver essential services faster than conventional means.

Can this be a solution for rural India?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Women Development : Problems and Solution perspectives

From my childhood I used to get trained to be fearless and take initiatives by myself. My parents and society around me made sure that I can walk on this world as an independent person. Psychologically whenever I am under pressure, depression etc, then my parents, relatives, friends, colleagues, teachers, villagers, news-papers, TV, other media etc everyone and everything on this list made me to think courageously and move forward in life. This kind of severe training I got it for at least 15 years of my whole childhood life and because of which now I feel strong and think way beyond.

On the other hand, I see that every girl-child around me get trained (during the same period of her life) to feel fear to go out, not to take any initiatives on her own and most importantly not to become an independent person in this world. I am extremely surprised to see that, and very unfortunate, even every mother also trains her girl-child to feel fear & inferior. This is the way, this male dominated society makes women to feel insecure thro various ways and means.

Is there any logic behind this:
Are women weaker than their counterparts, physically?? I don’t answer this but then: Definitely they can’t be weaker than a physically disabled man and in any case assuming there is a weaker person, then society should attempt to make him/her feel courageous but not to teach "how to feel insecure". In fact, society attempts the brave lessons for a physically disabled person but not for a woman. Why??

If you look at society closely: Women are taught to be inferior to Men. Which is nothing but women growth potential is upper bounded by Men. Because of this, our economy gets hurt very badly. Economists count the women while calculating GDP per capita but then society does not give fair opportunities so that they can contribute their part to GDP. Just think this: if we can make women (constituting nearly half of the population) part of GDP then we can achieve GDP growth rate 15%.

Solution perspective:
It is a plain and simple fact that howsoever weak a person is: but if he/she is powered with knowledge then nothing limits them. Of the late, knowledge based revolution is taking place and in this upward society everyone bows to knowledge and “just” to it. So it does not matter whether one has muscle power or not and in fact, it does not matter whether one is physically abled or not. Importantly, this revolution has been bridging the gap between the developed economies and developing economies. All those same advantages of developing economies which made that to happen are very much applicable to traditionally suppressed communities like women, caste based or religion based downtrodden, etc.

Business Perspective:
People who convert the social problems into opportunities are known as social entrepreneurs. In our case, examples are already set. Like Mahesh Bhupati who invested his money on Sania has clicked. Koneru Hampi is another example. Now such investments are required. Though it takes longer time for returns from this type of investments but then these have enormous potential to become multiples.

I have very clear-cut & very practical solutions for this problem. But then very few women, who believe that they are not upper bounded by men, should join this mission (ya, you can say Charlie’s Angels :-) ). So why this attempt of mine.

General request to all:
I hope you all realise this difference that is taking place (knowledge revolution). I request you all to engage in this important discussion so that thousands years of suppression problems get solved.

There is a community in Orkut for this purpose. For the readers, who does not know Orkut: it is a friendship network service of Google (similar to Myspace) and it needs an invitation to start an account. Community is like a yahoo group but discussions are public. If you would like to join this community, then you must have an Orkut account, for which you require an invitation. So you may write to me with all your details for an invitation (my gmail id: malapati). Link to the community:

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Microsoft and Rural Development

I think, many people have doubts that how they can do rural development activities when they go for work in posh corporate offices or research institutes and having no time for their own family. For them, here is a good news.

Microsoft recently opened a R&D center in Bangalore. So what's is up, for rural developers?

They work broadly in the area of Technology for Emerging Markets.

Current Projects:
Software Data Collection for Rural PC Kiosks
Ethnography of Rural Kiosks
Urban Consumption Patterns in India
Text-Free User Interface
Computers in Agriculture
Computers in Education
Featherweight Computing
Information Environment of Micro-enterprises
Mapping household well-being and socio-economic mobility
Household credit and investment decision-making

Hurry-up for summer internships, temporary research collaborations and ofcourse, for regular research positions.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Some good links on rural

The Nordic Council of Ministers is inviting applications for sustainable development grants.The deadline is 1 May.

Recently I wrote about "poor prefer private education". Here is a report that poor do get more benifit from private schools than their counter-parts.

According to a survey of egovernance projects, IT seems to be making higher impact in rural India compared to urban India. More details can be seen here.

Pico-hydro power generation is, a pilot project, to meet the energy needs of small communities in the hilly areas in Nepal (funded by UNDP).

INTERACT project (Sustainable Groundwater Management in Rural India) is a collaborative effort of several Indian research institutes with funding from UK's EPSRC. This research work is to enhance competitiveness in the field of Geoenvironmental Engineering, Sustainable groundwater management and Public Health issues.

Last year I wrote about Intel's project related to dust-free PC. Now Via technologies, with the support of IIT Bombay, developing a computer that can withstand erratic power supply and the heat and dust of rural places.

Cheaper 'blackberry' type gadget for rural india

Motorola (thro project at IIT Bombay) and Microsoft (independently) are developing a communication device using which "one can receive and make calls, check mails and use data services".

Rural India's market size in 2020 : $ 500 billion

Mckinsey recently surveyed rural India for Bharat Nirman project and concluded that rural India's market size in 2020 would be US $ 500 billion. According to survey: Of the 593 rural districts in India, 67 were classified as urban cousins, 118 close to rural economic centers, around 160 with basic minimum infrastructure and 248 are deprived.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Are you taking note of Green-Tech future?

According to this news:

Kleiner Perkins [Venture Capitalist firm] plans to set aside $100 million of its latest $600 million fund to technologies that help provide cleaner energy, transportation, air and water. "This field of green-tech could be the largest economic opportunity of the 21st century," Doerr said. "There’s never been a better time than now to start or accelerate a greentech venture."

Kleiner Perkins’ plan to ramp up investment in green technology is just the latest sign of the new sector’s growth. Also known as clean technology, the field includes technologies related to water purification, air quality, nanotechnology, alternative fuels, manufacturing, recycling and renewable energy.

North American venture capitalists invested more than $1.6 billion in clean-tech companies last year, a 35 percent increase over 2004, according to a report by the Cleantech Venture Network.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Water-Cycle : a grass-root innovation

I wrote previously about grassroot-innovations in India. Left side photo is about one of such inventions, a bicycle that can not-only travel on land but can also float on water.

IT to agriculture : Helping farmers!

Farmers of rural (web-connected) guys can now dig up relevant demand-driven farming knowledge via, an initiative of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Bombay and its partners. You can find more details here or visit

Food processing: Big corporates romancing with Rural India

According to this news:
There are big plans being drawn up to link India’s farms to the world markets by companies, particularly those venturing into the domestic retail sector like Reliance, Godrej, Field Fresh (Sunil Mittal’s 50:50 joint venture with Rothschild), Snowman Frozen Food, a joint venture with the Mitsubishi group, Amalgam foods and HLL, Radhakrishna Group, DCM Sriram, Gufic Labs, Jain Irrigation, Tata Group, Godrej, Dabur, Blue Star and Voltas, among others.

Tax incentives being given by the government for food processing, including income tax and excise holidays for industries involved in the processing of fruits and vegetables have led to interest in the sector. These companies are establishing direct contact with farmers to source their requirements, by eliminating middlemen, and cutting down costs to offer higher yields to farmers.
My question is : will this move make sure that farmer gets benifited more than now?? Hope so.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Are you a rural entrepreneur seeking funds?

Aavishkaar funds rural ventures that are commercially viable, improve the quality of life in rural people and needing Rs. 1 million to 5 Million. Check its website for more details.

Innovative distribution model for renewable energy in Bangladesh

According to this news:

With a loan in the form of a program-related investment (PRI) from The Lemelson Foundation, Emergence Energy is testing micro-entrepreneurship models for energy production and distribution in Bangladesh. Led by Iqbal Quadir, founder of Grameen Phone, and Dean Kamen, an accomplished inventor, Emergence Energy will combine access to micro-credit with low-cost energy generation technology to test whether rural entrepreneurs can sustainably manage mini power plants at the village level, making use of biogas and the stirling engine.

The proposed mini power plants will use cow manure as input and generate electricity, fertilizer, and heat as outputs. First, cow manure will be converted into methane-rich gas through a biogas business run by a local entrepreneur. This biogas will then be converted into electricity using a mini power plant owned and operated by two other entrepreneurs. All three entrepreneurs will be financed through a micro-credit program. These plants will generate a continuous power output of 1 KW and will supply energy for 70 advanced light bulbs, such as compact fluorescent lamps or light emitting diodes in their neighborhoods.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Deutsche Mutual Fund looking for companies focused on rural India

According to this news:
Deutsche Mutual Fund plans to turn its attention to companies focused on rural India, courtesy an equity fund titled Deutsche Green India Fund. The proposed scheme will try to generate long-term capital appreciation by investing chiefly in stocks of companies with businesses that revolve around the rural theme. These would also be companies that are expected to benefit from growth in agriculture and allied sectors. eutsche Green India Fund, to be benchmarked against the S&P CNX 500, will invest in companies engaged in agri commodities, irrigation, food processing, fertilisers, agri machinery, and the like.

Besides, rural infrastructure development companies (covering rural electrification, roads and canals) may also be included in the portfolio, along with tractor and two-wheeler makers. The fund's investment universe will include FMCG companies that derive a large part of their revenues from the rural market, while banks and finance outfits too will be taken into account. The offer document filed by Deutsche MF with the SEBI has named Vinay Kulkarni as the fund manager. A minimum 65 per cent of the assets will be invested in equities and equity-related securities of companies that focus on rural India. The allocation may be raised to 100 per cent as well.

Reliance Agri Fund, which Reliance MF had mooted last month, has been a first of sorts on this front although Sundaram MF has actually entered the market with its Rural India Fund. If launched, Reliance Agri will follow Reliance Equity, whose NFO recently wrapped up with Rs 5,700 crore. The fund's investments may span 0-100 per cent in equity as well as 0-100 per cent in debt. The idea, as outlined in the offer document, is to invest in equity or fixed income securities of companies in the agri sector and those in allied segments.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Yahoo! India is eyeing rural India

According to this news:
Dr Prasad Ram, CTO, Yahoo! R&D India, said that `livelihood-based' offerings for the rural market would roll out by mid-2006.

Indian engineers [at Yahoo!] have contributed eight products to the global market. Three of them - Vertical Search, Personalised Anti-Spam Filters and Self Expression - were created, developed and completed here. While the first service offers Internet users the ability to narrow down their search in verticals such as travel, real estate, shopping and automotives, the second works on the premise that people have discrete definitions of spam. By studying their reaction to spam in their inbox, Yahoo! Mail will now be able to `learn' to minimise it using personalised filters. The third product, Self Expression, is a personalised Web page that will be "rich with self expression".

. The company underwent a "rethinking of products" for rural markets. Dr Ram spoke about the probability of people in remote villages and towns adopting e-shopping, since they have limited access to shops. The company is presently undertaking the implementation rounds of the services. Pilot tests would begin in January, he added.

Development of rural enterprises -- China's secret

A book is edited by He Kang and written by experts in this field. According to this news:
This book details the rise and development of TVEs - a leading force that has propelled China's market economy forward, a vital pillar of the rural economy and an important component of the national economy.

According to data contained in the book, the number of rural enterprises stood at more than 22.13 million, they employed more than 138.66 million people, making a great contribution to the national economic development and social stability. The book, in English and 436 pages, presents both a general picture and personal profiles of farmer-turned entrepreneurs, with detailed feature stories.

Well supported by a rich collection of data, graphics and statistics updated to 2004, easily accessible reference with well-indexed names and terms peculiar to China, the book is considered suitable for researchers into the Chinese economy, especially that of rural China, Chinese farmers and agriculture, as well as for anyone who wants a peep at the secrets of China's rapid economic growth.

Title of the Book: China's Township and Village Enterprises
Publisher: Foreign Languages Press, Beijing

Monday, March 20, 2006

Rural Indian been running a radio station and seeking help

According to this news:

Everyone is hooked to Raghav Station in a dusty village in the eastern Bihar, one of India's most backward and impoverished states. The radio station, hugely popular with the residents of Mansoorpur - a non-descript village in Muzaffarpur district, is the brainchild of a local youth Raghav Kumar.

Twenty-two-year-old Kumar, a self-taught radio mechanic, can hardly read and write, but all the programmes on his radio station have struck a chord with the local residents for the past three years. Kumar's passion for doing something creative and unique has remained undeterred by his illiteracy and poverty.

Kumar has ingeniously fitted his transmission kit - a box strung to antenna to a bamboo pole connecting at least three tape-recorders in his thatched-roof repair shop stacked with over 200 audio tapes and electronic appliances. The station plays folk songs and popular Bollywood music. It also broadcasts public interest messages on polio and HIV on requests from social organisations - all without charging a single penny.

The station's popularity has clearly given other FM channels a run for their money within the 15 km radius of Kumar's shop. Everyone listens to the Raghav Station. We take the radio along when we go to work in our fields and listen to the songs while working. Our families also listen to the songs, says Ram Prasad Bhagat, a villager.

The indigenous radio station, however, has yet to find favour from the government, as it has no statutory licence to run such a station. Kumar says with his meagrely monthly income of 2000 rupees (US dollars 45), he cannot pay the registration fees. Kumar seeks government aid to help him register his station and to acquire some advanced equipment to transmit the radio waves to a greater distance.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Rural Employment Scheme : yet another political gimmick

Recent proposal : National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme by the current government is a mere political gimmick. This is another scheme which increases the appetite of already-corrupt-administration. Rural youth require jobs creation but not wastage of public money like this.

You may see more detailed analysis : Atanu Dey, Economic Times, Business Today.

Mutual Fund is after companies focussing rural

According to this news:
Sundaram Mutual Fund has unveiled its new equity offering under open-ended category, Sundaram Rural India Fund.

The primary investment objective of the scheme is to generate consistent long-term returns by investing predominantly in equity & equity related instruments of companies that are focusing on Rural India.

The new fund offer opens on March 20, 2006 and will close on April14, 2006. Minimum subscription amount is Rs 5,000 and offers both dividend and growth option. During new fund offer it would not charge any entry load while an exit load of 3 per cent would be levied if redeemed within six months from the date of allotment.

Related news: Khosla interested in companies serving rural

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Hyderabad university admits school drop-outs

Please see this news. Hyderabad University train school drop-outs so that they can be viable for industry.

No rain but vegetables can be grown : IIM prof feat

According to this news:
Vegetables growing in arid land is unheard of. But this impossible task has been made possible by IIMA professor Dr Girija Sharan. For the past three years, people of Kothara village in Kutch enjoy fresh tomatoes and capsicums grown at a greenhouse farm here. Now, even nearby areas including IAF base at Nalia come here for their greens.

The credit goes to Dr Sharan who designed the Arid Area Greenhouse (AAG), a cultivation technology that departs from the traditional open farms and makes use of the greenhouse’s controlled enviroment to grow vegetables in a place where water is scarce.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Khosla : Looking for investments in sustainable technologies

Vinod Khosla is looking to invest into energy, micro-finance and bottom of the pyramid among others. See his new exclusive venture fund for this.

This is a great news for social entrepreneurs in India.


Monday, March 13, 2006

Poor parents prefer private schools: Why?

This survey research paper answers the following interesting question.

Q. Why would these largely poor parents pay for their child’s education when there is a free government alternative?

1) The private schools are having English medium which is a very important factor to the 96% of the parents.

2) Parents perceive that the private sector provides a better quality of education

3) 98% of the parents indicate the fact that the school is considered to be a ‘good educational provider’ is an important element when they chose their child’s school.

4) Almost 75% of the parents stated that it was unimportant to them if there was a government alternative to which they could send their children They would choose the private school irrespective of the provision of a government school.

5) 78% of the parents stated that they would recommend their current private school to their neighbours, friends or relatives.

6) 93% of the parents rated their private school “very good” or “good” value for money.

7) School owners face 3 or more major competing schools in their area. Local government school is never a competitor. (most owners expressed this!)

8) School official: the teachers in the private unaided schools are accountable to the parents. On the other hand, govt schools teachers and staff are guaranteed a ‘job for life’ owing to the strength of the teachers’ unions and employment contracts.

9) Parents are attracted to private schools glossy brochure and the manager’s office had marble floors and air conditioning ( however class-rooms are no different in schools which charge less or high).

10) ‘Recognised’ by the state Government (thro bribery: even this fact is known to parents).

11) Internal tests in private schools were deliberately providing easier tests to inflate their scores, thus encouraging parents to believe that they were better.

Packaged Rural Foods & a business plan

For the past 10 years, I usually carry hot (Namkeen or Junk Food) (I also carry sweets, but this article is limited to hot varieties) made in my home to my university. Whenever I took such items, all of my friends greatly enjoyed over and above sweets. Till date, I have never seen such wide varieties of items in any city I stayed in India (Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai). I had at least 100 different tasty foods in my own home. And I believe there could be even more items.

Usually these foods are made of rice (main ingredient) (rarely wheat), Dals (pulses), masala chilli powder and some other stuff. Good part of them is that they stay for longer without any preservatives (longer I mean, more than 3 months if packaged).

There is a good market for such items in India and elsewhere in the world. In India, there are very few companies in this domain notably Haldiram. However haldiram's business is limited to few items (10-15 types : and all are not much different in taste).

Rural India can do a lot in this space. In fact, there are some similar packaged items in Japan originating from rural places of Japan.

OSP India Information Security Private Limited

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Who is an entrepreneur?

Today (1st of March, 2006) is one of my happiest days in my life. Reason : I just could understand who a entrepreneur is!! Yes .. I got the real sense of it.

Whenever a person feels a frustation because of a service/facility unavailability, that is the oppertunity to be to be grabbed. If one grabs so he will be called as entrepreneur.

Provide a service which makes people get out of their frustation and that will make you an entrepreneur.

Yes .. I wish & I will become a social entrepreneur through which I will change the lives of bottom most of the pyramid.

OSP India Information Security Private Limited(OSP Global, LLC)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Sphere packing and my vision of rural development

Many people asked me about my approach to rural development. Here I dont give what exactly is my plan but vague description of the net-result that I expect to happen after my efforts.

Sphere Packing: I read this concept about in my coding theory course. It is a very interesting concept. However now, I wish to explore it to our concern.

Problem: Imagine a room and you are asked to fill the room with various sizes of balls (spheres) so that all the space in the room is filled-up.

Now I see this problem in another manner, room is my nation. Radius of each of those spheres (balls) is the community of people who work for social development cause. And their access is the sphere volume. So now the problem is restated as:

Problem: Increase the communities working for social development so that they cover the entire nation.

OSP India Information Security Private Limited (OSP Global, LLC)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Social Entrepreneurs : drivers for economy in rural areas

Here is a report on six social entrepreneurs, who bear witness to the fact that profit is not the only driver of innovation.

OSP Information Security Private Limited (OSP Global,LLC)

Transparent delivery for Government Schemes in Rural India

As ET reports :
Self Help Groups (SHGS) are today considered the answer for the transparent delivery of a host of government schemes, from education to credit. But SHGs are no different from the state’s much touted and now discredited cooperative credit societies.

The SHG channel for delivery of credit especially in the rural areas and the Nabard’s preference for this channel are well known. However, a note of caution is also being sounded. “What is the difference between a credit society and an SHG? This is new wine in an old bottle since group dynamics play in both cases.

Credit societies have shown their unsustainability. Inn future, politicians could use them as a forum for exploitation,” Porwal stated.

He was speaking at the Nabard’s state credit seminar here. Supporting Porwal’s stance, S C Basu, chairman and MD, Bank of Maharashtra, said the farmer needs support from multiple agencies. While SHGs have been eulogised everyhwere and are successful now, there is a need to look if there are any inherent defects in them.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Low cost technologies : Rural India powered

One of my post discusses, how rural Indians without formal education could innovate low cost technologies. Here is another news that low-cost lamps brightening the rural India.

"Rural Access Service to Internet" is a low-cost tech project in rural tamilnadu to install tele-kiosks, to offer more than 60 services, including those relating to agriculture, education, healthcare, utility and entertainment.

OSP India Information Security Pvt Ltd

Rural India : Heaven of Oppertunities even for biggies

Microsoft & Oracle etc have got their eye in right direction. What Prahlad wanted to convey is all about this only. As you look at the downwards of the pyramid, volume speaks. That is, fortune at the bottom of the pyramid.

Now rural India is going to enjoy the timely information provided by companies of social motive : Drishti, Jaikisan and n-Logue. Microsoft does "software daan" to these companies & moreover it will also provide technical support to the rural youth in this pioneering initiative. On the other hand, Oracle is also vying for rural India. Then our Godrej is betting on rural India by pouring money, billions of Rupees.

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