Saturday, February 23, 2008

Give Them Technology

One month after announcing the world’s cheapest car — the $2,500 Tata Nano — India has unveiled the telecommunications equivalent: the $20 “people’s phone.” Developed by Spice, the Indian telecoms group that is listed in Bombay and worth $2 billion, is angled at the very lowest end of the market.,2933,330784,00.html
I think the world ought to sit up and take notice. These are early indicators of a change in the making. An important change; a great change: where lower cost comes from reducing non-essential features in product design not from using older, cheaper technology developed for a market with completely different economic drivers.
For years technology has been associted with “expensive”, “complicated” and most importantly “irrelevant” for the poor or people living on less than $2/day. This is a red herring. Give them food, give them medicines and ah yes give them education; but technology?
Yes technology - the best and latest technology; the kind developed for the market that represents the next billion.
Affordability and access (communiction, transportation) are backbones of productivity - imagine what the world would look like if not just two billion but the gobal population, 6.6 billion people, were engaged in the innovation process!

No comments: