Providing Clean Drinking Water through an Access-Based Solution in India

Impact: Quality of life impacts, Economic impacts, Social impacts

Description of impact

The lead investigator initiated a series of research studies including two major research projects in 2016-2018 where he and his colleagues Dr. Gopalakrishnan Narayanamurthy (University of St.Gallen) and Dr. Tobias Schäfers (Copenhagen Business School) collected data about the preferences of low-income people in Udaipur towards the choice and impact of owned vs. access-based livelihood improving goods (e.g. water filters, air coolers) as well as different preferences among access-based solutions. The key results indicate that low-income consumers in such markets are also often unable to value the importance of clean and high-quality drinking water. They often prioritize the present over the future with a high time discounting factor. Due to this prioritization, they give importance to cost-savings today by buying low-quality water rather than a healthy living tomorrow by buying high-quality water. Based on this the research team examined how the business model can be innovated to motivate low-income consumers to consume high-quality drinking water.
The lead investigators research activities and prior experiences were constantly integrated as the reference point for a social enterprise focusing on the establishment of “water shops” in Udaipur, India, helping three Swiss entrepreneurs first to understand that the real challenge of the water shop approach was not to find a suitable clean drinking water purification technology but to organize the required delivery and management activities and second to design a socially and financially viable business model. Today, the water shop company “Jivana Vitality” operates several water shops in Udaipur serving approx. 15’000 people with clean drinking water every day.
Impact date1 Feb 201630 Nov 2018
Category of impactQuality of life impacts, Economic impacts, Social impacts
Impact levelAdoption