This profile was prepared when Svati Bhogle was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2011.
The New Idea
Svati has built her model based on her belief that technology alone is not enough to improve livelihoods. She realized that in order to ensure improved technologies reach scale, there have to be systems that incentivize each stakeholder in the value chain to build an effective distribution network. Svati encourages a financial outlook among the street vendors; envisioning a substantially reduced fuel bill and a fumeless environment. On the other hand, for banks it becomes a viable business proposition to extend credit to an otherwise un-bankable group of informal street vendors. A 40 percent savings on fuel bills enables them to repay their bank loans in fifteen months while their earnings dramatically increase. Svati replaces hazardous and unsafe traditional stoves with safe, smokeless and environment-friendly ones, while ensuring vendors sustainability and profit. In 2009 Svati founded Sustaintech Private Limited to promote the rapid adoption of fuel-efficient and environment-friendly cooking stoves across rural and semi-urban regions in India.