Bottom of the Pyramid: Selling Water in India

I was listening to the radio today while doing my daily commute to Hoffman Estates and tuned into NPR, Morning Edition. They had a rather interesting news bit on a company called Healthpoint Services and discussed how the company aims at delivering Health services to rural countries, in this case, India. The bit talked about Social Entrepreneurs focusing on the Bottom of the Pyramid market segment and how the company was making money selling water at $1.50/month as well as providing Healthcare at minimal costs. I find it amazing how a company can make a profit off a $1.50/month water subscription per household. I suppose if enough households subscribe, economies of scale can be obtained in the logistics of getting the water to the village. It’s still crazy to think about. It’s also really interesting how these households survive off $1/day and the $1.50/month water subscription is within a households’ means.

People often wonder what you can do with $1. In the United States, it will get you a McChicken if you add in a few cents for tax, some candy, and even a half liter water bottle. Per this article:

Water is sold for just $1.50 a month for 600 liters

WOW! Imagine that, 600 liters of water just for a $1.50/month, that is crazy! It seems the value of $1 in other more rural countries, can get you a whole lot. I remember when I was visiting my buddy Jeff in Beijing this Spring, I went to his university at Beihuang University and I was able to get 10 dumplings AND a glass of soy milk for at a local restaurant. Needless to say, for the two weeks I was in China, I went to that restaurant frequently for lunch.

Going back, I think it’s really cool how a lot of for-profit companies are focusing on Social Enterprise. This news bit was really interesting and you can find the written article on NPR’s website. You can also check out E-Health Point for more information on their goal in transforming Rural Health Care.

Krannert School of Management’s Website Gets a New Look and Feel

It seems a new Krannert Masters website launched today (or recently). The new address is at I really like the new look, it’s simple, it’s bold and it tells a story of how a Krannert MBA can really help shape one’s career. While this post is about the website redesign, I feel the redesign is part of a bigger story and that is, the Krannert School of Management has had a very crazy past few years.

I joined the Krannert MBA program at Purdue University in 2009 and the school was ranked #32, the following year it dropped to #34 and the year I graduated, it tanked to #49. I have no idea what it will rank this year, hopefully at least top 40 based on my classes performance and hopefully we trend up now. Anyway, I do recall a lot of changes the program was going through in regard to the website, new curriculum and the search for a new Dean.

I remember when they first “relaunched” the new website, it was really awful. Combining the color Blue with Black & Gold made the website look ridiculous, unprofessional and showed a lack of taste. It took 3-6 months to prove the webmasters that they were wrong, it took another 6 months to refine even more aspects of the “new” website and finally another 6-9 months to get this new site done. It’s amazing how the administration finally decided to push the Krannert MBA Program’s website to What a solid idea. Kudos to Jake and Gareth, whom I’m sure had a big role in this change. I gotta say though, whoever controller the strategy of the website up until recently was extremely stubborn and probably had to be proven wrong before this launch went live. I tried in vain to get the website changed since there was a lot of criticism about it when it went live the summer of 2010 and offered my services in SEO and SEM for free to help boost our rankings for the term “MBA” and help market the program better, but faculty just wouldn’t listen and didn’t appreciate the help. Thank goodness the class of 2012 was ambitious and relentless and had a talented Developer.

While the program definitely has had a rollercoaster of a ride these past few years, I firmly believe that a solid foundation has been set. The Krannert School of Management has a new Dean, the new curriculum that my class entered into has been improved, the website has been redone and it looks professional and polished and finally, at least I hope, my class (2011) helped pave the way for higher rankings this next Spring. I’m proud to be a Krannert MBA and will always be proud of the Krannert School of Management and Purdue University, I just hope the faculty & administration will start listening to the students more. Cheers to the new website redesign! Boiler up!

Krannert School of Management

United Airlines Customer Service Props

I purchased a United Airlines non-refundable plane ticket for a friend a few weeks ago and recently, we had to cancel our plans due to a few things that happened. So I called United asking them to credit me back the ticket. However, they stated that since the ticket was non-refundable, there was a changing fee of $150 (Total ticket was $373.40, so that’s basically more than 40% of the ticket’s value!). In addition, even though I had purchased the ticket for someone, using my credit card, they said I couldn’t transfer the ticket given the fact that the ticket was non-refundable. So I was in quite the pickle to say the least.

However, the customer service rep I was speaking with, a gal named Axle, was very understanding of the situation I was in and proceeded to work with her supervisor to find a solution to this problem. After about 10 minutes, she proceeds to tell me that, and get this: United would refund my plane ticket in whole to my credit card! I was expecting them to say something to the degree of, we’ll let you change flights but there will be a smaller change fee but not a complete refund!

So United, you have my attention and my thanks. I figured, I’d give a public shout out to you guys and perhaps someone might come along and read this and may see how great you guys were tonight. Thanks again!

United Airlines

Reading for the past few months

For the past 3-4 years, around October, RA Salvatore and John Grisham, my two favorite authors, come out with a new novel and I read it addictively until I’m done with the novel. They’re great fiction and something that mixes up my time. Here are the books I’ve read recently:

I’m currently reading these books:

Indianapolis Colts: “Suck for Luck” Sweepstakes is going well!

0-10. Wow, pathetic. Painter is awful. Granted, I went to Purdue and I could have told the Colts that when they drafted him, but oh well, sometimes teams make mistakes.

The Colts are “two” games ahead of anyone else (Minnesota, Carolina, St. Louis and Miami are all 2-7) and their schedule looks pretty bad in the coming weeks:

Week 11: Bye
Week 12: Carolina (potential win, but I think Cam Newton will rip the Colts to shreds)
Week 13: New England (loss)
Week 14: Baltimore (loss)
Week 15: Tennessee (loss, if CJ2K keeps doing well now)
Week 16: Houston (loss)
Week 17: Jacksonville (potential win, Jaguars are terrible)

I think we’ll win at most 2 games, personally I think we’ll go 0-16 based on how pathetic our coaching and playing has been. My poor Colts. It’s rough watching football when your team is getting crushed horribly.