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Published by:
Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge (2015)
9 pages
Data source:
Field research
The case addresses the challenges and opportunities facing SELCO, an India-based off-grid solar lighting company, and its CEO and founder Harish Hande. Founded in 1995, the company's objectives are to bring sustainable energy solutions to low income off-grid communities and to do so while making a profit. The case concerns the summer of 2008 when Harish is reviewing SELCO's business plan for the next 4 years for SELCO. The SELCO team has to expand the business and must decide on the best way to do so. One option is to go deeper into the economic pyramid by targeting consumers who earn even less than the Rs 4000 per month that their current customers do. Another is to go wider by diversifying into products based on other energy sources or products that deliver other benefits than lighting. A third option is to target customers in new geographies. A final decision is whether or not to build an Innovation-Incubation Centre (IIC) that could be used to develop and test innovative products and processes, and to train entrepreneurs. Overall, the case is ideal for a session on social enterprises in emerging markets, addressing as it does issues related to innovation, entrepreneurship, strategy, and marketing.
Learning objectives:
1. Learn about the challenges and opportunities that social enterprises face in emerging economies. 2. Learn about innovation for low income communities in emerging economies. 3. Learn about marketing to low income communities in emerging economies (segmentation, targeting and positioning). 4. Learn about growth strategies in emerging markets. 5. Learn about the off-grid solar sector in emerging markets.
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