Electronic products have always made our lives simple, easy, informative and convenient.
But still, a good majority of the underprivileged sections of our society are deprived of all these facilities and advantages. If provided, these gadgets can improve their lives. It helps them to be more connected to the world and gives them a strong urge to improve their living conditions and lifestyle.
Be it a smartphone which enable them to connect to each other, with themselves and the outside world, ensure their participation in governance and strengthen the digital inclusion; help the farmers among them to get updated about the best farming practices, suitable weather conditions, plan their harvest better or even to get solutions online for their doubts and complaints.
A laptop is one of the best educational tools that can change the lives of children among the underprivileged. This aspirational as well as the best tool for studies, will help access the information on fingertips and enable them to be confident and at par with any other kids of their age.
A TV will make them aware of the day to day happenings in society and provides information and entertainment. In India wastage of food is a serious concern which needs to be addressed both on a commercial level and on the domestic level. A refrigerator is a domestic level solution to this and a boon to these working-class people as it keeps the perishable food safe and eatable. Washing machines can save their valuable time and which could be utilized for more productive purposes. Water purifiers check carbon emissions and provide a solution to clean drinking water which is a major concern in rural areas.
But how do Consumer Electronic companies reach out to them??
As per many reports, since the penetration of several products like TVs and Refrigerators are reaching saturation in the urban areas, the markets for these products are shifting to the semi-urban and rural areas. But the lack of a proper distribution network prevents the companies from making inroads. Also, market research reports say that more than 83% of Consumer Electronics/Durable products are sold through finance. But these underprivileged people neither can afford to buy these products through upfront payment nor they have access to finance though they badly require it.
That brings in the relevance of Micro Finance institutions who are providing an excellent service to these sections. SHG level penetration and network these organisations have made in the remotest of the villages are truly remarkable.
Only MF institutions have the bandwidth to penetrate these segments, identify the real needy people, educate them and influence them. They select products that are having a social impact or can support the livelihood of these poor. They make these devices or gadgets more accessible by providing easy and convenient finance options based on these underprivileged people’s income. They help them to choose the best gadgets which are suited to their needs.
Since the MF institutions are talking to the manufacturers directly, they can cut down the various layers of distribution and thereby reducing the cost and that benefit is in turn passed on to the customers. They also echo in favor of the customers and help them to get priority in after-sales service whenever it's required.
How do we ensure last mile deliveries?
Reaching out to the doorsteps of these rural people and ensuring timely deliveries are the major challenges which both the MF institutions and the manufacturers face as most of these consumers stay in villages away from the urban distribution centers.
Companies like Solucion Unlimited are formed to bridge this gap.
Spread in 8 eight Indian states, so far, we’ve touched the lives of more than 3 lakh rural households. With our wide range of products and distribution strength, we collaborate with those MF organisations who have got clear objectives of social upliftment.
We work in tandem with the MF institutions and Manufacturers and act as a bridge between both. We ensure timely deliveries at the doorsteps and helps these rural consumers to get proper after sales services.
We are proud to associate with KPB Fincorp, who is one of the fastest growing Micro Finance (Fintech) organization and whose focus towards technology and social commitment are unparallel. We are working closely with their Management to design new solutions that will enable their customers to be more connected, empowered and increase their quality of life.
About the Author:
Ramesh GP is the CEO of Solucion Unlimited which specializes in Rural Distribution. He has got an industry experience of more than 18 years with various organizations like Wipro, HP, Dell, and Samsung in the past.