• Drishtee - Sustainable Communities

Social Consulting

Drishtee’s consulting services have much more to offer as the planning as well as implementation are based on deep empathy connect and the core idea of creating a sustainable approach for development and impact.

  • Deep long term relationships with rural communities

This is a clear strength of Drishtee. Usually, any in-depth research of the community requires a deep understanding and a credibility of the interviewer. 15 years of continuous presence and experience in Rural India enables Drishtee to collect and analyse data more effectively and with a higher degree of accuracy

  • Research a part of the work

This is ingrained in the basic approach of Drishtee. Indeed it is necessary for Drishtee to know communities in order to be effective in its own work of Engaging with communities, Drishtee needs to employ several tools including

      • FGDs (Drishtee continuously carries out these FGDs)
      • Group building (This is part of Drishtee’s work)
      • Logistics (This is part of Drishtee’s work as described in the “Channel” of the 4C approach.
      • Block Model and aggregation (This requires segmenting similar groups from within villages and cluster of villages)
  • Creating SMEs and entrepreneurs

As Drishtee goes about creating SMEs and Entrepreneurs, it requires to study and understand Strengths and Weaknesses, and methods of using existing strengths and capacities and overcoming weaknesses. This not only leads to a deeper understanding and engagement with people, it also requires research.

  • On-Ground

Drishtee has an on-ground footprint and a team of over 500 direct and indirect employees in addition to franchisees in over 6000 villages spread across various parts of India. This helps Drishtee not only to quickly gather data but also to test / co-create/ carry out pilots in various geographies. The footprint of Drishtee is depicted in the Map

  • Team / People Competencies

Besides the long term passionate employees and people from villages connected / associated with Drishtee for long, Drishtee has a number of

    • Professionals / Managers from the Industry who now prefer to work with Drishtee
    • Volunteers , many with exceptional qualifications and experience and some from world renowned Consultancies
  • Domains

Drishtee has data / knowledge / experience of several domains that can give it an edge for several research assignments. Some of these are:

    • Training
    • Banking and Finance
    • Rural Supply Chains
    • e-governance
    • Women and Textiles
    • Agriculture (including Farm / Off Farm and Non Farm)
    • Construction
    • FMCG
    • Durables
    • Health
    • Energy
    • Communications / IT

Drishtee’s Social consulting service is best offer for:

  • Government sector

Drishtee has worked for the government in areas like PURA, Panchayati Raj institutions, Election Commission, CIC and others. With its experience of implementing various projects and taking a lead role in few, Drishtee has developed a team that is highly sensitive towards the need of the community and at the same time has a very strong understanding of the processes and framework of Government initiatives,

  • Multilateral / Bilateral / others

Here too, Drishtee has experience with IDRC, FINPRO/ Tekes,  UNDP, IFC,  JICA and others and has even taken on international research assignments in Sudan and Rwanda. However, Drishtee’s follow up and canvassing of new businesses has been tardy.

  • Corporate Sector

As in the other segments, Drishtee has done significant research for several organisations including Ricoh, SMBC, Amar Raja Batteries, DLight and several others. However, the focus to continue and canvass research related assignments has been missing. Samahit Immersion presents an opportunity to engage with corporates linking their CSR, Marketing, HR, and Production to co-create in rural India.

Consulting Services

Rural research

Drishtee understands and aggregates the demand within the community and analyses the various resources for designing the suitable solution. The rural and BOP segment has a typical way of managing the needs and therefore need the solutions to be well customized, especially to suit the affordability and reach scenario. Drishtee has the background understanding of the segment on the whole and operates within the communities to best evolve and design the solutions that are sustainably possible to implement. To ensure the viability at all the levels – community (or possible customers); partners; indirect stakeholders as well as implementation agency, Drishtee takes it through a process-based piloting or testing phase, before finalizing on the shape and size of the proposed solution.

Drishtee has over 15000 entrepreneurs linked on a network of supply chain routes (like milk-man routes). Most of these entrepreneurs are small village stores. Inter-spaced with them on the routes are entrepreneurs who provide services, including e-governance, health, vocational education, banking and micro-credit. This is how Drishtee is linking up the entrepreneurs for both products and services delivery to them. This integrated model of a supply chain carries Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) to the Rural Retail Points, and critical service delivery items like books for education and money and documents for finance to the service Franchisees, making it a viable model.

For a solution to succeed, it must be integrated and comprehensive. Remote communities could be economically sustainable if they could have a number of entrepreneurs, who have

  1. Access & Market linkages to critical services & products (Channels)
  2. Relevant capacity or opportunities to develop capacity (Capacity)
  3. Capital or Credit to finance their enterprises (Credit or Capital)
  4. Have the support of their local communities. (Community)

Rural immersion

Drishtee’s 4C Approach culminates into a vision village – model village where all communities are empowered to achieve shared prosperity. Various tools are utilized to enable a deep and inclusive enagagement with the Communities, understand the need and opportunities of creating value chains and build Capacity accordingly. The core focus is to develop and nurture local enterprises and for this Drishtee plays the role of a facilitator and a catalyst. These rural microenterprises need Capital as well as market linkage support through a strong inward and outward Channel to sustain and grow. These local enterprises are as a matter of fact modeled around the local value chain and therefore have immense capcity to engage most of the local resources, including human, and provide opportunities of local economic and social growth, leading to cultural sustenance.

The processes and approaches that can make this model village or 4C concept work, demand an inclusive approach and therefore Drishtee is engaged in building multi-layered stakeholdership and partnerships with various corporates, government, local farmers, producers, banks and various other organisations being a part of the value chains.

‘Rural Immersion’ would aim to provide product manufacturers and other urban stakeholders an opportunity to get a clear understanding of rural needs directly from the community. Many established corporations, non-government organisations and even start-ups have traditionally taken a top-down approach to developing products and services, driven by an organisation-centric perspective. Most have tried to customize existing urban products by slashing features or size and reducing cost to meet the budget of economically marginalized communities. This leads to a mismatch between community needs and product or service offerings, hindering meaningful economic development. The goal of ‘Social Immersion’ is to create a program that will facilitate understanding of needs and develop real empathy between providers of products and services and rural communities.

Drishtee’s “Social Immersion”, is one of the Winners of Economic Inclusion Ecosystem Grant Award by eBay and its partners. “Social Immersion” has been recognized as a bottom-up process sourcing the real needs of lowincome communities injecting them directly into the design process of BoP products and services of MNCs/NGOs/Social Enterprises. Drishtee team has implemented the basic version of the same model on grounds with few partners in the last 2 to 3 years.

Pilot and business modelling

In order to develop a sustainable business in rural India, a product prototyping approach is taken to address the issues of affordability – through prioritization of technical features, as well as innovation and localization of production and distribution. Drishtee develops a model of specific service delivery through rural micro-franchisees. It manages a rural focused distribution network in about 2000 plus villages (with potential of reverse supply i.e. rural to urban or rural to rural) like education, microfinance, banking, and retailing. Drishtee believes and works through a 4C Approach to support rural communities to create and nurture micro-enterprises.

For local community connect and understanding of end-users, we contribute to service level modeling as well as Product prototyping. Through skills development and service connect, we engage with community for delivery as well as service relationship. We create channel to connect deep set remote areas into the distribution system of products as well as services.

To test the viability of the rural distribution business model, we do a small scale preliminary study in order to evaluate feasibility, time, cost, adverse events, and effect size. The pilot is an attempt to predict an appropriate sample size and improve upon the study design prior to performance of a full-scale research project. With its expanding network of franchisee kiosks, Drishtee decided to assess the possibility of increasing the volume of transaction by carrying pre ordered FMCG and durable products to existing rural retail points (RRPs) on the same route where it already had kiosks. Drishtee also started the pilot training center at Mathura, with Hand Embroidery trainings to check the feasibility of delivering the trainings and also facilitating  access to market linkages.

Social marketing

Social marketing seeks to integrate research, theory and partnership insight to inform the delivery of competition sensitive social change programs that are effective and sustainable. At Drishtee, it involves, activities related to assessing, stimulating and converting the purchasing power of the rural consumers into effective demand for specific products and services and moving them to people in rural areasto create satisfaction and thus achieving Drishtee’s and partner’s objectives.

The rural consumer has a very involvement in any product purchased.

CSR Consulting

Drishtee carries out various socio economic studies on issues like rural development, employment, health care, water, and  agriculture.  We have carried out qualitative and quantitative studies in this sector. Services like baseline assessment surveys, impact evaluation studies, and social research studies are offered for the same.

From market assessment, sustainability analysis and developing a strategy to actual implementation and reporting, we enable the corporate’s social responsibility project to maximize its sustainability potential.

One of the CSR project involved with RICOH, Japan lead to the development of an innovative idea of a woman’s shop for women in rural India. Ricoh and Drishtee are the conceptual as well as implementation partners in this new social business idea.  This partnership, other than the core level support, visioning and close association in various activities, also brings in the word- ‘Momo’.  Momo is a Japanese name for the Flower Peach Blossom and depicts the word ‘charming’. The shop model is given the name Momo-Rangoli.  Rangoli depicts the auspiciousness, happiness, beauty, aesthetic value as in women as well as variety and vigour.  It  will provide a strong livelihood opportunity for the shopkeeper and her staff.  The overall aim is to build Rangoli as a model to empower and inspire other women to seek opportunities for development and an improved standard of living. This being the Test model, the expectations from the final outcome is already creating some excitement amongst all the stakeholders. The key in the long run would be the ‘provisioning of right mix of all 4 Cs for supporting the Momo-Rangoli Shop and creating a replicable, sustainable model.

Projects undertaken with partners

Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India

Project title: ICT Segmentation of 2488 Gram Panchayats in Assam.

Thematic Area: ICT, Governance, Community development

Project Included: Using the “ICT Segmentation Model” – a tool developed by Drishtee, Paper: Rural Business through ICT, Role of Governance, Co-authored by Satyan Mishra & Nitin Gachhayat, published by IRMA, 2005) . ICT stands for Information Communication Technology.

Location (s)/ Scale: Assam 2488 Villages

Duration/ Timeline: 5 months

Outcomes: Segmentation of Panchayats for their viability in ICT based business model of service delivery, in a Gram Panchayat. Collecting detail data and building a good quantitative as well as quantitative database of social, economic as well as infrastructure related situation in 2488 Panchayats; A physical mapping and rural connect mission that ended up in awareness building on ICT and its use for community development.

Microsoft

Project title: Delivering Rural E-Commerce & E-Health in Indian Villages, using Tablet PC

Thematic area: e-commerce and e-health in rural areas

Project Included: Evaluation of the usage potential of Tablet PC at village kiosk level for Rural e-Commerce and Rural e-Health initiatives in India.

Location (s)/ Scale: Madhubani (Bihar), Sonitpur (Assam) and Bareilly (UP)

Duration/ Timeline: 12 months

Outcomes: It revealed a potential demand and acceptability of such ICT Applications among rural artisans and in general for rural community. As an action following the result of this study, ‘Drishtee’ has developed an e-Commerce Portal ‘Drishtee Haat’ (http://www.drishteehaat.com), connecting rural artisans to customers through the village kiosk, acting as an intermediary adding value to the supply chain.

Merck

Project title:  Awareness about maternal health care services

Thematic area: health, awareness, maternal mortality

Project Included: Research pilot Project is to reduce the incidence of maternal mortality by sensitizing and educating women and their families about the causes of maternal deaths and facilitating access to maternal health care services

Location: Assam

Timeline: 2010-2011

Outcomes: Sensitization and education of rural women and their families about the causes of maternal deaths

D.Light Design, USA

Project title: Understanding rural lighting needs

Thematic area: renewable energy, rural lighting

Project Included: Understanding the rural lighting needs and how solar powered lamps can be a safe and affordable option for the disadvantaged.

Location:

Timeline: September 2007 – February 2008

Outcomes:

Shell Foundation

Project title: Consumer Attitude & Market Potential for Smokeless Chulla

Thematic area: clean environment, cooking methods in rural areas

Project included: Promotion, marketing and distribution of much improved version of the lung-congesting chulha, which has been named ‘Jeevan Jyoti’

Location: Golaghat , Kamrup, Sivsagar and Nagaon districts of Assam

Timeline: July- 2011- July 2012

Outcomes:  Acceptability and marketability of Envirofit’s ‘Smokeless Chulla’ (cooking stove using wood) in communities

World Talk, a UK based social organization

Project title: Prospects of Info-Services in Indian Villages, using Telephone Media

Thematic area:  rural information services, telephone media in rural area

Project included: A pilot scale survey to assess the potential and prospects of disseminating service related information to the rural communities through Telephone using IVRS.

Location: Rural areas of three districts of India – Mallapuram in Kerala (south India), Madhubani in Bihar (east India), and Sirsa in Haryana (North India).

Timeline: January – March 2005

Outcomes:  Identification of those Information/Services that can be best provided via telephones to the villagers and are important in their day-to-day life

Novartis International

Project title: Health Loans- Micro credit for doctors and chemistS

Thematic area: micro-finance, health

Project included: Under this MHCI Project, microfinance was made available to 10 Borrowers (Physicians & Chemists) and then an impact assessment study was undertaken to test the hypothesis and help understand the impact of MHCI project.

Location: 5 Districts in Uttar Pradesh

Timeline: October- 2009 to September 2010

NABARD

Project title: Formation of farmers’ clubs in rural areas

Thematic area:  agriculture, community development

Project included: Servicing the group with enhanced financial mobility (through co-ordination with and credit flow from banks), timely expert advice (through interactions with subject matter experts and  workshops) and market linkages

Location: Munger in Bihar and Mathura in UP

Timeline: 2011-Present

Outcomes: Creation of farmers clubs in Munger and Mathura

Nestle

Drishtee has entered into a partnership with Nestle India to create a rural supply chain network in India. Initially, Nestle India is leveraging Drishtee’s rural retail network to sell its products and understand the rural needs.

Novartis

Novartis is an innovative healthcare products company with pharmaceutical treatments for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. Recently, Novartis has entered into a partnership with Drishtee to provide quality health care services to rural India.

Vision Spring

Drishtee’s distribution and entrepreneur network is being enabled through the partnership with Vision Spring for facilitating Basic eye test and availability of quality reading glasses at low costs. Vision Spring has been Drishtee’s associate as Scojo Foundation’s initiative of Scojo glasses in the past.

ACC Limited

Drishtee and ACC have joined hands to train unskilled masons through a “Masonry skills development program”. The trained masons would be certified by ACC and Drishtee as they also handhold them for placements with the local or central level sites or builders.

Godrej

Drishtee has partnered with Godrej Agrovet to provide skill based livelihood training to farmers and youth under its flagship program “Samarth”. By introducing best practices in farm and/or dairy/poultry/ fishery management to farmers, we hope to improve farmer productivity and in turn increase disposable incomes.

Shell foundation

Shell Foundation and Drishtee have partnered together for the promotion, marketing and distribution of much improved cousin of the lung-congesting chulha, which has been named ‘Jeevan Jyoti’. This product is a product of Envirofit, a project supported by Shell Foundation.  Drishtee was overseeing its marketing activities in Golaghat , Kamrup, Sivsagar and Nagaon districts of Assam.

Danone

Danone (France based) is a Fortune 500 Company and one of the most successful healthy food companies in the world. Drishtee helped the company in its research to find the nutrition in children’s food and then develop a healthy product for the children of marginalized families.

Universal specs

Drishtee had partnered with Universal Specs (U-Specs), a Dutch based company in partnership with Philips India to develop adjustable eye glasses to low income group at affordable prices.

Amaron

The Amaron Hi-life automotive battery is a product that incorporates the latest technological advances in the field and is at par with developed countries. Drishtee has partnered with Amara Raja to distribute Amaron batteries in rural India.

Rion

Drishtee is helping Rion in market development of hearing aid and audiometer including audiometry service franchising.

IDRC

With support from IDRC, Drishtee Dot Com Ltd. carried out a scoping study on the feasibility of creating BPO employment opportunities for educated rural youth through telecentres. Drishtee undertook a pilot project based on the results of the study in Saurath, a village in Madhubani district, Bihar state, and developed a business model and framework for upscaling rural BPO services

Grameen foundation

Grameen Foundation US and Activist for Social Alternatives (ASA) partnered with Drishtee Foundation to pilot a revenue sustainable ICT model in rural parts of Tamil Nadu.

University of Manchester

Through projects like ‘Sensitization of Community – for more and better Women’s ICT based enterprise’ for University of Manchester, UK and ‘Women Entrepreneurs’ Capacity Building’ Project by Unlimited Potential, DF is trying to strengthen the Women owned ICT enterprises – especially the ICT Centers – Drishtee Kiosks, also building their capacity to handle such tasks

State Bank of India

Drishtee and State Bank of India, with the objective to fulfill the gap of unavailability of options to save money and distress migration of people from rural to urban formed a national alliance in providing banking service to unbanked rural communities. After successful testing Drishtee has expanded to more than 3500 villages with help of 1350 Customer Service Point(CSP).

Ricoh

RICOH, a multinational based in Japan has been partnering with Drishtee for  the Rural Micro-enterprise Development initiatives and is a long term partner for impact objectives of Drishtee.

Micro Save

Drishtee Foundation has partnered with Micro Save to create right systems and processes for its micro-finance vertical. Micro Save is a team of experienced professionals that has been operating for ten years and is ‘the most reliable consulting firm for FINANCIAL service providers.

IFMR

IFMR Trust had partnered with Drishtee Foundation to pilot a kiosk based individual lending model for FINANCIAL services delivery through entrepreneur owned kiosks.

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