The case of Husk Power Systems (HPS) reveals how companies can launch new projects that resonate with the needs of the poor. This small firm began as a provider of cheap electricity to the citizens of rural India, thereby being able to address most of their predicaments. This paper examines the major issues this firm faced and proposes evidence-based action plans to tackle them.
The creation and development of HPS to become a leading provider of cheap and affordable electricity to more households was not something easy. Within the first few years, the company and its leaders began to face various obstacles that were capable of affecting performance. The outstanding challenge was the absence of financial support to start the project successfully, identify the most appropriate source of energy, create the best business model, and overcome the issue of pollution (Gupta et al. 130). Using the money received from various awards, the partners managed to start the company and distribute power to more people. The successful launch and transmission of power to different villages created the right opportunity for additional issues.
Firstly, the growth and expansion of HPS by launching new plants to generate energy forced the company to start looking for new workers. The normal station required four workers to ensure that everything was operating smoothly.
However, the increasing expenses and costs of electricity production was a reason to cut down the number of employees to three. Within a short period, the company realized that it could not get adequate human resources to ensure that everything was running efficiently. Secondly, the government started to demand for closure since HPS was operating at a large-scale level (Gupta et al. 132). This move was against the existing law cushioned small-sized producers of energy in local regions from getting licences. This became a major obstacle for supporting performance and meeting the needs of more citizens.
Thirdly, the bargaining power of different millers became a reality after realizing that husks were essential for HPS. Consequently, the company had to devise new ways of overcoming the challenge and focusing on the future demands of its key customers. Fourthly, the problems of communication in the rural areas became a reality since workers and technicians lacked the right infrastructure for using mobile phones (Gupta et al. 130). Finally, the top leadership came to realize with great shock that some people were stealing electricity from the company. This meant that it was necessary to devise a new plan to overcome this issue.
Recommended Courses of Action
Evidence-based actions are needed if HPS is to become sustainable and meet the needs of the targeted communities. The first one entails the use of a powerful managerial structure. The partners will have to redefine the roles of each person and the other employees. They will go further to create a new human resources (HR) department to manage workers’ affairs and implement superior hiring practices. The ultimate objective is to ensure that every activity resonates with the intended organizational goals (Gupta et al. 133). The rationale is that the introduction of such a structure will set the stage for a better culture that is capable of driving performance.
The second course of action is to establish positive relations with suppliers of husks and ensure that their bargaining powers do not threaten the success of the company. This objective can be realized by collaborating with millers from different parts of the country (Gupta et al. 136). The rationale is that the identification of more potential suppliers will make the firm’s model more sustainable and capable of fulfilling the changing demands of all customers. The decision to have its own rice milling company might be misinformed since it will stretch the available human resources and eventually disorient the intended aims.
The third course of action should be aimed at overcoming the current problem of communication among company’s workers and leaders in different rural areas. The major stakeholders need to partner with specific telecommunication service providers to launch their operations in the targeted rural regions. Such a move will minimize the challenges arising from the use of Wi-Fi and SMS since they might be unsustainable in the long-term.
The rationale is that this initiative will present a win-win situation for HPS and the telecommunication company by delivering the intended benefits (Gupta et al. 137). Consequently, HPS will be able to pursue its goals diligently, venture into more rural areas, and eventually find it easier to start additional operations in some of the underserved regions across the country and beyond. The model will make it possible for more people to achieve their potential and focus on their economic goals.
The above discussion has identified HPS as a revolutionary business idea that has managed to meet the needs of many people in underprivileged communities and villages. The concept has made it easier for the firm to continue providing sustainable and cheap electricity to the people. The proposed action plans will deliver evidence-based solutions to the major barriers to profitability and eventually empower more citizens. All leaders and stakeholders should, therefore, support such initiatives in order to take HPS to the next level.
Gupta, Rakesh, et al. “Husk Power Systems: Bringing Light to Rural India and Tapping Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid.” Asian Journal of Management Cases, vol. 10, no. 2 (2013): 129-143.