Kazi Huque and Narayan Sundararajan, Grameen-Intel
In May of 2008, Intel joined forces with Grameen Trust to form a new standalone business dedicated to social and economic development. The Grameen-Intel Joint Venture seeks to foster sustainable solutions based on information and communications technology (ICT) to help rural, impoverished people improve their livelihood.
The joint venture builds on the “social business” concept originated by Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Yunus, who founded Grameen Bank in 1976 to promote microfinancing and community development. Launched initially in Bangladesh, the initiative couples Intel’s technical expertise with Grameen’s extensive in-country, grass-roots experience to address real and pressing needs at the village level. The venture focuses on building a framework for using ICT as the means to create an efficient marketplace, promote entrepreneurship, narrow the digital divide and — ultimately — help alleviate trenchant social and economic problems such as poverty and hunger.
The two companies envision a spectrum of innovative technology-based services that offer poor people the means to achieve a better life and livelihood. Their joint venture will work in tandem with microfinance institutions to facilitate solutions that capitalize on modern computing technology and Internet connectivity. Potential solutions include enabling rural villagers to sell products such as food and durable goods among themselves, and enabling people in remote areas to order medicine from a local hospital.
The presenters will discuss the business drivers that lead Intel to form the joint venture with Grameen.
About the authors
Kazi Huque is the Intel manager heading up the Grameen-Intel joint venture. Prior to assuming his startup role with the joint venture, he had various management responsibilities in IT and finance. Kazi has bachelor of science in computer sciences, applied mathematics and an MBA from the University of Rochester.
Narayan Sundararajan is the Technology Architect for the joint venture. Narayan's prior experience includes various new business initiatives in bio-medical and life sciences including new platform concepts for remote healthcare solutions. He has a bachelors in chemical engineering from IIT and PhD from Cornell University.