Organizing the Unorganized – Employing IT to Empower the Under-privileged

To appear in Proceedings of International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2008), April 21-25, 2008, Beijing, China.

It is well known that use of IT in developing regions is quite low. As a result, well defined processes and automation is missing in most sectors. This leads to low efficiency, reduced productivity and wastage of resources. One main reason for this lack of use of IT is the presence of a large number of small and micro businesses that operate in an informal, unorganized manner. They cannot afford to buy and maintain their own IT infrastructure. Easy availability of cheap labour provides an easy alternative to them even though it results in inefficiency as little or no records are maintained and all processes are manual, paper-based. However, with globalization and proliferation of new technologies these informal businesses are facing difficulties in coping up with new competition and increasing demands of their customers. In this paper, we look at a few such segments and show how IT can be leveraged to impose an organization onto them while retaining their autonomy.

By: Arun Kumar, Nitendra Rajput, Sheetal K. Agarwal, Dipanjan Chakraborty, Amit Anil Nanavati

Published in: RI07007 in 2007

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