SVADHA EMPOWERS, HELP AND TRAIN ENTREPRENEURS TO CREATE A BUSINESS AROUND SELLING TOILET PRODUCTS TO THEIR LOCAL COMMUNITIES
What big bet are they making?
Svadha wants to ensure that households in India have their own toilet, instead of relying on community toilets or open defecation. Svadha provides quality and affordable sanitation for end-consumers by creating a sanitation eco-system with locally trained entrepreneurs. Svadha’s main product is a complete package of the elements needed to construct a toilet. Their products include bio-toilets with waste processing, toilet insurance and customizable packages of hygiene products. Furthermore, Svadha offers different services to entrepreneurs and consumers, such as masonry, community training, business development and consulting support.
What challenge is the big bet solving?
Lack of access to proper sanitation facilities is a major problem in India, with around half the population defecating in the open. One of the main constraints in improving the conditions is the disorganized sanitation market faced by customers, as local sanitation shops typically have a limited and unreliable offering of sanitation materials. Customers thus face high prices and time costs in dealing with numerous distribution points. This poses a threat to women and girls forced to utilize unsafe sanitation facilities, which also negatively affect school attendance for millions of girls.
How is the Big Bet innovative?
Svadha addresses the full sanitation eco-system, providing one-stop solutions for entrepreneurs seeking business opportunities and customers seeking sanitation services. Svadha negotiates directly with manufacturers, ensuring affordable and quality products. An important element of the business model is free delivery to entrepreneurs, eliminating ‘last-mile penalty’, facilitating service access to remote communities and alleviating capital investment requirements (as entrepreneurs can buy small shipments instead of excessive bulk). The value proposition thus revolves around convenience for entrepreneurs, and Svadha benefits from the entrepreneurs’ knowledge of demand in their community. End-consumers benefit through reliable access to quality products.
What is the current situation?
Founded in mid-2014, after a series of pilots starting in 2012, Svadha currently has more than 280 entrepreneurs, reaching a total of approximately 100,000 end-consumers with sanitation solutions. Svadha covers 70% percent of districts in Odisha, and hopes to work with 900+ entrepreneurs in three
years. They have recently expanded to Bihar and are planning on expanding to Andhra Pradesh next. They also work with NGOs, CSR foundations, and multinational corporations, who look for a capable partner with last-mile experience in WASH to coordinate project management, conduct market research projects, or provide consulting.