Thursday, July 24, 2008

IDDS Guest Speakers

Thursday was really packed, with a follow up lecture by Paul Hudnut. There was also a presentation by Ruth Mufute, of Africare. One of the most interesting things she said, was in response to a question about how do husbands feel about women empowerment in Africa. She said she still respects the traditions of her culture, even though she may fly to America, and give lectures, she'll still show respect towards her in-laws by bowing down when she meets them. There was something in the manner she related this to us that was very powerful.

Harish Hande, of Selco, talked about his experience from providing solar lighting for people in India. And now his company is moving into energy services, and the different ways they can provide those for customers who have previously been disregarded. Among his key points; barriers are functions of human resources, not technology; money is best put towards services and letting word of mouth speak for itself, over unreliable marketing; increasing production doesn't increase income, creating market linkages makes a difference, and finally answer a real customer need, sub par answers will only last for so long.

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