GAURAV MEHTA dharma life finding impact

FIP 53: Distributing Social Products to Rural Markets with Gaurav Mehta

Dharma Life supports women and subsistence farmers to sell products such as solar lamps, stoves and sanitary napkins to villagers to improve their quality of life. They recruit people with a basic education, who are in need of money and don’t have a full-time job. Guarav Mehta founded Dharma Life in 2009 during his MBA in London.

On this episode you’ll learn:

  • How they’ve achieved a 65% women entrepreneur rate, despite men stepping forward in villages to take on the role. So they took steps to counter this self-selection bias by working with women’s families to help them understand the benefits.
  • How the minimum retail price in India is creating better incomes for village entrepreneurs, so they’re passing on 60-70% of the margin.
  • The complexity of selling products that improves people lives requires behaviour change and marketing efforts, which helps entrepreneurs make the sale.
  • Products are selected through a consumer study which involves analysing deaths in a community, their causes, and matching products to solve the problem. These make up the core basket of goods.
  • Other products are added based on a selection process, which must be socially neutral, it mustn’t have a negative impact, and which enhance the income of the entrepreneur.
  • How Dharma is structured, to ensure the company drives for impact rather than profits.
  • How Dharma provide research and marketing services for companies “across the adoption process” to diversify their revenue streams.

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