Antenna supports Spring Health in India

Providing safe and affordable drinking water to one and all has been Spring Health’s central mission since 2011. Together with Antenna Foundation as technology adviser, Spring Health has developed an innovative network of 252 water kiosks (as of October 2019). The kiosks offer daily delivery of 20-litre jerry cans of safe drinking water to the homes of people in rural communities that have traditionally been underserved by public and private water service providers. Each kiosk is run by a local entrepreneur under a franchising system that includes the installation of water tanks and filters and the provision of chlorine for water purification. Spring Health’s staff is overseeing business expansion, entrepreneur training, kiosk installation and social marketing activities for market creation, while the entrepreneurs are responsible for purifying and delivering the water. At a cost of INR 15 (CHF 0.22), including delivery, Spring Health’s 20-litre jerry cans are 10 times cheaper than the cheapest brands of bottled water available. The long-term goal (by 2025) is to bring this service to 1,000 villages across India and to reach over 1 million people.

Spring Health’s unique value proposition of offering daily delivery of safe water at a price far below that of competitors in combination with innovative social marketing activities, such as door-to-door activities, water melas (gatherings) and street theatre, and branding of safe water houses, is the reason why its water is in high demand in rural Odisha.

General objective : Provide safe drinking water to poor communities in eastern India.

Beneficiaries : 190,000

Project duration : 2011-current

Lessons learnt :

  • The problem identification process clearly revealed that much of the value created within the company was not efficient and had to be increased by lowering costs, increasing the tasks of staff and outsourcing certain activities (sales process and accounting).
  • The clear cost allocation per process facilitates further roll outs of kiosks to new villages. Experience has shown that depending on the preconditions of wells and infrastructure in a specific village, the costs are not always equal when installing a new kiosk. Nevertheless, the roll-out processes are facilitated and costs can be more precisely estimated due to the improved processes.
  • The mapping and structuring of Spring Health’s processes allowed us to develop clear job descriptions. The procedure revealed what skill profiles are mostly suitable for which activities in the company and helped develop training manuals for the respective positions. With this knowledge, new employees receive effective training and become productive within a shorter period of time.
  • The process mapping further facilitated the organisation of the company and helped identify bottlenecks within processes in order to optimise them accordingly.

To learn more, read the Value creation – Spring Health case study.