Thursday, April 9

Mechanism to scale rural innovations

In a visit to India, Navi Radjou came across many "rural" innovations and wonders "Can they scale?". It is rather ironic that these are idealistic, romantic, "rural" innovators and NOT generic run-of-the-mill entrepreneurs out to make money.!!

I have little patience for such patronizing do-gooder's romantic pet projects that do not meet the simple test of markets i.e consumer acceptance and business viability.

Navi suggests "What is missing is a mechanism to cross-pollinate and scale up these bright ideas among India's 250-million-strong agricultural community which lives scattered across more than 600,000 villages"

The obvious answer has to be "THE MARKET MECHANISM". The perfect mechanism is "profit motive" combined with this strange and wonderful mechanism called "markets" that automatically connects to utility to consumers. Unless one can show market failure and/or social barriers. And if it works why leave city dwellers out of benefiting from these innovations.

The list of silly projects is long "Simputer", OLPC $100 Laptop, usually run by academicians, specialize in guilt tripping and clamour for government subsidies.


Atanu Dey said...

Jacob Varghese, profits are evil and the strange and wonderful mechanism called "markets" are the work of Satan. We in India are socialists (as the constitution of India proudly declares.) We follow the socialist model of non-profit ventures. We would rather starve and eat grass if needed but we will not give an inch of land to evil industrialists, as our fearless leader Mamata demonstrated. We will implement amazing schemes like the Simputer and the OLPC for every child.

So there.

Atanu Dey
(You may wish to check out two posts related to Navi's post, Enabling Rural Innovation and Balanced Economic Growth of India.)

Jacob Varghese said...


I do follow your blog on my Google reader and got the link to Navi through your blog. But for some reason I cannot access your website.

I agree with you on most things, but wanted to respond to your BJP leanings.


Atanu Dey said...


I don't know why you are not able to access my blog. I have not heard any other report like that.

Sorry about that. I am interested to know what your take is on my BJP "leaning".