Indirect marketing through adoption of home solar systems in East Africa

Evaluating a private-sector initiative to increase technology adoption

Of the 14% of the world’s population that live without access to modern electricity, 95% live in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Studies have shown that clean-energy technologies such as solar-powered lighting and cook stoves can increase income and save household energy costs in emerging markets. Rooftop solar-technology solutions provided by companies like SolarNow are a revolutionary alternative to grid-based electricity and are attracting policy and investor attention.

The intervention

Given this ongoing technological revolution in Africa and the need for social and economic development on the continent, the off-grid rural communities of East Africa in which research partner SolarNow operates provide an ideal setting for this study. The research studies a private-sector-led initiative (i.e. after-sales service) to increase technology adoption and spearhead development in emerging markets.

The impact

As the corporate world becomes more active in addressing social challenges, this research will empower corporate leaders with innovative operational strategies to do business in emerging markets. Furthermore, adoption and continued use of novel technologies across sectors such as energy, healthcare, education and telecommunications have the potential to significantly accelerate social and economic development in emerging markets, and inspire next-generation leaders to build successful, technology-focused companies to stimulate development.


Kamalini Ramdas, Professor of Management Science and Operations, London Business School

Amrita Kundu is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Stanford University, and former LBS PhD student, Management Science and Operations. Amrita’s research focuses on identifying operational levers to expedite technology adoption, aid growth of small firms and improve gender parity in emerging markets. She conducts interdisciplinary empirical operations management research to discover ways in which businesses can create social value.LinkedInTwitterEmailShare

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