Services and Saksham

March 8, 2006 § Leave a comment

Delhi, India – March 3, 2006

It’s always good to spend time with Drishtee CEO Satyan Mishra. He is full of energy and ideas: both of which are focused on finding ways to ensure rural kiosks can be both sustainable and beneficial to the villages they serve.


Shaddy and I met with Satyan to discuss the idea of service ‘unbundling’. How can we take the kinds of services Drishtee offers to its kiosks – language training, rural e-commerce, health care – and offer them to non-Drishtee centres? Circling around for almost an hour, the conclusion was: it’s possible, but complicated. It is not just a matter of designing and developing a service. The process for delivering, monitoring and supporting the services is also key, and is the bit is what’s ‘tied up’ inside of Drishtee. By the end of the meeting we agreed that the best way to learn about this unbundling process is to ‘just do it’, picking one service to unbundled as a trail and then document the hell out of our learning. We will do this with Drishtee, and possibly with TaraHaat and Nlogue, with the idea that the process will then inform the services R+D fund we’ve outlined in the upcoming business plan.

Tarun Malik and Ankhi Das from Microsoft also joined us at the meeting, which gave us a chance to learn about Saksham. Saksham is Microsoft’s India-wide effort to accelerate the process of ‘energizing the rural economy through ICT’. Built around the promise of a 50,000 kiosk contribution towards Mission 2007 targets, this initiative includes a focus on: kiosk financing; content and services; back end service providers and support; and business model innovation. Much of the Saksham language sound similar to the new business plan (‘enabling the rural ecosystem’ is the tag line). It will be interesting to see what sorts of synergies emerge from this.

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