The subsidiary of a major international seller of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) developed a program to help women in rural India sell products to their local market. The company will remain anonymous per a non-disclosure agreement, but they’ve given us permission to share this remarkable story of an empowering, pro-social business venture.
The program enabled women in rural villages in India to sell products from their homes that are typically found in an urban minimart. The program itself proved successful in its initial stages. However, when the 80-year-old company rolled out a digital initiative that relied on a smartphone app for order and inventory management, they noticed a low adoption rate among the entrepreneurs. That’s when they came to Net Solutions—to assess the root cause of the low adoption and see whether a solution was possible.
The Net Solutions User Experience (UX) team decided that, in order to understand the low adoption rate, they had to speak directly with end-users. During the discovery phase, the UX team traveled with the company’s project staff to the rural areas they served, interviewing both the entrepreneurs as well as the company’s sales coordinators. They conducted ethnographic research and identified key challenges that end-users faced in the field.
Based on Net Solutions’ recommendations, the company moved forward with a complete redesign of the app—including a total re-engineering of the backend from the ground up.
Based on the Voice of the Customer (VOC) data they gathered from entrepreneurs and Sales Coordinators (who assist the entrepreneurs), Net Solutions set out to build a powerful app that would make product selection, ordering, and distribution easier for everyone involved.
At the time of publication, 120,000 women across 18 Indian states have found success and financial independence through this project, earning an average of 40% more than average local incomes. This has had a positive impact not only on their families, but on their communities and their local economies.