Rural Sales program of CARE Bangladesh which started in 2004-05 with the aim of empowering rural women through door to door distribution system realized the potentiality of becoming a sustainable business operation by 2007-08 after formation of successful partnerships with major private sector companies in Bangladesh. The idea of making a business entity far from donor dependant program was evolved due to the increasing income of sales women aparajitas as well as the commission revenue
Danone Communities is a shareholder of JITA Social Business Bangladesh through their initial investment which created their joint venture partnership with CARE Enterprise. As JITA’s shareholder, Danone Communities hold key position in JITA’s decision making process. In Five-member JITA Board of Directors committee, Danone represents through two board member positions who directly intervene in JITA’s strategic and operational arenas.</p&g
Though even Rural Sales Program under CARE was never a highly donor dependant project, after the formation for- profit JITA always has to look for financial sustainability and targets beside meeting the social objectives. As a result, each and every decision such as geographical expansion, partner-product inclusion, human resource allocation, training facilities, further business developments are strictly aligned with the organizational revenue and sustainability plans.
The fast moving consumer goods which already got existing demand and market in rural communities are most sellable. So day to day hygiene products as soaps, shampoos, hand wash, detergents, tooth-pastes are the major sources of JITA revenue.
On the other hand, products such as solar lamp of d.light, sanitary napkin of Square Toiletries, Fortified Yogurt of Grameen Danone were comparatively new for rural Bangladeshi communities where JITA has become successful in creating market for these newcomers by market activation and awareness initiatives.
JITA has conducted market creation campaigns for Fortified Shakti Yogurt of Grameen Danone, Senora Sanitary napkin of Square Toiletries, Shaving accessories of BIC, solar lamp of d.light. Some upcoming market creation programs are with shaving accessories and sanitary napkin (2nd phase)
JITA conducts market creation campaigns to bring awareness on health, hygiene, technology and household energy as well as create access to for suitable products. Thus JITA measures impact in multiple ways. In order to realize the awareness impact JITA go through extensive post-activation household survey. On the other hand Post-Activation sales report analysis remains as the key tool to realize the market creation effectiveness.
As JITA possess a unique distribution network with the expertise on rural market research and campaigns different development projects such as Project Laser Beam and CARE-GSK health project has involved JITA’s business sustainability intervention.
In a project like CARE-GSK Health Service Initiative, JITA is playing the crucial role of making the process sustainable as JITA got experience and expertise on preparing business model for door to door service, rural women selection-training, market survey etc. Like aparajitas, these health workers are to be prepared by JITA to earn sustainable income by selling door to door services (health in this regard).
Though Aparajitas are not required to pay any fees to start venture, they will have to take products worth of BDT 1000 from distribution hub (via service person) for door to door selling.
Aparajitas are provided with training mainly on product feature-pricing-benefits, sales-marketing techniques, business accounting-calculation, personal financial management, effective sales route etc.
Women who are working for a longer period of time as aparajitas have highly developed their business skills and built personal assets as house, land, domestic animals and sometimes small rural shops, restaurants.
Till December 2013, there are 242 distribution hubs where around 7250 aparajitas are reaching around 4 Million consumers