Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Cellphones and fishermen

BlognetBiz looks like a good aggregator for business/economics related posts on the web. Heres what I found there today - A report on how Cellphones have made a difference to fishermen from Washington Post.

A convenience taken for granted in wealthy nations, the cellphone is putting cash in the pockets of people for whom a dollar is a good day's wage. And it has made market-savvy entrepreneurs out of sheepherders, rickshaw drivers and even the acrobatic men who shinny up palm trees to harvest coconuts here in Kerala state.

"This has changed the entire dynamics of communications and how they organize their lives," said C.K. Prahalad, an India-born business professor at the University of Michigan who has written extensively about how commerce -- and cellphones -- are used to combat poverty.

"One element of poverty is the lack of information," Prahalad said. "The cellphone gives poor people as much information as the middleman."

Rajan said the dealers don't necessarily like the new balance of power, but they are paying better prices to him and thousands of other fishermen who work this lush stretch of coastline. "They are forced to give us more money because there is competition," said Rajan, who estimated that his income has at least tripled to an average of $150 a month since 2000, when cellphones began booming in India. He said he is providing for his family in ways that his fisherman father never could, including a house with electricity and a television.

I remember my cousin from Kerala who told me that fishermen were his biggest consumers of the Tata wireless landlines, until it was declared illegal to use landlines out of the home circle area - of course, the phones mentioned above are true cell phones.

1 comment:

Raghu said...


I have posted a video of CKP in the below link