Pureit waterpreneurs: agent selling model
AuthorAhnaf, Khan Mohammad
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Unilever Bangladesh Limited (UBL) is one of the leading Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies in Bangladesh, involved in the manufacturing and distribution of several household brands. UBL is a joint venture of Unilever and Government of Bangladesh. This report deals with one of the points of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): increasing accessibility of safe water to people. As population is continuously on the rise, it is becoming increasingly essential to introduce safer and pure drinking water sources. Along with the population rise, there has been an exponential growth of factories and industries. These buildings are usually located at the side of water bodies and the toxic waste materials from the factories are dumped into the water. As a result, it leads to the outbreak of various water borne diseases such as cholera, lung infection, arsenicosis, etc. As such, water purifiers are being considered to be the best methods of reducing the contaminants in the water. The aim of the report is to establish a sustainable model that will increase the availability of Pureit water purifiers to the general population. In addition to this, it also lets the mediators or agents share knowledge about the necessity of safe and pure drinking water. These agents are known as Waterpreneurs who facilitate the sales of purifiers, on behalf of Unilever. The model intends to increase these sales but at the same time educate people as to why they need clean drinking water. The agent selling model is a four-staged model including recruitment, training, roll-out and payment collection. The model is at first implemented using a pilot program. It is conducted at a small scale, i.e. within Dhaka only. Agents are given hands-on training about product knowledge, usage and maintenance that will eventually help them to answer the customers’ queries about the water purifiers. The first and foremost finding reveals that customers are not very concerned about the cleanliness and purity of their drinking water. This is understood by their behavior of declining purchase offers of purifiers. Although the sales pitch was delivered by individuals with whom these customers are well-acquainted with, they were still unsure whether to purchase purifiers or not. In the long run, these people are highly prone to the harmful effects of water contaminants, heavy metals and toxic wastes, if they do not start taking preventive measures from now on.