Who will have the bigger impact on addressing global hunger poverty?
A philanthropist who writes checks or the captilast responding to market forces?
What will add value to those at the bottom of the pyramid?
Charity or Business Operations?
If you have $100 discretionary income for charity budget, what would you do with it?
Subsidize someone volunteering their time in a 3rd world country or invest in a profit maximizing organization that is developing products and services for the same market?
I will side with the second option for the questions above. There is no question that the value creation comes from business development. I have talked before what Nokia and P&G have done to add value to those at the bottom of the pyramid. Now, it is an information services firm, Thomson Reuters with its Market Light, price information delivery system.
The New York Times reports on Thomson Reuters’ new service in India to serve the poorest of farmers. This is a for profit service that delivers commodities market data to farmers through their mobile phones.
[Thomson Reuters] has been testing a program called Reuters Market Light for several months in Maharashtra, India’s third-largest state, about the size of Italy. The state is one of India’s prominent agricultural centers, with farmers growing onions, oranges, corn, soybeans, wheat and bananas. But the farmers’ business suffers from the difficulty of comparing prices from one market to another.
“We kind of saw that there was a clear market inefficiency,” said Mans Olof-Ors, a Reuters employee who had the idea for Market Light three years ago. “The farmer would decide which market to travel to, then would just sell to that market. So there was no competition between markets.”