Roundabout Outdoor and PlayPumps International: A Hybrid Business Model to Tackle the Water Scarcity Problem

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR380
Case Length : 23 Pages
Period : 1994-2010
Pub Date : 2010
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Roundabout Outdoor / PlayPumps International
Industry : Social / Safe water
Countries : Africa

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Excerpts Contd...


Experts felt that RO and PI faced various challenges in meeting their stated mission. The challenges started with finding groundwater sources. "We use professional ground scientists or geologists to test the holes which are generally the starting point of installing a system...


In addition to the numerous challenges, the water system and the business model adopted by Field also came under scrutiny of rival water charities and other experts. They questioned the appropriateness of the technology used as it was quite costly at US$ 14,000 (this did not include the cost of drilling a borehole)...

The Road Ahead

By mid-2009, PI/RO had set up more than 1,500 PlayPumps in six countries and was in the process of expanding to four more in sub-Saharan Africa (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia). According to the company, moving into new countries was proving the viability of its business model for sub-Saharan Africa...


Exhibit I: The Water Problem: Key Facts & Figures
Exhibit II (A): PI's Statement of Financial Position: Fiscal Year Ending February 29, 2008
Exhibit II (B): PI's Statement of Activities: Fiscal Year Ending February 29, 2008
Exhibit III: PlayPump Water System: How it Works
Exhibit IV: 100 Pumps in 100 Days: Donation Levels
Exhibit V: A List of RO and PI's Partners
Exhibit VI: A Short Note on the Elephant Pumps
Exhibit VII: Some Business Models Adopted by Organizations Operating in the Safe Water Sector

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