Improved stoves in India: A study of sustainable business models
Burning of biomass for cooking is associated with health problems and climate change impacts. Many previous efforts to disseminate improved stoves – primarily by governments and NGOs – have not been successful. Based on interviews with 12 organizations selling improved biomass stoves, we assess the results to date and future prospects of commercial stove operations in India. Specifically, we consider how the ability of these businesses to achieve scale and become self-sustaining has been influenced by six elements of their respective business models: design, customers targeted, financing, marketing, channel strategy, and organizational characteristics. The two companies with the most stoves in the field shared in common generous enterprise financing, a sophisticated approach to developing a sales channel, and many person-years of management experience in marketing and operations. And yet the financial sustainability of improved stove sales to households remains far from assured. The only company in our sample with demonstrated profitability is a family-owned business selling to commercial rather than household customers. The stove sales leader is itself now turning to the commercial segment to maintain flagging cash flow, casting doubt on the likelihood of large positive impacts on health from sales to households in the near term.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel, 2007.
"The Illusion of Sustainability,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1007-1065.
- Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel, 2004. "The Illusion of Sustainability," Working Papers 35, Center for Global Development.
- Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel, 2004. "The Illusion of Sustainability," NBER Working Papers 10324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kremer, Michael Robert & Miguel, Edward A., 2004. "The Illusion of Sustainability," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt94p8w1d7, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "The illusion of sustainability," Natural Field Experiments 00287, The Field Experiments Website.
- Bailis, Rob & Cowan, Amanda & Berrueta, Victor & Masera, Omar, 2009. "Arresting the Killer in the Kitchen: The Promises and Pitfalls of Commercializing Improved Cookstoves," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1694-1705, October.
- Smith, Kirk R. & Shuhua, Gu & Kun, Huang & Daxiong, Qiu, 1993. "One hundred million improved cookstoves in China: How was it done?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 941-961, June.
- Edwards, Rufus D. & Smith, Kirk R. & Zhang, Junfeng & Ma, Yuqing, 2004. "Implications of changes in household stoves and fuel use in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 395-411, February.
- Barnes, Douglas F, et al, 1993. "The Design and Diffusion of Improved Cooking Stoves," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 8(2), pages 119-41, July.
- Adam G. Bumpus & Diana M. Liverman, 2008. "Accumulation by Decarbonization and the Governance of Carbon Offsets," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 84(2), pages 127-155, 04.
- Rao, P. Sharath Chandra & Miller, Jeffrey B. & Wang, Young Doo & Byrne, John B., 2009. "Energy-microfinance intervention for below poverty line households in India," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1694-1712, May.
- Hyman, Eric L., 1986. "The economics of improved charcoal stoves in Kenya," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 149-158, April.
- Hyman, Eric L., 1987. "The strategy of production and distribution of improved charcoal stoves in Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 375-386, March.
- Feder, Gershon & Savastano, Sara, 2006.
"The role of opinion leaders in the diffusion of new knowledge : the case of integrated pest management,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
3916, The World Bank.
- Feder, Gershon & Savastano, Sara, 2006. "The role of opinion leaders in the diffusion of new knowledge: The case of integrated pest management," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1287-1300, July.
- Howells, Mark I. & Jonsson, Sandra & Käck, Emilia & Lloyd, Philip & Bennett, Kevin & Leiman, Tony & Conradie, Beatrice, 2010. "Calabashes for kilowatt-hours: Rural energy and market failure," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 2729-2738, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:12:p:7543-7556. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.