Final Documentation

Akashganga's IT tools for the Indian dairy industry, SKPEL 2003

    Description
    For many Indian dairy farmers, selling milk is their sole source of income. However, in spite of its status as the world's largest milk-producing nation, India's dairy industry remains relatively inefficient and unproductive and many products are of poor quality and cannot be exported.

    A small business, SKEPL, was founded to develop IT-based tools that could increase the efficiency and productivity of the Indian dairy industry. SKEPL provides integrated solutions, marketed under the AKASHGANGA brand, that automate the milk collection process at local cooperatives, thus minimizing handling, increasing efficiency and transparency, and creating a basis for improving quality.

    The SKEPL model provides complete, IT-enabled solutions that incorporate a weighing system, quality tests, computers, and accounting and management software to automate the cooperatives' collection process.

    The reduced spoilage, visual weight and quality displays, and immediate payment have boosted farmers' trust in the cooperative process and popularized the AKASHGANGA brand.

    The company and its founders have been recognized for their efforts and the company has been consistently profitable. Recently raised investments are enabling it to expand into the huge and scarcely tapped potential market that is India.

    Summary of results
    AKASHGANGA's success demonstrates the potential of information technology to impact livelihoods in poor, rural communities and its experience shows that even illiterate or semi-literate people can adopt IT-based systems when they see tangible benefits and when the systems are used in purposeful, easy-to-use ways. SKEPL's experience also indicates that providing direct benefits and expanded opportunities to poor communities in developing countries can be profitable.

    AKASHGANGA is tying its future to improving the productivity of its customers. It will succeed to the extent that it can help transform the fortunes of rural dairy farmers.