Supply Chain Solutions for Water Filters in India

Open Access
Rubin, Lauren Nicole
Area of Honors:
Supply Chain and Information Systems
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Robert Alexander Novack, Thesis Supervisor
  • John C Spychalski, Honors Advisor
  • supply chain
  • water filters
  • India
  • bottom of the pyramid
India is currently struggling to provide access to clean and safe drinking water to its citizens. The lack of such an essential element has created widespread health concerns and threatens to stunt India’s ability to advance as an economy. It has greatly increased an already growing demand for water filtration technology and products. By conducting extensive Internet research and interviews with both company executives and field experts, opportunities to penetrate the market for water filters in India are explored. Supply chain solutions are given to address both the urban and rural market settings. It was found that a larger concentration on distribution and sales will improve performance in the urban market, while the rural market will require heavier efforts in product development. A more innovative strategy consisting of the use of microfinance institutions and self-help groups is necessary to market to the large and widespread rural population. It involves an untraditional approach of partnering with outside organizations for innovation, distribution, and strategic planning. The state of Karnataka is used as a case study to provide specific examples of how these solutions should be carried out. The lessons learned from Karnataka are applicable across India and help to demonstrate that small changes to Company A’s current water filtration device could provide a proper water filtration solution for various regions of the country. The recommended solutions not only provide a viable business opportunity, but they also serve as guidelines to acting on a humanitarian issue in a socially responsible and ethical manner.