10% increase is Mobile penetration would lead to .6% increase in GDP of the nation: That speaks volumes of Telecom as a economic multiplier. In a nation as large as India, the power of Telecom to connect its 1.2 billion people with Information and utility services is seen as the next Mass movement to drive the a broad based fundamental growth.
The Government of India realizes the potential of Telecom and has been at different levels pushing the levers for stimulating Telecom/Broadband growth. In what is a spin-off of sorts, the Government of India in partnership with NABARD, Department of Telecommunications, Banking/Financial institutions and funded by the USOF (Universal Service Obligation Fund) is launching a spate of micro-programs that will aid Women in Rural areas (Aggregated to Self Help Groups) to become entrepreneurs and gain some socio-economic independence.
The project which is un-named yet, focuses on females, and uses NGOs and Micro-Finance companies to reach out to these Self help Groups (SHGs), helping them with micro-credit and loans to finance their ventures. Furthermore, GoI is also joining hands with market players under the aegis of Corporate Social Responsibility to support the SHGs in their entrepreneurial endeavor. So, the Nokias and Airtels of the world are a part of this whole exercise extending their support, help and expertise to the SHGs. The beauty here is that while this is under the aegis of CSR activity, it has economic and business relevance to these players as well.
The SHGs adorn the role of last mile distribution houses in an otherwise lengthy and economically unviable distribution supply chain. Thus the whole template of a win-win-win for all three parties in the program. The Government benefits from economic-inclusion of the bottom of the pyramid people. The SHGs would benefit from being able to have an earning for themselves at the end of the month. The Companies would benefit from benefits of getting connected to the last mile and the last consumer in the value chain.
That’s called reliving C K Prahlad’s Value at the bottom of the Pyramid.