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What Works: TARAhaat's Portal for Rural India

Executive Summary

WRI's business case studies go deeper into some of the most promising projects represented in the Digital Dividend Clearinghouse, providing detailed description and analysis of each business model, the market segment in which it operates, its successes and challenges, potential replicability and scalability. If possible, the study also documents the social impact of the venture.

Digital Dividends contracts teams of MBA students, under supervision of business school faculty, to research and write our business case studies, as they are uniquely suited to provide unbiased, professional assessments of the business models at low cost. Using MBA students has the added advantage of helping to interest a generation of future business leaders in microenterprise and global development issues.

Aiming to stimulate employment and economic opportunities, TARAhaat is setting up a network of franchised village Internet centers in rural India. Through these 'TARAkendras', villagers can access the local-language TARAhaat portal, a site which provides a wide range of social and economic information, as well as educational and other services, The locally-relevant content-from market prices to marriage opportunities to educational material-is what drives the model at the village and peri urban level. TARAhaat, which has set up 30 TARAkendras so far, earns its revenues through fee for service, membership fees, and commissions.

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