The Rural Distribution Network India (RUDI) is a large rural cooperative whose mission is to empower Indian women. Owned and managed by rural women and farmers, the RUDI network ensures work, income security and leads to economic empowerment. Our team’s project focus is on the RUDIben, rural saleswomen that travel throughout villages selling goods that include spices, pulses, and tea.
On our third day in Ahmedabad, team RUDI set off on a 2-day trip to the district of Surendranagar to tour the district-processing center, meet with RUDIben in the villages and learn what it takes to become a successful RUDIben. I was overwhelmed by the warm reception we received by the families in each of the villages. We sipped chai tea while listening to the stories of how the women SEWA and RUDI have empowered them and impacted their lives.
While there are improvements to usability of the application, the benefits are starting to be realized by both the RUDIben and the district processing centers that receive the data on a daily basis. Prior to using the mobile phone applications, RUDIben would have to go directly to the processing centers to place orders and then wait for the products to be ready. Now they spend less time traveling and allows them to make more sales, which has drastically increased their profits. One saleswoman saw her income increase from 250 rupees to 5,000 rupees a day.
One of our team’s deliverables is to assess the use of mobile phone applications and provide insights into how other organizations have used similar technology. We will also be meeting with mentors that have worked with both the Gate’s Foundation and PATH to gain a better perspective on similar initiatives. We are looking forward to building upon the work that we started in Ahmedabad throughout rest of winter quarter.