Updates from the Research Team

Hi everyone! Recently, the research team has started compiling a bi-weekly research digest which analyzes an important or pressing issue for any team within WaterWalla. The availability of this resource encourages all team members to think more carefully about WaterWalla's direction and what products, ideas and services will shape the organization's future.

Most recently, the research team completed two digests. The first focused on BOP (bottom of the pyramid) marketing tactics. Researchers found that slum residents are early adopters of innovative technologies as they often benefit low-income individuals the most. Prior projects have found greater uptake of products among the youth because they are the most tech-savvy. However, WaterWalla's market is highly complex with members being from every age, education, and income level. The research team, as a result, is assisting in the development of a multi-level marketing strategy in which campaigns are designed to target groups with different consumption abilities.

The second research digest was an informative review about current healthcare or insurance plans available at the BOP. It was determined that ineffective governmental policies are a cause of peoples' poor health and sanitation habits. This leads to high incidence of water borne disease. Due to a further lack of organization in slums, it is difficult to maintain India's current insurance plan. To counteract the lack of organization, there is an increasing prevalence of clinics available to Dharavi residents. The government aims to bring one urban health centre for every 50,000 people in a given area but it is still unclear how the financials of this plan will form. WaterWalla, with its distribution network, aims to be on the frontlines of this battle against poor health with a specific focus on waterborne disease.

The research team is excited to continue its contribution to alleviate preventable waterborne diseases!  Stay turned as it will soon make its past and future research digests available on the WaterWalla website! Please contact us if you would like to learn more about what we do!

Best,

Brijesh

 

Happy Holidays from WaterWalla

Hi everyone!

The WaterWalla family would just like to wish everyone a happy holiday. This has been a great year for us and we are so excited for 2012!

Some highlights from our past year:

LAUNCHED our flagship store in Dharavi RECRUITED AND TRAINED 36 women to be our direct sales force PARTNERED with some of India's most forward thinking and innovative companies: Bajaj, Eureka Forbes, and TATA GREW the WaterWalla family by seven new members!

It's been an exciting year for us. A special shout out goes to Executive Director Soaib Grewal for his excellent work on the ground! Also, a big thank you to all our advisors, Mr. Ashwin Bhadri, Ms. Jennifer O' Brien, Mr. Manav Raheja, and our newest Mr. Neil Parikh. We are excited to welcome our newest members as well to the WaterWalla family and we can't wait for the opportunities 2012 is sure to bring!

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all our supporters-we couldn't have done it without you!

Always,

Anshu

Aamer Shares BD Team Updates!

Hi everyone, It's an exciting time for WaterWalla and refreshing to see the size of our team grow after coming back from India this summer!  As expected, we have a lot of work on our plates making sure that our entrepreneur, Jitendra, is successful in running his very own store.  Especially for Business Development, this is an exciting opportunity for us to apply what we know to help Jitendra.

First of all, I think we owe a huge thank you to our technology parters so far--Bajaj, Eureka Forbes, and Medentech.  Their support has been crucial in getting our operations up and running, and we look forward to their continued commitment to our social mission.  Of course, we would like the residents of Dharavi to have access to an even wider variety of technologies and for Jitendra to increase his sales, so one of our primary objectives is to get our foot in the door with other technology partners.

Beyond this, we're looking at a range of services that we can start offering through our stores.  One of the most exciting is on-site water quality testing which will allow residents to bring in samples of their own water to be tested at our store.  We hope that services like these will keep our customers engaged and lead to positive educational benefits and better health outcomes for those that we serve.

On a much broader scale, we've been working full steam on devising our organization's structure.  With Soaib devoting his time to fully manage operations in India and as our organization continues to grow and mature, we are looking at a reorganization of our efforts so that we can have the biggest impact on the ground.  This means that we can also increase the scope of our operations, so look out for opportunities to join the team as we continue to expand!

That's all for now!  We'll keep you posted on our progress as we move forward.

-Aamer

New members of the Research & Education Team!

The Research & Education team at WaterWalla just completed its Fall 2011 recruiting. Please welcome our new members:

1. Swathi Sampangi, a first-year MPH student at Brown. She is interested in continuing involvement in WaterWalla, and will be working on the literature review for much of this semester.

2. Kathryn Linder, a senior Neuroscience concentrator. Along with Swathi and Austin, she will be working on the literature review. In the future, she also wants to help design the community education campaign in Dharavi.

3. Hannah Rose Schonwald, a junior Environmental Engineering and Geology concentrator. She will be helping with designing the education campaign as well as sales data analysis and technology review and research.

4. Eleanor Batty, a sophomore Neuroscience and Physics concentrator. She will help design the community education campaign, along with Hannah Rose.

The team also has Brijesh Patel, a senior Biology concentrator who has completed preliminary research on community education campaigns designed by other NGOs for use in other parts of the world, and Rayna Chandaria, a sophomore at Brown who will lead all educational activities on the ground in Dharavi.

I am very excited about working with this team, and will keep you updated on all the work we produce in the coming months!

Austin

 

Pictures from WaterWalla Dharavi Opening Day

WaterWalla's first shop in Dharavi is finally open! Thanks to the great work done by the contractors, the shop is looking beautiful. Despite the heavy rains, many local leaders, community health partners, and corporate partners visited our store to celebrate with us. Below are some pictures that capture the highlights of the day:

Thank you for all your support and interest. We will bring you further updates shortly!

Aamer, Anshu, Austin

Off We Go

The WaterWalla team has begun our departure to India for our field study! Anshu and Soaib are already in India, and will be arriving in Mumbai Sunday/Monday and I'll be arriving Sunday evening. Our first plans will be to meet with NGOs on the ground to establish partnerships for our field study and gain guidance about how to proceed. We'll also be meeting with our water testing partners (Equinox Labs) on Monday to get a better idea about how water quality testing works, and what are the best practices around such measurements. We've got a very busy 2.5 weeks ahead of us, and stay tuned here for updates as we make progress throughout our journey!