As part of finalizing our WeAre project, we have written an article for the WBCSD/THe Guardian website. Check it out at "Delivering value to slum businesses" !
Summary on the TEI initiative, send by the WBCSD.
When writing the article ' Are mobile-based addresses key to social and economical growth in informal settlements?' for the WBCSD , there are two main questions: 1) Is there a need for addresses that connect supply chains (delivery men) to people and businesses, and 2) if people are connected to a logistics network, what advantages will it give them?
The outcome of the local field research determined the problem definition; how can middlemen be eliminated, in order to develop a more sustainabe supply chain? This complex problem is starting point for Judith van der Werf, graduation student at TNT from Delft University of Technology, to design a Product/Service that will make local businesses in slums less dependent on the middlemen.
The main research conclusion that we have presented and explained to our audience at the TEI is that introduction of a Geocode enabled supply chain solution is not the most urgent need for people in the slums. This is based on five key finding:
1) Simple supply chains already exist in Dharavi and ensure that people in the slums can buy and sell goods to meet their basic needs.
2) Labour costs are very low and hence there is no real drive/necessity to enhance labour intensive and inefficient ways of working.
During the WBCSD conference in Munich, we have had the opportunity to present the WeAre project during the Technology Enablers Initiative. It was part of three main presentations, held by TNT, Vodafone, Accenture and ITC.
Our guide Akki from Reality tours explains in this video the importance of having an address.
Grundfos is one of the partners within the WBCSD's Technology Enablers Initiative. Grundfos LIFELINK is committed to improving the living conditions for the people in the BOP market by providing them with access to safe drinking water and other infrastructural platforms. Grundfos' Anna Pattis joined our research to learn from our 'Human Centered Design' approach and discuss the options of innovative supply chains.
Acces to a phone is not an issue in Dharavi. On every corner of the street you can find a mobile shop that sells both simple nokia phones, smartphones and china phones (copied smartphones) and airtime. And if you don’t have acces to a mobile phone you can use a landline phone at a local kiosk. Businesses comunicate face to face, via middlemen and via mobile phones to wholesalers, customers and suppliers. Smartphones have acces to internet and are available. Internet is mainly used for Facebook. The Bank of India, BOI, has already implemented mobile payments on the Indian market.
It is always good to start a good conversation over coffee or tea. The Indians have taken this ritual of 'drinking a cup of Chai' to another level. We are invited to drink a cup of chai (tea) almost every half an hour. Off course we cannot refuse... We use the time for drinking a 'chai' to talk about the local businesses and transport solutions. Drinking tea becomes a 'human centered design' method.