Serving the poor through markets

This page in:

I just ran across a useful compendium of market-based solutions to poverty. Not too long ago an organization called the Monitor Group put out a publication called Emerging Markets, Emerging Models. It's filled with instructive examples - here is one of them:

The Byrraju Foundation provides a good example of a promising pay-per-use operation in water purification. In India, one typical low-cost business model is to provide individual activated carbon water filter units to low-income families at costs ranging from Rs. 900 to 1,500 ($18-$30), with replacement filter cartridges needed every three to six months at the cost of Rs. 400 ($8). With a monthly cost of Rs. 60-90 at normal usage rates, this is often too much for families living on Rs. 3,000 or less.

To make clean water available, Byrraju implemented an innovative model centering on community filtration plants. These sell purified water at about half the price of individual activated carbon water filters, and about a third of the cost of boiled water. Water is sold in 12-liter containers for Rs. 1.5 ($0.03), which covers the daily clean water needs of an average household; customers buy the water when they have the available cash.

(Thanks to Giulio Quaggiotto for the pointer.)


Ryan Hahn

Operations Officer

Join the Conversation

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly
Remaining characters: 1000