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AYZH: Improving Health and Livelihood of Women Using Business Solutions*

CASE STUDY, ENTREPRENEURSHIP & STARTUPS
ET Cases - GSMC, 8 Pages

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AYZH: Improving Health and Livelihood of Women Using Business Solutions

 

“After seeing women giving birth on soiled concrete surfaces, talking with midwives, and seeing the gravity of the situation firsthand, I knew that AYZH’s purpose was incredibly important.”

– Zubaida Bai, CEO and Founder, AYZH



Genesis

Maternal death can occur at any time in pregnancy, but delivery is by far the most crucial both the mother and the baby.1 Every two minutes, 60 women die giving birth for lack of access to safe birth supplies.2 Nearly 17% of women die from preventable infections.3 A majority of such deaths can be prevented if access to sanitary birthing conditions is ensured. Be it a war like situation or a normal peaceful day, a pregnant woman needs access to appropriate medical assistance – skilled medical staff, drugs and equipment – to save her own life and her baby.

High rates of maternal mortality in developing countries indicate a crucial need for innovative interventions for pregnancy and neonatal care. According to Global health experts it is recommended to institutionalize births (as opposed to home births) as a strategy to achieve Millennium Development Goals to reduce maternal mortality. There has been a global push among women to deliver in health facilities. Unfortunately, most of the health institutions lack the infrastructure and trained medical professionals to handle increased volume of births. Due to this, unsanitary birthing conditions persist even in hospital settings and infection rates remain high leading to high maternal mortality...........

 



1 http://www.lekari-bez-hranic.cz/cz/downloads/MaternalDeath-TheAvoidableCrisis_dblspreads.pdf
2 “Your Opportunity of a Lifetime...Save a Woman’s Life... Really!”, http://www.birthingprojectusa.org/safebirthkits.html
3 Nelson Vinod Moses, “Zubaida Bai | A pack of good health”, http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/9pamPg91z2XhmuFtiWYV6O/Zubaida-Bai—A-pack-of-goodhealth.html?utm_source=copy, August 09th 2014

Teaching Note Preview

AYZH: Improving Health and Livelihood of Women Using Business Solutions

 

Synopsis

This case study focusses largely on business fundamentals and strategy concepts for social enterprises. It offers the how and why of social business, in a setting that emphasizes innovation and practical application. The case further highlights the key initiatives of the social venture in detail and identifies the key marketing practices that are essential to successful and sustainable performance of social ventures in rural areas.

Pedagogical Objectives

  • • To examine the way marketing initiatives are built around social issues
  • • To appreciate the sound business strategies and skills that can be utilized to bring about a social change and at the same time ensure sustainability of services
  • • To understand how strategic partnerships can be gainfully employed in the context of social entrepreneurship
  • • To know the challenges faced by a social entrepreneur and identify the strategies adopted by a prudent entrepreneur to counter them
  • • To understand the significance of innovative business solutions to solve the complex social problems in the country
  • • To enable a better comprehension of the context of social entrepreneurship
  • • To understand the significance of market research in enabling social entrepreneurs respond with appropriate solutions that address specific social needs
  • • To identify barriers and triggers to social entrepreneurship

 

Assignment Questions

  • I. What is the role of partnerships in the context of social entrepreneurship?
  • II. How has AYZH managed to reduce costs?
  • III. Why was pricing of JANMA a critical decision for AYZH?
  • IV. ....................

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Abstract

Maternal health is one of the most pressing issues in the developing countries, with millions of women struggling on a daily basis to get access to basic health care for themselves and their children. According to the World Health Organization, almost 11% of maternal deaths globally occur due to unsanitary birthing conditions.1 Despite the number of schemes and initiatives to improve quality aspects of maternal health care, India continues to contribute about a quarter of the total global maternal deaths. To secure a large population of women from fatality, mere contributions by governments and NGOs are not sufficient. Knowing this, Zubaida Bai, an engineer by training and designer of several low-cost products founded AYZH, a for-profit organization that designs, develops and delivers lifesaving products that improves the health and livelihood of impoverished women using business solutions that are financially sustainable. AYZH launched its first core product, JANMA, a INR150 clean birth kit, to help hospitals and non-profit organizations prevent infection at the time of birth and reduce maternal mortality. Having sold about 1,20,000 JANMA kits, AYZH, which began its operations in Southern India, enjoys a large market in Afghanistan, Gambia, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The AYZH team has been bootstrapping success for over 4 years and its unique business model has gained acceptance for its forward thinking from organizations like TED, Ashoka Changemakers, World Economic Forum and Echoing Green. Drawing upon insights from in-depth interviews taken from key  representatives of AYZH, this case delivers an invigorating blend of business fundamentals and strategy concepts for social enterprises. It offers the how and why of social business, in a setting that emphasizes innovation and practical application. The case study further highlights the key initiatives of the venture in detail and also identifies the key marketing practices that are essential to successful and sustainable performance of social ventures in rural areas.


1 “World Health Statistics 2014”, World Health Organization, Geneva, 2014

* GSMC 2014, IIM Raipur

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