Profits, With a Conscience

Monday, April 18, 2005

Making a difference and turning a profit don?t have to be mutually exclusive.
Most of the world?s largest and most profitable companies are still trying to figure out how to make money by selling to the poor in fast-growing, low-income markets. David Green, an American social entrepreneur with no business background, wants to show them how it?s done.
Mr. Green has spent more than 15 years making expensive medical products affordable to the world?s poorest people, and now he is out to prove he can turn it into a sustainable, for-profit business.
In 1992, Mr. Green helped create India?s Aurolab, a nonprofit organization that is now one of the largest manufacturers in the world of intraocular lenses, a treatment for cataracts, a leading cause of blindness. To launch Aurolab, Mr. Green collaborated with the Seva Foundation, a Berkeley, California-based nonprofit that focuses on blindness prevention, and the Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, India. With sales of more than 600,000 units per year to 86 countries, Aurolab has 7.5 percent of the sector?s global market share. And even though it sells its lenses for $4?compared to over $100 in the United States?the company has profit margins of 52 percent.
Story found here.

Source: Red Herring