The last mile - bridging the distribution gap Print
Thursday, 24 March 2011 11:15

One of the biggest challenges of getting technology into the hands of the people who need it is the distribution. It would be naive to think that all is needed is the right "product". Marketing to the bottom of the pyramid is hard - and despite the book I have yet to find anyone making a "Fortune at the Base of the Pyramid". I do believe however that in order to scale, we need business models that make technical solutions affordable to villages, and that allow a supply chain that can operate without continual donations.

This last quarter, I've spent most of the time in India meeting with Social Ventures (NGO's and companies) working to bring technology to rural poor. I talked with seven groups in different states and with different approaches. Most expressed an interest in Sunvention's SunPulse Water and in New World Machine's solar cooling.

It was particularly good to speak with NGO's working effectively like a business, but motivated by impact rather than profit, and I look forward to an effective network that can ease the transition from lab to field.