Doodh Bhandar (DB), a plan focused on revolutionizing milk production in rural India, has reached the finals of the Harvard Business School (HBS) Business Plan Contest in the Social Enterprise track. Cattle are one of the most important assets for rural families in India and an improvement in their productivity will have a significant socio-economic impact. DB plans to increase milk production by about 6 times through five services: “breed, feed, heed (veterinary services), lead (access to markets), and seed (access to finance)”. Their idea will not only generate $2-300/year more for rural families, but also help counter malnutrition. An article in Harbus (the HBS student newspaper), discusses the impact of DB’s business plan,
1. guarantee an income increase of $200-300 per annum by making cows, a vital asset owned by the rural poor at least 6 times more productive;
2. higher milk production creates an additional protein source for women and children – a key step towards combating malnourishment in a country that is home to one third of the world’s malnourished children; and
3. build scalable micro-enterprises managed by local youth and women who serve as role models and resources for others in their community to replicate market based solutions to poverty.
The Social Enterprise track at the HBS business plan competition focuses on idea with potential for significant “social value creation” and includes a number of great ideas from around the world. Some of the other finalists are: