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D.

LIGHT DESIGN: MARKETING CHANNEL STRATEGIES
IN INDIA

By
ELAVARASAN.K
GAUTHAM BHARATI
PRABHU BAGAI

Agenda
 Background on d.light Design
 Framework for Marketing Channel Success in Rural
India
 d.light Marketing Channel

d.Light Design’s Founding
Inspiration

Product Solution

 Many people in
rural Africa and India
do not have access
to grid electricity
Kerosene is
expensive,
dangerous,
unhealthy, and
provides weak light
 Founder’s burned
hand in rural Africa

 Affordable, bright lights for
rural consumers to promote
health and livelihood
 Founded out of the Stanford
B-school by Sam Goldman
and Ned Tozun

Affordability
S250
• Powerful spotlight
• Mobile phone charger
• Rs.1699 ($37.75)
•Six hours Bright Light
S10
• Great performance for cost
• Perfect to light a room at night
• Rs.549 ($12.20)
•Eight Hours Bright Light

d.Light Products for Health and
Livelihood

Benefits of d.light products for rural
Indian consumers
Safer cooking
• More effective studying
• Increased time for business activities

Urban Vs Rural
•2009 – 70% (830 million) of Indian citizen lives in
rural areas
•Average Annual household income of Rural people –
Rs.41,194
•Average Annual household income of Urban people –
Rs.77,612
•2011 Census – 68% people in rural areas could read
and write
- 84% of people in urban areas could
read and write

Agenda
 Background on d.light Design
 Framework for Marketing Channel Success in Rural
India
 d.light Marketing Channel

Distribution Network Design:
Example
Aggregating Consumer
Demand

Consumer Durables: Aggregate
demand in cities and hypermarts

FMCG Products:
Aggregate demand in
villages

Distribution Network Design:
Example
Hub-and-Spoke Model
CocaCola

Hu
b
Independent
Entrepreneurs
Autorickshaw Delivering CocaCola in an Indian Village
Small

Distribution Network Logistics:
Example
Corporate Partnerships

Both Sara Lee and Proctor & Gamble entered into joint
ventures with local Indian companies to more
effectively distribute their products.

Distribution Network Logistics:
Example
Local Non-Profit
Hindustan Unilever’s
Project Shakti
Organizations

• Unilever uses womens’ Self Help Groups to reach
small villages deep in rural India
• The women buy the products with cash from
Unilever, and then distribute them in nearby villages
• Project Shakti currently employs over 40,000
women entrepreneurs

A women entrepreneur delivers Unilever products
in rural India

Distribution Network Logistics:
Example
Business-to-Business Sales
Distributi
on
Rider
Compa
ny

Sales

Pros
• Bulk Sales to carrier
company
• Manage fewer
relationships

Carrier
Compa
ny

Cons
• Low visibility into end
customer sales and product
reception

Agenda
 Background on d.light Design
 Framework for Marketing Channel Success in Rural
India
 d.light Marketing Channel

d.light’s New Distribution Partner
2009-2010:
• d.light set up a custom distribution network in Uttar
Pradesh to supply solar lamps into small retail stores in
villages.
• The network failed due to high distribution costs and
low consumer demand.
2011
• d.light forms a piggybacking relationship with Bharat
Petroleum (BPCL), the second largest oil-product
distributor in India, to distribute solar lamps in Uttar
Pradesh.

Analysis of BPCL Distribution
Network

BPCL has 281 cooking gas retail stores in
Uttar Pradesh. Each stores serves thousands
of consumers, effectively aggregating
demand for d.light.

BPCL also sells FMCG and consumer goods in
its retail stores in order to have other non-oil
revenue stream. D.light products will be sold
as part of this program.

50% of BPCL customers come to the retail
store to pick up their cooking gas. While at
the store they may buy other products or
schedule their next cooking gas pick-up.

The other 50% of BPCL customers have their
cooking gas delivered to them. The delivery
men are a true last-mile link to rural
consumers in India. The delivery men are
often poorly educated and have little or no

Analysis and Recommendations
Analysis of the BPCL Distribution Channel
Pros
• Consolidates demand into central retail points
• Established and successful warehousing and logistics
network
• BPCL is a very trusted brand with Indian consumers
Cons
• Retail store owners not motivated to sell d.light products
• BPCL end customers may not need d.light products
Recommendations
• Incentivize BPCL management and retail store owners to
sell d.light products
• Piggyback off of the BPCL brand to establish the d.light
brand
• Educate consumers in Uttar Pradesh who use kerosene for
light about solar lamps, and drive sales at BPCL retail stores