Monday, 14 July 2014

Doing business with Apps at BOP (Bottom of the Pyramid)

Apps are magical even at BOP
'Huh - Google Map is magical', 'I found a new route to the market', the BOP users took only hours to master the Apps, when low cost Huawei Andriod Tabs were introduced as a shared device, at Android Hubs bySarvodaya-Fusion. More importantly it was their house wives who has mastered the Apps first.
Local language Apps
'Bhasha Puwath'; the local language news app created by then university student, (who has subsequently set up a startup company Bhasha Lanka Pvt Ltd), has been more popular than Facebook, among the 10 Android Hubs. The promise of local app developers becoming local App market champions seems plausible.
Local eco-system approach
All these were enabled by the eco-system centric approach made by Etisalat (third biggest telco) in Sri Lanka. In a context where global app markets (Google Play) and online payment gateways (PayPal) are malfunctional in Sri Lanka, Etisalat as a third party created an exclusive platform for the 21mn population of emerging economy at US$ 5000 GDP per capita.
Sarvodaya Fusion executed Android Hubs under the sponsorship of Etisalat, where the focus was to engage rural BOP market with digital technologies. Over 11,000 people from 10 rural communities have been Educated and Engaged to Interact with Digital technologies, fulfilling the mission of e-Empowerment!

Friday, 4 July 2014

SmartPhone is the telecentre in 2014

In mid 1990s, when we had introduced telecentres, 'the rural poor communities - got excited to touch the PCs' for the first time in their life. But, telecentres failed to attract them again and again, as PCs were still complicated to their simple lives defined by illiteracy, low income (below $2 / day) and low infrastructure (unstable electricity etc.). Then came mobile phone and now we are with Android Tabs; 'huh - Google Map is great' - they can now connect with the technology. The device is simple enough to understand, intuitive enough to operate - no need to push too many buttons. It is just a touch (of the screen icon) and it unfolds...something that can connect with their simple imagination'

With over 10 rural communities Sarvodaya-Fusion has experimented introducing Android devices as shared devices to leverage the on-going development programs such as micro-finance. This video captures a story how single SmartPhone could transform the lives of one village community in Sri Lanka.


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We are consultants for European organisations working in international development. Specialized in Innovation - Economic Sustainability - Social Impact Assessment in ICT4D and Mobile for Development (M4D) sectors. We have 20 + years of experiences and our clients include UN Agencies, EU, IDRC.

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