The RUDI Sandesh Vyavhar project, a collaborative effort between Vodafone Foundation, SEWA and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women was honoured at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona for The Best Mobile Product, Initiative or Service in Emerging Markets category. On behalf of the project, the award was received by Vodafone India MD & CEO Marten Pieters and Cherie Blair in Barcelona, Spain.
The award presented in a glittering ceremony in Barcelona offers organisations across the global mobile eco-system (including all converging vertical sectors) the opportunity to showcase the latest and best mobile products, apps, services and initiatives to the world. The global mobile award for SEWA gives the project credit on a global platform and is the highest in its category of recognition.
Accepting the award, MD & CEO, Vodafone India, Marten Pieters said, “Women in rural India face several challenges. Given its wide reach, mobile telephony is an effective and efficient medium to provide last mile delivery of products and services that they need. The RUDI project, where Vodafone Foundation has partnered with SEWA and the Cherie Blair Foundation is an excellent example of how rural women entrepreneurs are now using mobile phones to manage their purchase, sales and inventory resulting in substantial increase in their incomes. Such awards and recognition, I believe, salute the sustained spirit of innovation that drives all such projects and enables to bring a meaningful change in the society.”
RUDI Sandesh Vyavhar (RSV) is a unique mobile-based management solution for the Rural Distribution Network (RUDI) of Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in rural Gujarat. Developed as a collaborative effort by the Vodafone Foundation, Cherie Blair Foundation for women and SEWA, RSV enables Rudibens to order stock from the field (often distant villages), receive important updates from the RUDI Company in real time, and run reports on their business – all with the convenience of automated text messaging on feature phones. It has eliminated inefficiencies by tracking all primary and secondary sales in the central supply chain and transferring the entire management of the RUDI business from a paper based system to one based on a secure electronic backend. The software was developed by Ekgaon Technologies - a local vendor based in India
Since its launch at the Mobile for Good Summit, December 2012, London, UK, more than 1,000 RUDI women have been trained on the RSV tool. The women who have used the tool have already seen benefits. For example, there are RUDI Women who earned INR4,000-5,000 per month, now generating incomes of INR12,000–15,000, effectively tripling or quadrupling sales, through using the RSV tool. One woman who previously reported only being able to afford one meal a day for her family can now afford two.