Project Growth Center

Project Growth Center: Water brought civilization. Now, clean drinking water will bring prosperity.

IndiaAkot, India
Year Founded:
2013
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

What is the best spot in a jungle to see all the amazing animals? A waterhole. What if you can create such a spot in villages where everyone will visit at least once a day? What if you can turn it into a community-led retail outlet? Growth Center provides that gateway to corporate via CSR.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

A water collection center could be transformed in to a market hub, a gateway for technologies and information to come in?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Non-access to safe drinking water is the root cause of poor health & poor finances in villages. Drinking unhealthy water causes frequent diseases like diarrhea, dysentery etc. These diseases causes significant loss of man hours and attracts huge medical expenses. For already poor people in rural parts, this is a substantial loss. Till now, the best solution provided in remote villages is hand pump to harness untreated underground water.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Decentralizing the distribution of clean water by setting up reverse osmosis plants with UV filtration provides clean water in remotest place. We install such systems in modular sheds in public areas of villages and hand it over to the village via women self help groups (SHGs). These SHGs operates these machines turn vise all year round and earn profits by selling to the villagers at 25 paisa per liter. This cost ensures proper use of clean water and covers operating expenses of system while generating some profit. Each SHG has minimum of 10 members. So when we include all active SHGs, almost the entire village gets involved in profit making. The extremely low cost allows everyone to take clean water and the profit keeps them motivated.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Since the coming of Growth Center (GC), the daily mundane activity of collecting water is now turned into an exciting part of the day. The GC has internet enabled touch screen kiosks which has apps developed in local languages. Now while waiting for their turn, people can surf on internet and get their hands on useful information. Now the students have more resources at their hands. They accompany their mothers to the GC and get together, this improves harmony. When they meet at GC, they share their knowledge with enthusiasm, promoting mass learning. Now farmers are better informed about weather and grow crops accordingly. All this happens while collecting 1 pot of water. Water brings health, knowledge & happiness to all the village.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Doctors charges a minimum of ₹100 as consultation fees. One time medical expenses for a "routine" disease like dysentery goes up to 100-150 in three days. Travel expenses costs another ₹30, to & fro. In all, if a non earning member of family falls ill once a month (this frequency increases in summers & in monsoon), the family shells out approx ₹300 as total expenses. If a earning member falls ill, a loss of daily wage of ₹150-₹200 adds up to it! A regular adult needs approx 3.7 litres of water daily for drinking and cooking. On an average, family size in typical villages range from 6-8 people. Considering this, on an average, the family needs max 888 litres in a month for drinking and cooking. At 25 paise a litre, the total expense comes up to ₹220 per month + no loss of man hours. We can see, in future, these people will be more healthier, and have better chances of earning.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We are targeting villages of size less than 2000 people. Last 1/3rd of India's population resides there. By improving their health & financial conditions, we can boost our economy tremendously. Since corporate get office space in all villages, they will be more interested in these CSR activities & through them e-commerce can be promoted, since we will have internet in GC. People can directly reach out to government of their issues, this helps in good governance & brings transparency in the system. Once people get good habits, pipelines can be laid down by government for GC to every house.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We rely mainly on CSR and government's rural development funds for sustainability. Since both have win-win situation, it becomes an excellent platform for both to stand together and reap long lasting rewards while helping to develop 1/3rd of the population.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Currently many NPOs & NGOs are working to provide clean drinking water to villagers, but none of them are taking a step further to develop that frequently visited spot by all, into a Center of over all development. Life starts with water. It will be unwise to setup a system just to deliver water. Water is life essential, collecting water is a habit of rural people. We can change their lives by spicing it up by providing information & technology, & then ultimately providing piped connection, when they truly understand its effect in their lives. This will help to create a responsible community.
Team

Founding Story

It all started when Mr. Shrikant Deshmukh, my maternal uncle said, " Water has huge potential. It is free of cost and is life essential." Since then the idea was stuck in my mind. I began researching on it. The "Project Last Mile" by ColaLife in which they use cola's supply chain to deliver life saving medicines pushed me to develop a way to use the life essential water and turn into a mode of development. I began field visits and met lot of rural people. I found we have huge potential in our villages in form of women SHGs which is ready to kick start, but cannot break barrier of fear of taking loan for their development. In October 2013, in form of Clause 135 of Company Act, we got our last missing link.

Team

We have Manas Deshmukh and Mukul Kumar Dewangan as our COO and CTO, both B.tech Mechanical engineers from NIT Jalandhar. We have Ms. Priyanka as our Chief PRO who as 5+ experience in the field. Our strategy is developed with help of Mr. Shrikant Deshmukh, 25+ experience in entrepreneurship and Mr. P.R.Deshmukh, 30+ year industrial experience in leading PSU. In future, we plan to get file officers, who will cross check data given by NGO.
About You
About You
First Name

Manas

Last Name

Deshmukh

About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

Please select

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Project
Organization Country

, MM, Akot

Country where this project is creating social impact

, MM

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Foundations, NGOs, Businesses, Regional government.

Supplemental
Sector

Health and Hygiene, Water Use, Opportunities for Women, Inclusive Business.

Audience: Who have you identified as your customer/recipient groups and do these groups value your solution for different reasons? How do you engage different customer/recipient groups to deliver your solution?

Corporate engaged in CSR activity who believe in moving further towards creating shared values wherein everyone is benefitted, are our potential customers. Since we have a project which helps in developing a water distributuon center in to direct retail outlets in villages along with CSR activity, we stand out from the crowd. We work closely with the CSR and business development department of our customer to understand their mission and Vision to maximize the benefits.

Scaling the solution: How would the prize money and publicity help you to achieve your objectives over the next two years?

Winning this award will give us a much-required platform to reach out to all major corporate. Since the scope of this project is huge, we require support for many corporate.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered

I have founded G T Hospitality Services which addressed the premium lodging and home made food needs of corporate travellers and globe trotters. I carried out this business in Mumbai city and Pune City with one partner. My role in this business was to understand the need of companies and help my partner in finding property in the appropriate location.

Are you are eligible to attend the Accelerator event in Cambridge and subsequent events in London, UK in January, 2015?

yes

Will you require a visa to enter the UK?

yes

Are you are a current Unilever employee?

randomness