Solar lights. Water filters. Clean cookstoves. Despite good intentions, these life-changing technologies are NOT changing lives because these products don’t reach villages. Rural distribution channels are broken. Essmart connects technologies to places where people already shop: mom-and-pop retail stores. In India, 15 million of these stores account for over 90% of retail spending. By working with these stores, Essmart makes life-changing technologies available in rural India.
By connecting technologies to villagers, Essmart ensures that technologies are purchased, adopted, and used so that they benefit users. Because Essmart strategically facilitates the rural distribution system, the social enterprise is not only able to commercialize technologies but is also able to provide user feedback to product designers. This completes the entire cycle of engineering effective, desirable technologies for international development purposes.