All it takes is a village

Posted On: March 23, 2010

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Rajiv Mehrotra, Founder and CEO of VNL in New Delhi India, has created WorldGSM, a solar powered GSM station that provides affordable mobile phone access to rural communities in developing countries. This is a major innovation and will impact the lives of billions of people in villages that lack the electricity and finances for traditional connection service.  Easily transported to the village, 2 villagers can install one station in 6 hours, and operate it charging customers only $2 to $3 per month.

VNL is operational in India and hopes to be up in Africa and South East Asia during 2010. VNL coined the term “microtelecom” to describe their business model --optimizing the telecom infrastructure serving low-income, hard-to-reach communities in rural areas.

Panoramix View: 2 points: Innovations that address unique problems in the developing world can be translated around the planet as profitable mainstream strategies and open up new markets. And, the microfinance category has demonstrated the business reasons for thinking of the bottom of the pyramid as a profitable market as long as the product or service is designed appropriately. Now microtelecom.

By Mary Meehan

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