Francisco Noguera

Procter & Gamble and Healthpoint Services Announce Learning Partnership

An innovative partnership has just been announced at the mHealth Summit in Washington DC. Procter and Gamble and Healthpoint Services will join forces under a learning partnership aimed at advancing an innovative model that delivers clean drinking water and quality healthcare services to rural communities in India, with potential to scale around the world.

Healthpoint Services is led by Ashoka Senior Entrepreneur Al Hammond. It provides rural communities with access to four basic services: clean drinking water, access to qualified doctors via telemedicine supported by two-way video and electronic medical records; advanced on-site diagnostic capability (over 80 tests), enabling evidence-based healthcare; and high-quality medicines via an on-site licensed pharmacy.

In Hammond’s view, the fact that a company like P&G partners with an early stage venture like Healthpoint Services to share its insights and learn about new models and markets is “leading-edge thinking”. In effect, P&G’s marketing expertise and its ability to reach markets around the globe will be a perfect match for Healthpoint’s growing knowledge of the challenges in serving the rural poor.

Procter & Gamble’s Future Works division will lead the partnership with Healthpoint Services. According to Nathan Estruth, VP-Future Works, “P&G’s innovative learning partnership with Healthpoint Services is a great example of our Company commitment to touch and improve the lives of more consumers, in more parts of the world, more completely.” Besides learning about Healthpoint’s approach to serving the rural poor, Procter and Gamble will “help Healthpoint Services learn how to delight consumers while creating a robust business model that is both scalable and sustainable, leveraging our global reach and strong history in innovation”, said Estruth.

Unlike previous interventions of consumer goods companies in BoP markets -consisting, mainly, of innovations in packaging and pricing- this new partnership could result in a radical business model innovation. In effect, the Healthpoint model entails the provision of services to the rural poor, which falls outside the usual product realm of companies like Procter and Gamble.

We’ll continue to follow and report on the outcomes of this potentially transformative collaboration.