LCP Case Study: IFC

LCP Case Study: IFC

The Opportunity

The Bangladesh Partnership for Cleaner Textile (PaCT) is a joint initiative, working towards the adoption of best practices in the textile wet processing sector (washing, dyeing and finishing (WDF) units). The program aims to become a leader in driving long-term competitiveness, and environmental sustainability of the sector by addressing critical issues, particularly focusing on the reduction of water, energy, and chemical consumption and wastewater pollution. IFC along with LightCastle aimed to conduct a study to assess the scenario of resource consumption in the textile – wet processing sector in light of the PaCT advisory services.

Our Approach

The aim of this benchmarking study was to present a relevant and holistic view of the wet-processing sector with regard to resource consumption in three thematic areas: resource use and intensity, technical best practices, and resource efficiency management practices. Textile wet-processing consists of several operations: pre-treatment, cleaning, bleaching and heat setting, dyeing, printing and finishing and the factories are categorized according to the type of operations. Objectives of the study included:

  • Benchmark the consumption of water, energy (natural gas, grid electricity, diesel, etc.), chemicals, and the emission of green-house gases (GHG), and the generation of wastewater for wet-processing factories in Bangladesh.
  • Develop water and greenhouse emission abatement curves to understand which interventions work the best and at what cost.

102 factories were assessed and factory level data was collected to benchmark resource consumption across water usage, total energy usage, greenhouse gas production and waste water production. The barometer was set at the 75th percentile benchmark (which means 25% of the factories would outperform the benchmark, and 75% would underperform) for presenting a realistic target for the factories to achieve.

The data and insights generated were leveraged to formulate abatement curves for comparing resource efficient practices and technologies and were done for water consumption and greenhouse gas emission. There were 2 types of interventions adopted – 67 factories with basic interventions and 35 factories with in-depth interventions. Again, both type of interventions were sub-divided into different factory types. Abatement curves for water consumption and greenhouse gas emission list technologies showing their abatement potential alongside the amount of resource savings were created.

The Future

We worked with IFC Bangladesh to understand water and energy consumption patterns and techniques in the textile/RMG facilities of Bangladesh across 100+ factories. Based on this IFC developed benchmarks and best practices for water and energy use that would drive future interventions of IFC’s PACT (Partnership of Cleaner Textile) program.

LCP Case Study: Unnoty For All

LCP Case Study: Unnoty For All

The Opportunity

Recently there’s been a boom in urban focused business accelerators mainly in Dhaka. Although a clear indication of progressing entrepreneurship business practices, there’s still a broad spectrum of businesses countrywide with a large chunk of it being SMEs. In order to help build capacity of per-urban and rural SME entrepreneurs, a USAID funded, DAI-AVC implemented, project called Unnoty is initiated with LightCastle providing our expertise in capacity building, entrepreneurship and project implementation.

The Unnoty project is a Peer-to-Peer Accelerator Network Program (P2PAN) that works with high potential target individuals to take their business to the next level. The project aims to figure out the problems they are facing while operating in the market and through various business knowledge, help them solve these issues they face in real life. This project is an initiative of LightCastle Partners, implemented with technical assistance from USAID’s Agricultural Value Chain (AVC) Project and supported by Social Development Committee. We conducted a baseline study followed by a nine-month long intervention program which helped build the capacity of rural entrepreneur participants.

Our Approach

The Unnoty platform has three distinctive features. First is the assimilation of a group of like-minded Traders/ NGOs and foster a sense of trust among its members. Second is the transfer of specialized knowledge and skills (managerial, marketing, financial etc.)  in a structured yet palatable way that is well accepted by the group members. And third is the facilitation of forward market linkage and access to finance. Combination of these three features will lead to an enhanced inter-firm cooperation, harnessing production, innovation, and sound management.

LightCastle was crucial in developing the process, creating the necessary content and conducting all the training and knowledge sharing sessions.   Our main goal at the end was to attract, unite, mentor and connect businesses with networking and financial resources they need to take ther business to the next level and enhance the overall value chain.

The Future

The Unnoty program has been highly impactful in changing the lives and businesses of the participants through its training sessions and forward market linkage. One such life is of Narayan from Gopalganj. Narayan Biswash is one of the senior traders from Boultoli Bazaar of Gopalganj district. He is involved in the groundnut trading business for the last 35 years. Till now he used to sell his products to other large arotders (wholesalers) in the Khulna region. It was almost impossible for him to get access to the large institutional buyers like PRAN, ACI or Bombay Sweets.

Through the Unnoty Program, we arranged a meetup session, a round table discussion, with the traders and representatives from PRAN, ACI Food and Partex Agro (Danish Consumer Food) in their premise. In this session, the traders listened to the product specifications and quality standards required for getting entry to these companies and also exchanged samples with the respective companies. All these firms were impressed by the quality of groundnut found in Boultoli bazar region and promised a factory visit with potential business deals with our Unnoty program participants.

Based on this early success, DAI wants to expand similar models to four more districts in the southern delta. LCP will consolidate the current group and expansion in to the new territories. We will also work with the current participants to brand and market their products in premium markets.

LCP Case Study: The Sanitation Conundrum

LCP Case Study: The Sanitation Conundrum

The Opportunity

At present, only 20% of Dhaka city is connected to the central sewerage network with the rest of the households left to fend for themselves in managing their sanitation needs. This leaves close to 120 mn people without access to the sewerage channel in Dhaka. Given that population in the city is growing at 4.2% per year, this number will keep increasing to unsustainable levels if left unchecked. With government budgets already strained, the problem is likely to compound in the coming years.

This called for an innovative approach to the problem, where the issue of lack of resources would be circumvented by incentive alignment. In order to tackle this problem, LightCastle Partners, in collaboration with a UK based NGO, Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) and Dhaka Water and Sanitation Authority (DWASA) set out to design a Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) system that would be portable throughout Bangladesh, following successful rollout in the capital city.

Our Approach

We devised a Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) system that would leverage mechanized vacuum systems called ‘vacutugs’ to clean sewer holding tanks. The basic premise behind the system was to design a system where private sector incentives would be combined with government sector resources with facilitation by an NGO to design a scalable business model that would serve the urban population in a cost-effective way. LightCastle designed a comprehensive framework that would allow for private sector individual, termed as a Sanitation Entrepreneur (SE) to lease out the Vacutugs from DWASA and provide services to households & institutions, while generating revenue and growing the market for its services.

In order to effectively do this, LightCastle Partners designed a data analytics dashboard which would help the SE project costs of delivery and formulate price charters to cater to customers of varying scale, nature and spatial characteristics.

We used a six stage filter model framework to formulate the whole project as follows:

The Future

The Vacutug business is in the process of being initiated throughout Dhaka city. The business will be operating on the designed by LightCastle’s Business Analytics Wing (BAW). The Business Analytics conducted on geospatial demand management allowed the team to design the business in an optimal way and allow for an optimal solution to the travelling salesman problem.

 

The marriage of business analytics with an innovative public-private model helped solve a problem of nonaligned incentives; helping to bridge the gap between government sector resources and private sector incentives, allowing for optimal service delivery at the least cost. This is allowing the regional government to fulfill its mandate while bypassing the incentive deficiency in the segment by bringing in private sector elements. In turn, Business Analytics is being leveraged to keep the operations running at optimum efficiency and ensuring business growth by predicting and adjusting for relevant parameters.

LCP Case Study:Digitalizing The Transportation Industry

LCP Case Study:Digitalizing The Transportation Industry

The Opportunity

Country’s one of the most premium digital E-ticketing service (currently focused towards bus, launch, movies and events at present) in operation since 2015 was struggling to understand its current consumer segment. In order to understand their customers better and expand, our client planned to undertake a customer segmentation research complete with insights on what factors drive consumer purchase, their demographic/ psychographic segmentation and where would the market move towards in future.

Additionally, our client wanted to learn about the consumer journey of existing customers in their own system vis-à-vis competitor systems and do a comparative user journey mapping. Our client also wanted to develop a feedback loop with the existing users and understand what they like about the platform, what do they think of the promotion campaigns and what would be the improvements that would entice them to use the service more.

Our Approach

We segmented the entire competitive landscape of ticketing industry into four areas: travel (road/air/river/rail), entertainment, events and hotel ticketing. In domestic road travel ticketing, the dominant industry leader is shohoz.com followed by busbd.com and bdtickets.com. Also, Red Bus is launching its front operations pretty soon.

In entertainment ticketing, other than shohoz and bdtickets there are generic players like Cineplex and Blockbuster Cinema while event tickets are covered by shohoz and bdtickets both. Recently, jetechao has introduced events ticketing services as well but their target audience is very niche and customized. In case of hotel booking, there are different players operating in the industry starting from the hotels themselves to travel ticketing (both offline and online) agencies to international online booking websites like jovago.com and tripadvisor.com.

A nationwide consumer survey was done of online ticket purchasing customers followed by FGDs to determine consumer behavior. We then created an industry ranking based on four cornerstones of a platform business: webpage loading time, web design, search engine, login procedure. We also segmented the consumers on a LCP proprietary ValVo® matrix to determine key target consumers.

The Future

  • Our recommendation to our client was to have some key features in operation that Bangladeshi customers prefer like a smartphone app, agent sign in and most importantly, they don’t have home delivery of e-tickets in paper format which creates confusion among the mass level customers as they value tangibility (i.e., the touch and feel of the product they are buying) more.
  • Also, according to the Focus Group Discussion participants, our client needed to have ticket options for all the routes/destinations as well as contracts with popular bus operators like Greenline, Shohag and Hanif to attract more customers to the online platform.
  • The Rangpur and Rajshahi region should be given more focus by including Nabil Paribahan in that route on the platform.

LCP Case Study: Customer Segmentation In The Fashion Industry

LCP Case Study: Customer Segmentation In The Fashion Industry

The Opportunity

In 2016, one of the largest fashion retail store in Bangladesh in operation for more than 3 decades was in need of a proper customer segmentation. Being in business for so many decades, the company values have stayed the same but the consumers have evolved drastically. In order to help our client understand their current consumers, effectiveness of their product line and possibility of future strategic frameworks, LightCastle formulated a nationwide consumer survey of existing customers of the brand to gauze consumer preference and reasons behind their continued loyalty towards the brand.

Our Approach

LightCastle mobilized a team of 15 enumerators in Dhaka, 5 enumerators in Chittagong and 3 enumerators in Sylhet. Data were collected using our proprietary Android app LightCastle Data to ensure the data accuracy and reliability. Finally, collected and verified data were analyzed using advanced analytics software to extract relevant key insights.

After analyzing the data collected, we used a combination of Demographic, Economic, Behavioral as well as Psychographic segmentation methods to develop a four major patterns system in our client’s customer base and from there deciphered four broad customer communities; the Esteemed, Succeeders, Aspirers and Explorers.

The Future

Based on our customer segmentation and in-depth analysis through various consumer matrix, our client is now set to revamp its product line to meet the demand of its most prevalent customer segment, capitalize on demand from its aspiring customer segment and gain higher market share in the fashion segment our client operates in.

LCP Case Study: Accessibility to Safe Drinking Water

LCP Case Study: Accessibility to Safe Drinking Water

The Opportunity

In 2015, 65.2 million people used the railway to travel across the country in Bangladesh. With increased highway traffic and unavailability of transport in critical times, the number of train commuters are increasing year on year. These travelers from different socioeconomic strata have basic requirements including access to reliable and clean drinking water. For meeting the needs of these growing railway passengers, WaterAid, Robi and Bangladesh Railway have teamed up to provide free and safe drinking water through the installation of Safe Water Dispensing Systems (SWDS). These SWDS were installed in seven different stations across Bangladesh including the likes of Kamalapur, Airport, Mymensingh, Khulna, Mymensingh and Rajshahi and Chittagong. WaterAid needed LightCastle’s assistance in understanding the effectiveness of the project and the consumer perception of the water provided.

Our Approach

LightCastle conducted a primary survey of users of SWDSs units, who have specific feedbacks and recommendations for further improving service quality. A number of qualitative tools were used, for example- FGDs and KIIs- for better understanding operational status quo and to shed further light on consumer satisfaction level. We also carried out extensive water quality testing through credible water quality testing institutions.

Through an ingenious technology driven approach we also created a system to measure water flow in different SWDS stations. Based on secondary research and discussion with different vendors, two technology devices were selected for piloting In Kamalapur and Mymensingh. The Sensor based manual water tracking measure water flow which is subsequently registered in the meter and the care taker regularly needs to note the water flow reading from the meter. In the sensor GSM based water tracker device, the sensor measures water flow data which is directly sms-ed to two preferred numbers on a periodic basis (every 6 hours). This allowed us to measure the amount of water used by the consumers on a daily basis through real-time data driven results.

The Future

  • GSM based water tracker devices are installed throughout SWDS stations in order to effectively measure water usage.
  • Key insights were gained from our survey of the consumers and water quality testing which helped WaterAid improve overall service quality in SWDS stations and identify key quality factors for the drinking water.

LCP Case Study: Implementing Clean Water Business Model

LCP Case Study: Implementing Clean Water Business Model

Opportunity

High water salinity is a serious concern in Southern Bangladesh. Since 2010, GIZ Bangladesh, in association with German Association, has collaborated with Bangladesh Government’s Sustainable & Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) built 122 solar-powered clean water technologies to cater to safe water needs for the peri-urban and rural population across the Southern Delta. However, to ensure sustainability, multiple business models require exploration and the ones that are most viable need implementation.

Approach

Enter LightCastle (LCP) to support GIZ’s noble endeavor. The work was divided into two phases. LCP chose 5 sites – Barguna, Pirojpur, Satkhira, Khulna and Barisal – to conduct in-depth market studies, gauging business potential and optimizing models, customized for each region. Variables such as income, proximity from homes, prevalence of institutional buyers among others gave vital cues with respect to shortlisting business models. Based on market data in combination with technical competence of three different technologies (pond water filtration, ground water and de-salination), LCP primarily selected seven world-proven models and after a through cost-benefit analysis of each, recommended 3 models (micro-entrepreneurship, NGO and CBO) for pilot implantation across nine sites in three regions.

Running for one year, in phase 2, the assignment took on a more action-oriented approach. Albeit expensive, de-salination technology rendered the purest form of water and, therefore, garnered the greatest demand. But to be able to sustain this expensive setup, a continuous and effective forward supply chain needed to be established. This led LCP to continuously engage with multi-level stakeholders ranging from public institutions to water technology partners to local organizations. Leveraging data points, LCP set up water ATMs at dispensing sites for price optimization. Furthermore, LCP employed water agents for mobile delivery, built capacity, carried out promotional campaigns, created forward market linkages and maintained financial records to evaluate project effectiveness.

The Future

Based on initial results, the micro-entrepreneurship model looks to hold the most potential. Practical challenges constrained effectiveness of NGO and CBO model. The project, awaiting national approval, is expected to publicly commence from the 2nd quarter of 2017.

LCP Case Study: Syngenta Foundation’s Farmers’ Hub Model

LCP Case Study: Syngenta Foundation’s Farmers’ Hub Model

The following case study has been developed based on LightCastle’s work with different development, public and private sector clients.

Opportunity

Since 2013, Syngenta Foundation Bangladesh (SFB) has been successfully running an innovative Farmers’ Hub model in Northern Bangladesh, adding a new dimension to the country’s horticultural scenario. Because the project has positively touched lives of several regional farmers and other agricultural players in the value chain, SFB aimed to franchise out the model to local enterprises for scalability and sustainability.

Approach

LightCastle (LCP) entered the realm to help SFB build out a robust Franchising model. For this, LCP used a top-down approach. A series of both individual and collective meetings with every stakeholder – Syngenta Foundation Global, SFB, local enterprises – were conducted up front to define the range of project scope.

Next, LCP visited the regions and in consultation with the local management team and Farmers’ Hub owners, further refined the value creation area. While quantitative data was needed to understand the market size, potential, competition, financial viability et al., qualitative data was sought to establish HR structure, branding guidelines and standard operating procedures – serving to capture and adapt the local context into a world-class franchising model.

The Future

LCP’s main goal was to facilitate in piloting a franchisor model. To this end, LCP helped SFB in soliciting a suitable local social enterprise, co-creating business documents, training, and implementing the first local franchisor in Rangpur. Output-wise LCP delivered a financial calibration document, franchising feasibility study, business plans for both master franchisor and franchisor, standard operating procedure and branding guideline documents.

LCP Case Study: Developing Business models for the IDSS Project

LCP Case Study: Developing Business models for the IDSS Project

The following case study has been developed based on LightCastle’s work with SNV-ACI on the IDSS project. 

The Opportunity

In 2016, ACI Agribusiness, a business division of the Advanced Chemical Industries (ACI), envisioned a 36-month program titled ‘Intelligent Decision Support System (IDSS) for farmers’. The program is co-financed by ACI and Netherlands Space Office (NSO), and is implemented in partnership with SNV Netherlands Development Organization (Bangladesh office), Nelen and Schuurmanns (Netherlands), SarVision (Netherlands). ACI will also collaborate with the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) during field level implementation of the program.

 

The project is aimed to leverage geo-data to gather, target and disseminate relevant information to farmers when they need it, in a sustainable way. The ultimate vision being to positively affect the lives of 967,675 rice, potato and vegetable farmers. For this project, ACI needed LightCastle’s expertise in developing a commercially viable business model for IDSS services.

Our Approach

We looked into the current status quo of availability of agro information in the agricultural sector, the models being followed globally as well as locally by conducting secondary studies, primary surveys, key informant interviews and FGDs. As a reference point, international as well as local models of information dissemination in agriculture were segregated into three segments; modular models, integrated models and platforms.

Modular models deal with specific information needs such as the need for market information, weather information or pest information. Examples included Market Light (international) and E-Krishok (local). Integrated models on the other hand, deal with the whole value chain, with the actors supporting farmers from seed to sales; the best example being ITC, with E- Choupal in India. They sell seeds to farmers, provide them with information and buy the produce from them with bonuses for quality – minimizing risk and maximizing quality. Platform models such as Esoko were also investigated. Ultimately, the modular model would be the most appropriate to start with, with possible rollout of the integrated model sometime in the future.

Overall, farmer’s information need revolved around pest information/advisory, soil/fertilizer advisory and market and weather information. Information regarding pests consistently came out to be the most sought after information types. Moreover, farmers trusted the advice given by input retailers the most. So, retailers were evaluated to be a strong channel for information dissemination to farmers in the IDSS model.

The Future

  • A modular model was proposed with retailers as the focal point of distribution.
  • In another, a new breed of ‘last mile’ independent salesmen have been earmarked for selling ACI’s products along with offering agro and weather information for free to farmers.
  • In the final model, agro-information dissemination with different stakeholders was explored, wherein the IDSS project could collaborate with different development organizations on a partnership basis, for designing and executing interventions pertaining to agro information.
  • ACI is in the process of implementing the project based on LightCastle’s strategic recommendations in the second quarter of 2017.

LCP Case Study: Strategy Consulting for an Emerging Cement Company

LCP Case Study: Strategy Consulting for an Emerging Cement Company

The following case study has been developed based on LightCastle’s work for an emerging cement company. 

The Opportunity

One of the leading local conglomerates in Bangladesh, with a renowned brand of cement in the market was in dire need of a strategic intervention in order to capture a larger market share.  The company with a production capacity of 4700 MT/day was not operating at optimal capacity and despite increased branding efforts there’s been minimum increase in sales. Hence, the management decided to take a deeper look into the industry and analyze internal strengths to identify specific action points to improve the status quo and take position among the top 5.

Our Approach

In order to help our client gain a stronger footing and challenge its competitors, LightCastle embarked on a deep dive research of the cement industry and gain knowledge of critical industry drivers. Currently, the industry holds an installed capacity of 33-35 Mn MT with an efficient supply of 25-27 Mn MT. The existing demand however hovers around 18-20 Mn MT. Our client would need to effectively challenge the top 5 market leaders with optimized marketing, distribution and sales strategy in order to gain a higher position in the market.

We segmented the market research into a fourfold structure utilizing the Boston Consulting Group’s ‘Challenge The Leader®’ Framework. We took a look at the market fundamentals, the position our client currently holds in the industry, what strategic changes the company would need to implement in order to gain higher market share and lastly, we developed an impact measurement framework to validate desired outcomes. We then conducted a nationwide retail and consumer survey followed by in-depth Key Informant Interviews to validate the results. The nation-wide market results were the backbone of the strategic approaches formulated by LightCastle for this project.

The Future

Analyzing through multiple strategic lenses we formulated three basic strategic actions that would needed to be implemented by our client.

  • Their current sales strategy would need to be overhauled and a more focused and trimmed strategy would need to be implemented to cater to the market demand.
  • Their management structure is in need of a reshuffle with proper resources placed in appropriate roles in order to maximize work productivity and employee satisfaction.
  • Large and lucrative government based projects needs to be captured in order to maximize sales and production capacity.