Hajj Ashiraph Designs Bounty

Hajj Ashiraph Designs Bounty: Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Design with the poor, not for the poor.

Nakulabye, UgandaCentral division, Uganda
Year Founded:
2012
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

HADB is an inclusive designs hub where low income consumers turn solution developers to design universal products they can trade with small, medium or top brands, for profit share.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if all companies knew how to serve the legitimate needs of the poor not just for price but also for status, aspiration, and dignity?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Most low income consumers are denied quality designs judging by their incomes; their design thinking at times disguised when it concerns quality products/services since their suggestions are taken to be much less of concern to many corporate designers they talk to. The minority richest 10% make the basis for most quality designs produced thus leaving out the majority poor 90% because world’s cleverest designers cater to the globe’s richest 10%.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

A projector is a person who plans and sets up a project or enterprise. HADB is a multinational design firm delivering low income consumer centric product designs. We create innovative and quality designs that fit a universal appeal especially world’s majority poor-the 4 billion. Designs range from web, mobile, banking, financial services, graphics, shelter/housing, document, commodity, medics and electronics HADB works with poor projectors to drive innovation, identify opportunities, and design meaningful products and experiences that grow powerful micro brands to serve low income consumers. Our breakthrough designs include biggest housing discount store called Structures Hub in Uganda, Financial services deep in villages in South Sudan.

Awards

Imagine Cup 2012 Certificate of Merit from Microsoft East and Southern Africa, Certificate of Merit Google Mobile Boot Camp from Strathmore University
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We operate over 500 active teams of low income consumers turned solution developers. Our global community consists of over 5000 people in countries like Uganda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Pakistan, Canada, Australia, India, Russia and US that either comprise or provide financial and material support to teams to produce the finest product designs we can pitch to enterprises to acquire or sell them as their products to the market and share profits. In South Sudan, we have pioneered quality banking systems designed for Kilgroup money transfer services that reach low income consumers staying deep in local villages. In Uganda, many low income earners save on quality housing and construction designs per day with Structures Hub, we designed it.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

After signing 5 years contract in 2012 with Makerere Software Incubation Programme to incubate HADB, I embarked on an ambitious grand plan to scale the innovation. Since 2012 to date, we have engaged over 2000 projectors. Currently, over 500 active teams trade microdesigns, have helped over 20,000 people create jobs, get jobs and their microdesigns adopted by small, medium and big enterprises e.g Structures Hub was adopted by popular brands in the housing and construction industry to help low income communities save on shelter and housing budgets. Our Ugandan projectors, RAZICO, helps over 2000 patients access 50 medical consultants via call center. In South Sudan, our projectors, Citycom Technologies, make quality design solutions with consumers in towns and deep in villages e.g Kilgroup Money Transfer. We hope to cover 3000 teams from countries in Africa and Asia by 2016 and 2017.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We are working on Structures Hub a discount store that allows low income earners to save while purchasing good quality construction equipment. We created Razor Innovations and Consultancy Ltd, to foster innovations of low income consumers in Uganda, We are working with a small enterprise we pioneered in South Sudan, Citycom Technologies, which provides quality designs and solutions especially customized for the low income consumers. HADB is in process to form more subsidiaries in Pakistan and India where we have experience partners already. Acquiring Intellectual property has been paramount.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Citycom Technologies South Sudan contributes over US$ 2000 annually to our profits. Structures Hub contributes $1000 annually, RAZICO (Ug) has set designs with projected revenue of over $10,000 next year. Low income solution developers pay design facilitations; these account for $2000 annually. Over $5000 comes from microdesign acquisitions or profit share from established top or medium brands.The legal team takes care of intellectual property.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There is Bresslergroupis, Ammunition and Smart Design among others. HADB values the low income earners as well as the minority rich whereas most existing market solutions favor the minority rich compared to the majority poor. HADB works side by side with the low income consumers and respects their tastes and preferences in design patterns of the products they consume. Thus HADB lets the low income consumers to offload their heads, design products that upload their pockets out of poverty; despite less acknowledgement, low income consumers, have great taste when it comes to quality designs.
Team

Founding Story

The world’s cleverest designers, cater to the globe’s richest 10 percent. I came up with H.A Designs Bounty to reverse this ratio. Being a witness to the products on market and using some of them both high quality and low quality products, this made me realize that for other poor who can’t afford the better products due to their incomes only remain to wish. So I embarked on various researches and discovered that most of the consideration and special attention is paid to the minority rich class’s tastes and preferences. The poor are barely noticed, less or no care is taken into account while designing products that include their tastes and preferences.

Team

Our crew is young, smart and experienced management includes; Kyabainze Ashiraf; I am the CEO. I am a very shrewd entrepreneur, an Optimizer, a Visualizer and an Influential innovator. With over five years of innovation centric work experience, my expertise in motivating our team of solution-minded thinkers has resulted in the development of standards-based, findable and inherently usable innovative designs. Nakibinge Mahad is our Chief Legal Officer. He is a lawyer by profession and heads our legal activities. Musoke Suleman and Co. Advocates is the company's legal team to take care of Intellectual property for our designs. Akola Teddy is a full time board member; she holds eminent research skills and a writer. She is our assistant designs director. She is well versed and knowledgeable in solution suggestions from low income consumers. Nakato Sarah is our chief finance Officer; she oversees financial management of different projects and controls income generation activities to sustain the business. Balinda Peter is our Chief Operation Officer, he holds a bachelors degree in information technology and well versed with the way activities run in the company. Inao Rebecca is our Chief Projects Coordinator. she has experience with running projects on time. She previously worked with Plan International Uganda and got experience on how to deal with company projects. Kyomuhendo Moreen is our Assistant Projects Coordinator. she works closely with Rebecca to execute most of the projects work at HADB. Assimwe Jessica is our Chief Information Officer. She previously worked on government-related information management and data entry projects therefore she has experience in information technology (IT) strategy and the computer systems required to support our enterprise's objectives and goals. Sentongo Farooq is our Chief Communications Officer, He has worked with MTN mobile communications services. He is our head of communications, public relations, and public affairs. Adnan Jahangir is our marketing partner in Pakistan. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in business administration and soon, we are opening operations in Pakistan. He will receive information from and give information to management and pass on public relations information more widely within our target coverage in his country. Lual Michael is also our marketing partner in South Sudan. He was once our projector, turned entrepreneur. Now he runs a strong partnership between us and his start up, Citycom Technologies (http://www.citycomtechnologies.co ), the first National technology company to open shop in South Sudan. HADB was actively involved in its initial start activites until now. Our bond enables us to work closely with Citycom and communicate via social media, phone calls and emails to bring on board more poor projectors and grow their plans together to drive social change in this world’s youngest nation.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

Advert on social media(Facebook)

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Founder and CEO

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

No Poverty, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

In Uganda, I have pioneered successful startups like Structures Hub (www.structureshub.com) its social media page as (https://www.facebook.com/Structures-Hub-1625874687694371/), an online store bringing together different enterprises, wholesalers and manufacturers both local and international in the construction and housing industry to provide discounted products and services inclusive of low income buyers. The main aim is to help low income consumers save on their construction and housing budgets. I head the Information Technology and Innovations section at Razor Innovations and Consultancy Ltd (www.razico.co.ug), its social media page as (https://www.facebook.com/Razor-Innovations-And-Consultancy-Ltd-razicocou...), a small enterprise devoted to partnering with us to design innovative, quality and reliable health care solutions with inclusion of low income citizens; I co-own E-books International Agents (www.ebooksia.com), its social media page as (https://www.facebook.com/ebooksia) , an enterprise that encourages quality education for low income earners and their families, it does this with a well designed business model that lets low income earners to buy e-books and instantly sell them back, their accounts topped up to buy more e-books, to keep them reading and gain lots of knowledge through fun-filled purchases.
In South Sudan, i pioneered Citycom Technologies(www.citycomtechnologies.co) as a partner (https://www.facebook.com/Citycom-Technologies-coltd-1465074167044035/). The company carries market research about design opportunities needed in the country through their networks of low income solution developers, they contact HADB and we design a solution together for example Kilgroup Money Transfer services (http://www.thenationmirror.com/top-stories/861-business-owners-tipped-on...) to provide financial services to the unbanked and underserved communities in urban areas, also in war tone and deep villages of the South Sudan. We designed a digital price index (www.serisouthsudan.com) to enable the digital 14% of South Sudan buy and sell items, and grow their local trade ecosystem (https://www.facebook.com/Seri-Guide-South-Sudan-593325904038716/).

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

We are partnering with Mentors from Makerere Software Incubation Programme for example Prof. Hugh Cameron (hcameron@cit.ac.ug), he has played a vital role in giving us business insights regarding technological designs, Mrs Carol Kamugira (+256 712 844 944, carolk.sbi@gmail.com), his deputy also has been guiding us through business development, HADB partnered with her to design a records management system for her medium sized enterprise and crocodile farm(www.ugandacrocs.com) in Buwama, Mpigi District.
We are currently partnering with Mr.Kolyang Emmanuel of the Makerere University College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT). Our partnership with him entails designing a solar medical kit. This kit was designed to enable poor people test themselves conveniently and regularly for malaria, sugar levels, blood pressure etc. Since the kit uses solar energy, the poor deep in villages will not worry about having electricity to carry out medical tests. The kit was designed with advanced sensors and extension devices, that aid the tests. The kit draws mechanical tests basing on body temperature and blood pressure. Our future impact is inclusive of engagement of government support, so that we produce and subsidize these kits for the low income consumers.
We have partnered with Afrosoft IT Solutions Uganda Ltd(www.afrosoftug.com) to design Ebooksia, a leading ebooks purchasing platform in Uganda. Mr.Katamba Ronald(+256 703 034 758, katambaronald@gmail.com), the Afrosoft's CEO has been very influential in the success of the platform we co-own. He also provides tremendous advice and product support on other industrial designs that we have worked on.
One of our objectives is to include the poor when designing quality products and services. In this competitive generation, when companies design products and services for the poor, they often think about making them as low-cost as possible. But whether you’re tapping a market opportunity or addressing a social need, it’s important to realize that people living in poverty value quality design. Quality design doesn’t mean that goods and services need to cost more. Quality experiences meet people where they are, acknowledging such important factors as status, and dignity.
Creating products and services for low-income consumers is a challenging task. Little information is available about this target group, their wants and needs, their habits and traditions - and about what really works in their particular context.
These consumers themselves are owners of valuable knowledge when it comes to developing solutions for them. Consequently, it has been widely suggested to learn “from the bottom up” by hearing and incorporating the "voices of the poor". However, little is known about how to tap this knowledge and how to actively include this particular target group into product development processes. This is where our partners, advisors and mentors come in, to harness our journey of producing inclusive designs. They give us useful information we pass on to our projectors, the low income solution developers, it helps them alot. Our objectives have been successfully achieved in due course.

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