Mwomen- A win-win opportunity for Mobile operator - Amit Kumar Ambastha -
Mobile phones are a tool for economic growth,and investing in women improves the overallwell-being of families. Empowering more womenwith mobile phones can accelerate social andeconomic development.ButResearch reports shows that woman is still 21%less likely to own a mobile phone than a man.This figure increases to 23% if she lives inAfrica, 24% if she lives in the Middle East, and37% if she lives in South Asia. Closing thisgender gap would bring the benefits of mobilephones to an additional 300 million women.Thus by extending the benefits of mobile phoneownership to more women, a host of social andeconomic goals can be advanced.
The proliferation of projects in the fields of mobile health, mobile education,mobile agriculture, mobile money/banking, mobile social networks andmobile innovation in general have all demonstrated that women in particularcan benefit both directly and indirectly through time and cost savings, accessto life-saving information, the ability to communicate with others (who maybe at long distances), increases in access to business opportunities, theability to perform monetary transactions, and even nurturing their ability toread-write.Cumulatively, these benefits for women can help mobile network operators(MNOs) create a situation that is equal parts altruistic and lucrative.By supporting womens to access mobile phones, operators can help womento leverage the information and tools that they need to assist them in therealization of their own personal and professional development goals. At thesame time, MNOs can establish a broader customer base that could result inmore mobile phone subscriptions for female end users and eventuallygenerate more revenue for the industry.
Key Finding from GSMA Reports• There are 300 million fewer female subscribers than male subscribers worldwide• A woman is 21% less likely to own a phone than a man in low and middle-income countries - 23% in Africa, 24% in the Middle East, and 37% in South Asia• Regionally, the incremental annual revenue opportunity for operators ranges from US$740M in Latin America to US$4B in East Asia• Going forward, two thirds of potential new subscribers for mobile network operators will be women• Women in rural areas and lower income brackets stand to benefit the most from closing the gender gap• 93% of women interviewed feeling safer because of their mobile phone• 85% of women interviewed feeling more independent because of their mobile phone• 41% of women interviewed having increased income and professional opportunities once they own a phone
The Landscape of female mobile phoneownership & usageFive specific factors influence whether or not a woman owns a mobile phone in low and middle-income countries:1) Household income (2) Urban/rural location3) Age (4) Occupation5) Education levelSource : GSMA
Analysis of female Demographic groupsNote : Assumption : 1) Women at the Base of the Pyramid (BOP) (women with household incomes of less than US$75 per month) 2) Rural women at work - $ 75-$ 500 , not a homemaker 3) Women in the home – Household income between $ 75 - $ 1000 4) Women at school – Study in School, between 14-24 yrs , and household income between $ 75 to $ 500. 5) Career women – Household Income of $ 200 to $ 750Source : GSMA Report Women & Mobile – A Global Opportunity
Mobile Ownership rate by Demographicgroup Source : GSMA Report Women & Mobile – A Global Opportunity
See what they are saying...... “I always carry my mobile phone when I go out because I can call my mother in case I am late. I call my neighbor’s mobile phone and ask her if she can walk over to our house and find my mom so that I can talk to her.
Gender Gap – Size and revenue opportunitySource : GSMA
Mobile phones connect people and provide them with information that isuseful in their daily lives. There is considerable evidence that greater mobilephone penetration rates are associated with faster economic growth, jobcreation and profitable businesses.Researchers in academia, development organisations and private businesshave discovered the following :1) A study published by consultancy Deloitte in 2007 found that a 10% increase in mobile phone penetration rates is linked to an increase in low and middle- income country GDP of 1.2%2) A 2006 Ovum study found that the mobile industry had already created 3.6 million jobs (directly and indirectly) in India3) A survey in South Africa and Egypt commissioned by Vodafone in 2005 found that 62% of businesses in South Africa and 59% in Egypt attributed increased profits to mobile phones
India - mwomenIndia represents a noteworthy growth in mobile access has reached the lessprosperous strata of society, thanks to some of the lowest rates & cheapesthandsets. While internet access , cable television and mobile phones areubiquitous in big cities and affluent homes , the mobile phone has beenaccessible to the nation’s most rural and poor regions. With an economyrising at an average of 8 percent and the lowest mobile phone tariffs in theworld, more than 76 percent (Oct11) of people own mobile phones and themarket is growing by between 8 and 12 million new users a Month.According to the latest figures by World Bank, close to 40 percent of Indianslive below the international poverty line. This is approximately 420 millionpeople more than the total number in Sub-Saharan African countries; andamong this sub-group those that suffers most are women..Total Mobile subscriber in India is 881 (Oct11) and out of this 300 millionmobile users in India are Women – certainly the largest to beexploited by the MNOs to ride many empowering services.Source: Empowering women through mobile report
Schemes runs by the various stakeholdersfor increasing the mwomen
1) “Hello Sakhi”, Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, Gujarat :- Hello Sakhi an initiative of Kutch MahilaVikas Sangathan (KMVS), Gujarat, in conjunction with the local police department. Ms Soni sharedthat Hello Sakhi is a mobile helpline to strengthen the women against violence.2) Barefoot College, 40 years old NGO situated in Tilonia , through its variousinitiatives in the area of education, economic empowerment and healthcare, BarefootCollege reaches and helps to enable life-sustenance for poor women, widows & physicallychallenged rural women in Tilonia, Rajasthan. Barefoot College epitomizes the usage of mobile as a very basic tool complementing all itsactivities and since most of the women are illiterate, use of mobile in its oral form empowersthem in all their activities.3) Uttarakhand is a hilly terrain and banking is difficult in the region; banks are reluctant to opena branch there. But the women get daily wages and they want to save and keep their moneysafely. SEWA Bharat in collaboration with State Bank of India (SBI) is working toward financialinclusion in Uttarakhand. Sewa Bharat help community members to open no-frill accounts in theBank at their very homes. These accounts are based on biometric customer identificationthrough fingerprint, voice and photo verifications. This account enables the villagers todeposit, withdraw, remittance and apply for loan through mobiles.4) Mahila Sakti , an initiative by Human Welfare Association in Varansi. the project is based on theusage of mobile for their teaching techniques and they use mobile phone for their day to dayconversation, increasing the business, improving their personality and confidence building in themale dominating society. with enhanced skill-sets they shall be linked with the whole world becausenow the internet facilities are available on the mobile.
CCE(Community centre enterprise) model creates values for all partiesby bringing women into the mobile value chain. This includes bringingcommercial benefits of increased revenue and improved brandawareness in rural communities for the operator and empowering andimproving livelihoods for the women entrepreneurs . http://www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=zM_YH5MM6cI
Idea Cellular Ltd. women card InnitiativeIdea Cellular, one of India’s five biggest mobile operators with over 50 millionsubscribers, has pursued a bigger slice of women’s growing share of India’ssubscriber base by learning what women in different age groups, professions andregions need in a communications device.Several years ago, Idea unveiled a Women’s Card that included several innovativefeatures designed to address what a research study and anecdotal informationindicated was women’s top concern when it came to mobiles: concern about notbeing able to reach family members if they ran out of airtime.To meet that need, Idea created a feature that allowed women to dial a three-digitcode to have a “Please call immediately” SMS sent to three designated people whocould then call the sender, and another that allows “negative balance” calls bywomen who have run out of balance. Use of the SMS alert was extensive, and bothfemale and male subscribers appreciated the sense of security provided by thefeature.
ConclusionProviding women an access to mobile phones can present tangibleopportunities for mobile network operators, governments and privatevendors to support development goals. Direct investment in mWomenprojects and programs should reward early supporters in the long run, likeUNINOR with its Tamilnadu CCE project and `vodafones foundation work .Although there are a number of challenges such as gender relations, costof use` and literacy that must be surmounted, the idea of increasingmobile phone adoption among women remains feasible given the variedinterests that women have in accessing the technology.Advantages of the development of mWomen can include increasedproductivity, heightened feelings of personal safety, and even a reductionin maternal and infant mortality rates.The introduction of mobile phone access can have multiple levels ofimpact in different areas of the lives of the women and girls who have theopportunity to benefit from the technology and with this MNOs will getbenefitted both interms of revenue and brand visibility & loyalty.