n-Logue providing ICT services in rural India.

I am not sure if I understand exactly what we are suppose to be posting here about alternative approaches but I’ll give it a shot. While reading through some of the links I recalled reading ( I think written by Thomas Friedman) about a very successful project where women in rural areas in India were given cameras and trained to be the village photographers. While trying to find more information on this I came across the following article: Jhunjhunwala, A., Ramachandran, A. & Bandyopadhyay, A., n-Logue: The Story of a Rural Service Provider in India , The Journal of Community Informatics, (2004), Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp. 30-38. retrieved from the internet Sept. 27, 2009

This article discusses how an organization called n-Logue that focuses on rural India, helped to establish internet kiosks through-out rural India. Kiosks, which cost less than $1000 to set up were financed by bank loans and were established by trained entrepreneurs in the villages- mostly women. Further tech support is provided by n-Logue. It was determined in the original business plan that these kiosks would need to make around $70 per month in order to break even. This amounts to about 7 or 8 cents per person per month which the authors felt was affordable and sustainable.

These kiosks provide an amazing variety of services in these communities from training children how to type, to providing farmers access to on-line veterinary services. Many of the kiosk owners also bought digital cameras so they have also become the village photographer. At the time of writing they were proposing to add internet banking services as well.

This article does not conclude how things are going, but the authors were very optimistic about the future. I think this is a really interesting idea and with over 6 000 000 villages in India has great potential.


1 davidp { 09.27.09 at 10:55 pm }

Really good example, Bev. This one highlights some of the themes in Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid.

Appropriate micro-commerce models have worked extremely well in India and other places in South Asia, but usually with commodity materials such as soaps and household goods. Your example shows how it can also work with technologies and associated services.

Micro-banking such as the Grameen Bank demonstrate other cases in which micro-commerce works in the service of real people in development situations. Kiva.org is a North American example of technology applied in this fashion to support rural development.

Thanks for this example Bev. While you may have thought the instructions were unclear, you interpreted well.


2 Barbara { 09.28.09 at 8:31 am }

I am now in India and it is amazing that you can find a hole in the wall that offers internet service and “internet phone” for very cheap rates. There is also a very high penetration of cell phones that offer very cheap rates. This will propel India forward very rapidly.

3 Bev { 09.28.09 at 9:44 am }

I found easy access to internet services in more urban centres in Peru, but not so much in the rural areas. Cell phone service in Peru is another story- As we were hiking the Inca Trail, our guide often had cell service-especially at the passes- 4200m!. Our guide also had cell service in the middle of Lake Titicaca. ( I live half way between Calgary and Lethbridge and have spotty cell service. ) With the development of iphones and similar products, people in rural Peru and many other countries should be able to access an amazing number of services .

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