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Social Enterprise HBS Business Plan Finalists – Doodh Bhandar

1. YOUR PITCH:
Rural India is home to over 500 million low-income people who live on less than $2 per day. Cattle are an important asset owned by the Indian rural poor- half of all rural households own either a cow or a buffalo. However, their productivity is extremely poor, an average Indian cow yields only 2 kg of milk a day, an amount 10-12 times lower than an American or a Danish cow.

Doodh Bhandar (DB) will leverage cows to create social impact along three dimensions.

Our intervention will:
1. guarantee an income increase of $200-300 per annum by making cows, a vital asset owned by the rural poor at least 6 times more productive;

2. higher milk production creates an additional protein source for women and children – a key step towards combating malnourishment in a country that is home to one third of the world’s malnourished children; and

3. build scalable micro-enterprises managed by local youth and women who serve as role models and resources for others in their community to replicate market based solutions to poverty.

We will achieve this by offering five services; breed, feed, heed (veterinary services), lead (access to markets), and seed (access to finance). These services will be delivered by a team of a trained technician and a local woman entrepreneur.

2. IDEA: WHAT SPARKED THE IDEA FOR YOUR BUSINESS PLAN?
Both of us have spent the last few years working on building market-based solutions to poverty in India. The idea for a player like DB was highlighted in the many conversations we had with poor farmers during our travels in rural India.

We first met at a national committee that was trying to address rural development issues in India and reconnected at HBS where the idea then took shape. We got a lot of positive feedback when we pitched our idea at the Social Enterprise Conference in March. Since then, we have worked with Prof. Kash Rangan, our faculty advisor, who guided us in developing this idea further. We also got a lot of support from Bala (NC), Shalaka’s husband, and a whole host of unsuspecting friends at HBS especially sections I and C.

April 27, 2009
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