Ruma, Grameen Foundation and Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), through its Wireless Reach™ initiative, today announced the launch of Market Intelligence tools and applications. The mobile survey tools enable businesses to better understand the needs and interests of low-income consumers, while providing additional revenue for some of the world’s poorest people. These products are part of the Application Laboratory (AppLab) project that partners announced in 2010.
Companies can use the Market Intelligence technology to survey Ruma’s network of more than 15,000 micro entrepreneurs, including low-income consumers and retailers – a traditionally challenging demographic to reach and study. By taking part in the mobile surveys, the microentrepreneurs have the opportunity to generate additional income by being respondents and conducting surveys of their customers. Ruma’s entrepreneurs, in addition to being respondents, also can survey the more than 1.5 million unique customers in their network to test new products or marketing strategies.
“Providing a way for businesses to reach and better understand those at the bottom of the pyramid supports Ruma’s mission to increase the dignity, income and access of low-income communities through technology,” said Aldi Haryopratomo, CEO and co-founder of Ruma. “Mobile surveys allow Ruma to provide clients with credible, high quality data. Businesses in Indonesia, particularly fast moving consumer goods companies, have found the information generated from the mobile surveys to be extremely helpful.”
Ruma currently offers three Market Intelligence products: the Remote Analysis service, the Field Research service and the Retail Marketing Experiment, as well as field surveys that replace traditional pen-and-paper surveys with a mobile application solution running on the Android platform. The Remote Analysis service allows businesses to gather high-level market insights within two to four weeks; the Field Research service offers clients the opportunity to gather more in-depth information on target populations; and the Retail Marketing Experiment service enables businesses to test their products and marketing strategies. These products have already generated interest from well-known global brands, such as Dannon.
“These Market Intelligence tools combine the power of mobile technology with the people working closest with the poor on a daily basis. This potent combination will enable us to understand the needs and desires of the poor and poorest in ways we never have before,” said Jennifer Meehan, Grameen Foundation’s SVP, Programs and Regions & CEO Asia Region.
“The AppLab mobile survey application is a powerful example of how wireless technology can stimulate economic growth and improve the livelihood of underserved communities,” said Bill Bold, senior vice president of Government Affairs for Qualcomm. “Qualcomm is pleased to join Ruma and Grameen Foundation in this effort to explore the ways that mobile technology and applications can enable tools, access and services that economically benefit Indonesians.”
For the past five years, Ruma has been working with Grameen Foundation and Qualcomm on the AppLab project, which enables poor entrepreneurs, mostly women, in Indonesia to provide a range of mobile phone-based services to people in their communities. The AppLab suite of applications also includes “Jual Pulsa,” which allows microentrepreneurs to sell airtime credit and “Kerja Lokal,” a subscription service that connects the underserved to informal sector job opportunities.
Ruma is a social enterprise that empowers the poor using mobile phone technology. Ruma has recruited and trained over 15,000 low-income entrepreneurs in Indonesia, of which 82 percent are women, to sell prepaid airtime, electricity and other value added services. After winning numerous awards, such as Harvard’s Social Enterprise Competition, Ruma has managed to obtain investment from top Silicon Valley firms like Omidyar Network, the founder of eBay’s fund and Unitus Impact.
About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit organization, helps the world’s poorest people – especially women – lift themselves out of poverty by providing appropriate financial services, life-changing information and unique business opportunities. Founded in 1997, Grameen Foundation has offices in Washington, DC; Seattle, WA; Colombia; Ghana; Hong Kong; Indonesia; Kenya; the Philippines; and Uganda. Microfinance pioneer Dr. Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, is a founding member of its Board of Directors, and now serves as director emeritus. For more information, please visit grameenfoundation.org.
About Qualcomm and its Wireless Reach Initiative
Qualcomm believes access to 3G and next-generation mobile technologies can improve people’s lives. Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative is a strategic program that brings wireless technology to underserved communities globally. By working with partners, Wireless Reach invests in projects that foster entrepreneurship, aid in public safety, enhance the delivery of health care, enrich teaching and learning and improve environmental sustainability. For more information please visit www.qualcomm.com/wirelessreach.
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) is the world leader in 3G and next-generation mobile technologies. For more than 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment and each other. For more information, visit Qualcomm’s website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.