What is the benefit or value you're creating for your business?
The benefits that we’re creating for GSK are :
*Ensuring access to a large number of far flung villages through a sustainable distribution network, so that our products find new consumers.
*A very strong communication channel and platform to reach out to millions of rural consumers in otherwise media-dark markets.
*Creating programs that help brands win the hearts of consumers.
*Increased health awareness leading to improved consumption and penetration of our nutritional products.
* An example where business and societal impact are integrated.
How are you leveraging internal resources (funds, time, knowledge, etc.) to support this initiative?
While the Rural business is seen as a separate business model which is well funded and invested, it is extremely well entrenched in the overall business. The support from the organization is drawn through the following areas -
a. Sales support – The sales division supports by ensuring supplies to these markets – in fact, the Rural network is built on the existing distribution network.
b. Research & Development support through their know-how and work on innovations needed specifically for these rural markets.
c. Product support – through the creation of low-unit, affordable packs designed specifically for these markets to increase access.
d. GSK’s Pharmaceutical division knowhow is used for inputs to the Registered Medical Practioner Program
e. Senior leadership encouragement.
Expand on your answer, explaining the long-term funding and support plan.
Unlike most start-ups – the Rural business of GSK has proved to be a profitable venture ( and then some!) in the first year of operation itself. The Health Awareness program is funded through the incremental revenues generated by the business. However, the scale of our ambition going forward will necessitate the need for funding, and we intend to pursue this through a partnership approach, specifically in the areas of Research ( to measure the impact on actual health parameters of the participating villages), and Health Infrastructure development ( in the platforms of schools and hospitals and health care providers)
Tell us about your partnerships across your company and externally that are key to your project's success.
Partnership at every level is proving to be the key to this business’s success.
At the grassroots level - in every village that we go to, we partner with local village level representatives – these are the key stake holders such as school principals, elected representatives of the village, doctors and so on.
Within the organization, a collaboration has been created between the Consumer Healthcare and Pharmaceutical divisions, to leverage each others strengths.
What internal support have you gotten for your project? What kind of push-back have you received?
Apart from the funds, time, knowledge from various parts of GSK within India and globally – the most important support provided to us has been the Free Hand that we’ve got to run this business as an entrepreneurial, fast-paced, innovative business. The space to create has been provided by the organization, and this is a primary reason for the early success that we’ve seen, which has beaten our initial growth ambitions.