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.