I recently read an article on “Microfranchising” in the editorial section of the ‘Economic Times’.
We have all heard of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh which is run entirely by women and Mr. Mohammad Younis came up with this concept. But, what many people don’t know is that a company called ‘Tenron’ which is based in Oslo has 62% stake in this bank. And the women who run this bank are all from the poor rural areas. This is what Microfranchising is all about, connecting giant multinational corporations with the poor people of the world.
In Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and some other states, marriages happen at a very young age, at about 15 or 17. Marriages in this age group are a frequently occurring phenomena there, looking at this situation a company manufacturing camera’s came up with the same idea (AsTenron), they visited these villages and appointed some poor people as their agents, gave them the cameras and worked out a revenue model, wherein the agents will earn some money by clicking photographs at marriage functions and the company will do some business. Another great incentive for companies to do this is this is the kind of publicity they get. You can just imagine people at the marriage getting fascinated and coming up and having a look at the camera and asking questions about it!! After this Sony went one step ahead and decided to give Handy cams to the people as well as camera’s and give the option of video recording.
So to conclude Microfranchising does 3 good things: 1. creates employment opportunities among have-nots 2. Companies get publicity.3 Companies can reach out to poor people and at the same time do business.