This week on our roundup we share a range of interesting stories from across India. First, we have insights from Anurag Agarwal of Intellecap on whether innovation will make it easier to transact with BoP customers. For those in the skill development sector, it is interesting to note that ICICI Foundation has declared the launch of an ICICI Academy for skills. Finally we talk about CIIE’s investment in transportation startup Evomo as well as how India’s e-waste burden is being turned into an opportunity by startups.
For Anurag, CEO of Intellecap, the next level of financial innovation needs to include the emergence of business models that can successfully cater to BoP segments by providing a complete suite of financial services – including savings, insurance, credit, investment, remittance and payment products – at an affordable price. However, lower levels of financial literacy in this customer segment mean that one needs to invest in building greater financial awareness before one does any business with them at all. Yet technology is now available to transact electronically and systemic efforts need to be made to bring the incremental cost of dealing with the poor close to zero so that they are also able to access the full bouquet of financial services at an affordable cost. Read the full article published on Next Billion here
ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth (ICICI Foundation) Friday declared the launch of an ICICI Academy for Skills, to impart vocational training to the youth from economically weaker sections to help them earn livelihood. The ICICI Group will impart training to 5,000 youth at eight training centres across the country in the first year of operation with an aim to target 15,000 by 2016. The offered courses include selling skills, office administration, web design for graduates, electrical and home appliance repair, refrigeration and air conditioning repair, diesel generator and pump repair for class 10 pass-outs. Read the full article here
Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE) has invested into Ahmedabad-based Evomo Research & Advancement Pvt. Ltd., a rural transportation enterprise. Evomo was launched in 2010 by CEO and Founder Abhinav Das following a casual visit to Uttar Pradesh, where he saw unsafe locally-manufactured vehicles transporting people and goods. The company now designs and manufactures low-cost Rural Utility Vehicles (RUV) that aim to replace illegal and dangerous transportation contraptions like Jugaads and Chakkdas. Evomo has also previously been a winner of Power of Ideas 2012, which was held by CIIE in partnership with The Economic Times and Department of Science and Technology. Read the complete news here
Bangalore produces some 20,000 tonnes of e-waste per year according to an Assocham report. But, awareness of the e-waste management and handling rules is poor. Up to 90% of this waste is still handled through the informal sector – by firms who employ low-paid workers to process and incinerate e-waste. Companies like Karma Recycling and SustainRCA however have come up with innovative business models to solve this problem. Read about the impact they are making here.