Progress has wheels

A relative veteran on NextBillion, Grameenphone’s mobile business model set an early standard for innovative service provision. The concept of at-your-door delivery of traditionally unaffordable goods and services –to remote and poor communities also works well with low-cost health care, using health vans and medicine trains. The same concept (sometimes on foot) seems to work for providing “Portacredit” microloans in Ecuador.

Now, I notice that this mobility-enabled delivery model seems to have caught on best for education: Check out India’s Mobile Solutions Center, which teaches computer literacy, agricultural skills, general schooling, as well as some health services–via solar-powered vans. Malaysia is also having success with Schools-on-Wheels vocational programs for reducing drop-out and unemployment rates. The same mobility model for reducing youth unemployment apparently works equally well in Nigeria as it does in the USA, according to an International Labor Office report.

Why does this mobillity-enabled delivery work so well? Obviously, rent is not a big issue when your business is on wheels, but that’s just my layman’s analysis. What are your thoughts? And when will this model be applied to other sectors?