'Aahar' Wins the Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition

By Shivam Srivastava|6th Mar 2009
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Aahar: Meals for Poor at Rs. 5, has won the grand prize ($10,000) at the Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GSEC) as reported by IndiaPRwire. The business plan was presented by a group of students from the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, (NMIMS) Mumbai.

GSEC was organized by the Foster School of Business at UW and featured 14 teams from around the world. All GSEC plans were required to “clearly demonstrate Social Return of Investment” and were evaluated on three criteria –

  • Effect on the quality of life and poverty alleviation in the developing world
  • Financial sustainability
  • Feasibility of implementation

The plan presented by Aahar focuses on providing low cost nutritious meals to slum dwellers and employing local women to produce the food packets. Here is an excerpt from their business plan,


Vision Statement
“To fuel India’s hunger for achievement by providing nutritious meals to the most common of common man”
Mission
To replicate the model worldwide to give a fighting chance to the poor to lead a respectable life.
The Problem: Hunger
Business Description: (Named Aahar meaning food in Hindi language)
We are offering a full nutritious meal for slum dwellers at the price of 10 cents near their homes.
Value Proposition:
a) Pricing product at 10 cents (Rupees 5) and ensuring quality at various touch points.
b) Serving them with respect that they deserve.
c) Skill development of women from the slums – Employing women from the slums @ $ 84 per day (Average wage level $ 64 per day) along with free food packets for their families.

The second prize at GCEP was won by SolarCycle, a team from Brown University, whose mission is to “respond to the need for alternative cooking technologies in Africa by manufacturing and distributing, at cost, simple and sustainable solar ovens made from locally available waste materials”.

The third placed team was WapGrid from Princeton University and their plan is to deliver a platform that is “capable of stopping the deadly catastrophe of counterfeit and fake pharmaceuticals sold in many developing world countries by empowering consumers to verify the genuineness of medicines they buy”.

We congratulate Aahar and wish all the participating teams at GCEP the best of luck with their projects.