Social enterprise takes smart products to rural poor

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A start-up Indian social enterprise has come up with an innovative solution to one of the country’s biggest development challenges – helping the rural poor easily access basics such as clean drinking water and electricity.

Essmart Global is bringing affordable products such as solar lanterns, rechargeable batteries and water filters to the doorsteps of mud-and-brick villages through a unique partnership with shopkeepers in south India.

“We bring different technologies that are appropriate to rural areas to existing market places such as rural ’kiranas” or ’mom-and-pop stores’, and make these products available through a catalogue,” said Prashanth Venkataramana, Essmart’s head of operations in India.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)