First of all I begin with why and how this graduation project started. Then I explain the context of cooking in rural China, which means all subjects that relates to cooking in rural China Subsequently the findings of my first and second field trip (context and user research) are clarified These findings are the base for the concept development which is explained in the section product proposal and an advice on how to implement the product will be given in the implementation strategy This results into several recommendations for Philips And at the end you can ask me any questions you like! At the bottom you can see where in the presentation I am situated I wanted to design meaning full products for the poor population in this world, with my personal preference for the poor people in China. So I went to my chairman mr. Kandachar, who is the expert in designing products and services for the population at the base of the economic pyramid.
The base of the …. That means that two thirds of the world’s population is living below poverty line, we are the one of 100 million people living at the top. Designing for the Base of the pyramid is a concept from Prahalad and Stuart who wrote the book “ The fortune….” It is an approach that involves partnering with the poor and different stakeholders to innovate and achieve win win situations. In short it means we should alleviate poverty selling to the poor while bringing prosperity to them. The base of the pyramid can be the largest and fastest growing markets in this world by collaborating with the poor, governments, non governmental organizations and multinational corporations By anticipating on the Millennium development goals, which is set up by United Nations as a framework to fight poverty the following problem definition is the key challenge of this project.
Let’s zoom in to China “ Every 90 seconds…..” Indoor smoke affect mostly women and children, causing breathing problems, stingy eyes and can also result into premature deaths. Other problems that goes along with inefficient burning of wood or biomass is climate change. The incomplete combustion of solid fuels (biomass and coal) and deforestation cause increased levels of CO². With the introduction and the problem definition in mind, the following graduation assignment has been set up.
This problem has been tackled by Philips Sustainability vision. Philips develops sustainable innovations to improve the lives of those living at the base of the economic pyramid with the development and sales of the Philips woodstove, a wood saving and smokeless cook stove for the rural Indian BoP Knowing that this product is beneficiary for the health and environment of these people; Philips is investigating the opportunities in Africa, latin america and China! How does it work?
Smokeless – reduced emissions Economic – fuel efficient Convenient – easy to clean up, easy to ignite Controllable fire – flame regulator to change the heat output Key to the PW is an electronically controlled fan, that creates an airflow which enables clean burning – no smoke and efficient burning – wood saving. The fan works on two batteries during the ignition phase, these batteries are charged with electricity which comes from the heat that is a result of burning the wood in the burning chamber. This conversion is possible due to a thermo electric element called the peltier element.
With the problem definition and the Philips woodstove in mind my graduation assignment has been set up The key of the assignment is to find the opportunity for the Philips woodstove in rural China The assignment is divided into three parts: 1 Research the Context of cooking in rural China to check how the Philips woodstove can be adopted in China. Where and how does rural China looks like? Who is the BoP in China? Who are the stakeholders in order to reach the people at the BoP and what are their objectives? What are the current solutions and developments? What and how do these people cook? What do they use? Results This first part has resulted in to the target market 2. An user research is conducted in two provinces in this target market to find the key usability problems and to grasp their aspirations regarding cooking and to verify which benefits they see in the Philips woodstove 3. These findings has been vital for the third part of the assignment to create a proposition which is adoptable by the Chinese rural BoP. This means a product designed according to their needs and wishes and an implementation strategy which involves benefits for all stakeholders. according to the needs and wishes of the Chinese rural BoP and Create an adoptable solution (hoe en waar het past of een voordeel zou kunnen zijn in de ogen van de gebruiker, local entrepreneurs, government and NGO) :: gain insights in the processes of cooking in the Chinese rural BoP market Conduct a context research to gain insights of the cooking behaviour, the current stoves market, the barriers of indoor smoke in China, the stakeholders and the definition of BoP in rural China :: verify the acceptance of the Philips woodstove Execute an user research to find out the usability problems, aspirations regarding cooking and to check the acceptance of the Philips woodstove in the Chinese rural BoP market :: make the proposition adoptable by the Chinese rural BoP Develop a product proposal and implementation plan that is based on the needs and wishes of the Chinese rural BoP Before diving into the cooking in rural China I first want to explain to you why the Philips woodstove is fuel efficient and smokeless!
The context can be seen as layers that surround the user product interaction. :: is the environment of human product interaction :: the way people use, understand and experience a product :: fit context to be succesfull
60 percent of the whole population is rural One of the main challenges China is now facing is to keep its huge rural population stable and employed
60 percent of the population is situated in the upper middle to lower middle income
These are all the stakeholders in the project, who Philips has to collaborate with. The central government is used to trigger the local governments to create awareness about the health hazards of IAP and the problem of deforestation. Philips has to anticipate on the developments and policies of the Chinese central government to gain support. NGO are used to reach the target group and to make the product accessible to the rural BoP ( however in China, the NGO are always affiliated with the government, so it is vital to cooperate with collaboration of local gov and GO to prevent entwining interests) Philips has to anticipate on the objectives of these organizations. (CAREI and Oxfam) Local manufacturers and entrepreneurs are used to make the product accessible for the target group. Philips has to collaborate with them to create new businesses to boost the economic development in the rural areas. The rural BoP because they have to use the product. It is more likely that the product will be adopted when it is based on their needs and wishes. The rural BoP because their needs and wishes are vital to make the product adoptable
To find out what the current products, provided by the manufacturers and local entrepreneurs and the cooking behaviour of the rural BoP … A context research has been executed in china :: cooking culture and behaviour :: current situation regarding stoves and fuel :: aspirations regarding cooking :: the market of stoves
No raw food :: manure from cooked food is better Hot drinks :: cold beverages are harmful for digestion of hot food
There are many preparation methods in the Chinese kitchen, however the most common techniques to prepare a daily rural meal is stir frying and steaming or boiling rice The Chinese belief that the manure from cooked food is better, that is the reason why pig food is cooked, which imply that the stove must be very big in order to prepare those meals The Chinese habit to drink warm boiled water is taken into account as well, because boiling water is part of the energy consumption in a household Also the rural households have to boil water for dish washing and showering, because there is not hot water available in rural areas
: 30 % thermal efficiency : significant emission reduction : compressed agricultural waste : reduce poverty by supporting projects which yield health benefits
From focus group discussions I found out what the rural BoP wants : energy and time saving : clean : fast : controllable fire : suitable for all preparation techniques
:: The wishes of the rural BoP correspond with the benefits of the Philips woodstove :: in townships and villages rural households mainly rely on biomass The provinces beneath Yangtze river are situated in a mild to subtropical climate, so their residential energy consumption is mainly biomass for cooking purposes, whereas in the North of China they use coal or biomass for heating purposes :: local government is an important stakeholder because they work together with the so called NGO, however it is advisable to cooperate with joint ventures of local gov. and international organizations to reduce corruption and to prevent entwining interest :: to anticipate on the renewable energy development which fits the governments’ policies This brings us to the user research which is executed in the target market
I have chosen two provinces, Yunnan in Southwest China and Jiangxi in Southeast China to conduct an usability research to find out the benefits and drawbacks that people encounter while using the Philips woodstove. The consumer acceptance test has been carried out to grasp the target groups wishes and needs concerning cooking. This has resulted into similar usability problems, but different experienced benefits. This implies 1 product proposal. However the consumer acceptance test has revealed different aspirations which has resulted into two scenario. A scenario describes the environment where the product is positioned. To give a better image of this environment, personas. Personas are hypothetical people who are representative of the user group. They are useful to communicate the users’ wishes and needs within different stakeholders in the product development process. As shown in the figure I created scenario wood with persona “Ethnic minorities in poverty counties” and scenario bio with persona middle aged rural housewives in rapid developing rural China. Yunnans’ characteristics are translated in to Wood is poverty counties Jiangxi is translated into Bio is rapid developing China
FUEL PELLETS, LIVING STANDARD I have chosen two provinces, Yunnan in Southwest China and Jiangxi in Southeast China to conduct an usability research to find out the benefits and drawbacks that people encounter while using the Philips woodstove. The consumer acceptance test has been carried out to grasp the target groups aspirations regarding cooking. This has resulted into similar usability problems, but different experienced benefits. This implies 1 product proposal. However the consumer acceptance test has revealed different aspirations which has resulted into two scenario. A scenario describes the environment where the product is positioned. To give a better image of this environment, personas. Personas are hypothetical people who are representative of the user group. They are useful to communicate the users’ wishes and needs within different stakeholders in the product development process. As shown in the figure I created scenario wood with persona “Ethnic minorities in poverty counties” and scenario bio with persona middle aged rural housewives in rapid developing rural China. Yunnans’ characteristics are translated in to Wood is poverty counties Jiangxi is translated into Bio is rapid developing China
Observation Sitting versus standing The stove is left alone frequently because during the cooking process the cook has to chop the vegetables, wash the dishes, collect spices in the garden, feed pigs, clean the floor or get water in another room or outdoors Difficult to feed fuel, because they need to fit it precisely into the gap between the stove and wok. In several cases the wok is removed to add fuel. High flames and high fan speed are observed all the time because it is an indication of high performance. This resulted into continuous feeding of fuel and soot on the vessels because they put to much wood into the burning chamber.
Expressed by all participants during the evaluation of the research and group discussions
The consumer acceptance test has revealed different aspirations, these are translated into personas. Hypothetical people who represent a whole user group, which are visualized in the images as shown. These personas are created to give the people in the environment to create a clear image of the target group for the product development and implementation strategy. The main differences between the different personas is that in scenario wood the persona Ethnic … whereas the middle aged housewives… want to improve These results are based on their convenience driven aspirations and the benefits that the participants have expressed. In scenario wood they want smokeless cooking, whereas in scenario bio they want carefree cooking. :: smokeless – no teary eyes :: Technology is a way to improve their income :: Key driver: well being of their family and future of the children :: discomfort of smoke. :: not worry about the future of the family. Scenario bio :: high heating value :: reduce the amount of effort :: not worry about the functioning of the stove. :: Technology means convenience :: Key drivers: enjoyment of daily life and the family
The key findings from the user research are translated into the improvement areas during the concept development. First carefree cooking should be possible because that is what they aspire Heat distribution should be improved in order to cook large meals and for pigs The feeding of fuel must be facilitated, because this was experienced as troublesome The product should be adjusted to the different cooking positions to fit each scenario
Reduction of the attention that you need to pay to the stove In a rural kitchen low, medium and high fire are desired. On their current stove, the users do this by adding fuel. During the user research this behavior has been observed as well on the PW. This resulted into the continuous adding of fuel, which was expressed as very troublesome. The reason the cooks add fuel all the time is that they do not know what the heating value of the stove is and therefore they relate the performance of the PW to the visibility of high flames. These high flames are not desired because they can create unsafe situations and soot development on the vessels. However high flames are not necessarily related to high power or heating value. This actually also implies that the user should get educated in product usage, because they do not understand the technology behind this stove. Important finding for the implementation strategy. ::The smart user interface is a solution to solve the contradictions in the users’ behavior.
As you see on the image the cook can choose the desired preparation method which corresponds with the desired heating value. :: If the red indication light is on continuously the desired heating value is obtained. If the heating value is lower than the desired heating value, a short beep sound and a blinking red indication light informs the user to add fuel. :: The sound is needed because as shown in the movies before, the user leaves the stove frequently alone. By informing the user when to add fuel, the user can cook carefree because they don’t have to pay attention to their stove anymore and unsafe situations are prevented.
Another wish of the user is that the heat distribution should be improved because the stove must be suitable to cook large quantities of food. For lots of people and also for pigs.
The solution to ease the feeding of fuel is construct a metal housing around the burning chamber so the cook can slide the burning chamber beneath the housing so she does not have to remove the wok from the vessel support.
The cooking height is solved by a low and high metal housing which is manufactured locally in each scenario.
All these improvement areas have resulted into the Philips Bio stove
Before the user can experience the benefits of the Philips Bio stove, the product should be implemented in the market. I have created an advice for Philips on how to implement this product in the rural Chinese BoP market according to the marketing mix. this is a tool to specify the 4 P’s. This describes the strategic position of a product in a market place.
The product is positioned as the ….. : high efficient low emission biomass stove : replacement of the bonfire, built in firewood and coal briquette stove : electronically controlled fan : no electricity consumption : smokeless : fuel efficient : carefree cooking With warranty, after sales service and a quality stamp from the Central government
The distribution of the Philips Bio stove has four routes. Namely, the awareness, product, financial and support and control route. The distribution model is similar for both scenarios however the key player is different. I will explain the distribution model according to scenario Bio with the County rural energy office as key player.
The distribution of the product is similar for both scenarios, however the key player differs. I will explain the distribution model according to scenario bio, where the key player is the CREO. There are four routes. Pink the awareness route, This means awareness of the health hazards of indoor air pollution and environment protection should be created. Also the existence of the Philips Bio stove need to be promoted. The product route (blue) shows that the product is distributed by the local manufacturer to the CREO, who certify local entrepreneurs to sell the product to the rural households. The creo also trains rural education teams to educate product usage. The green line shows the financial route. Philips has to make agreements with the Agricultural bank of China to set up an installment scheme to make the product affordable to the rural households. The rural households can pay the Philips Bio stove in parts to the local entrepreneurs. The CREO has to ensure the payback of these local entrepreneurs to the BANK. The last route, is the black one, which indicate support and control. Philips supports the objectives of the NGO to gain support from the government. Philips controls the sales to ensure quality and user satisfaction. Whereas the NGO supports and control the CREO to ensure the improvement of quality of life of the farmers.
This is a competitive price, because it is comparable to the existent high efficient low emission biomass stove and equal to the material and maintenance costs of the built in firewood stove. However, the Philips Bio stove has guarantee. To make it affordable for scenario wood, the local government should fund 50 percent of the stove in the poverty reduction programs of the CPAO
Low cost tools are used to promote the Philips Bio stove in rural areas. Word to mouth advertising is on of strongest tools in rural areas, so it important to give product demonstrations and the opportunity try out the product. In order to start this kind of advertising it is important to let the village leader or an esteemed local family to try out the product first. This will improve the image of the product. The promotion message should be specified on males and females, because males are the consumers and females the users. The males are concerned about the energy costs whereas the females are concerned about the convenience aspects.
CPAO and CREO
Personal recommendation I started with the desire to create meaningful products and from this graduation I learned that is possible to achieve that, which has positively contributed to my design vision and I will definitely want to improve and develop myself in this field and hope I have inspired others today as well!
Cooking in rural China Graduation presentation Hoi-Kee Wong August 8th, 2007
Graduation assignment What is the opportunity for the Philips woodstove in rural China? :: to gain insights in the context of cooking in the rural BoP :: to verify the acceptance of the Philips woodstove in the target market :: to make the proposition adoptable by the Chinese rural BoP
People’s Republic China :: Total population : 1.3 billion people :: Rural population : 700 million :: Communist state with focus on market oriented economic development :: living standard is comparable with Brazil, Thailand and Russia :: widening gap between urban/rural and east/west
:: stir frying and boiling/steaming are the most common preparation techniques
:: cooking of pig food
:: boiling of water for drinking and dishwashing
Current products built in firewood/stalk stove with chimney :: everywhere in China :: advantages central heating quick for stir frying :: disadvantages too big for family size lots of refilling coal briquette stove :: central and north China :: advantages cheap energy less attention needed :: disadvantages uneven heat distribution unhealthy bonfire on tripod built in firewood stove without chimney :: mainly in poverty counties
User research scenario wood different benefits Consumer acceptance test Similar usability problems scenario bio Poverty counties Implementation strategy with CPAO Product proposal Usability research Rapid developing rural China Implementation strategy with CREO different aspirations