Better Vision for the Poor

31 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2010

See all articles by Aneel G. Karnani

Aneel G. Karnani

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Bernard Garrette

HEC Paris - Strategy & Business Policy

Jordan S. Kassalow

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Moses Lee

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: March 1, 2010

Abstract

About 500 million to 1 billion poor people in the world need eyeglasses but do not get them. Visual impairment is more than just a health problem; it has economic, educational, and public safety implications. In 2005, the French multinational Essilor launched a 'bottom of the pyramid' initiative to market eyeglasses to the Indian rural poor. VisionSpring was founded in 2001 as a social enterprise with the mission to provide affordable eyeglasses to the poor. Another approach to solving the vision problem emphasizes technological innovation to provide low-cost self-adjustable spectacles. None of these approaches has succeeded on a large enough scale so far. We propose an alternative solution that emphasizes dramatic cost reduction by utilizing ready-made eyeglasses, basic screening without a trained optometrist, economies of scale, piggyback distribution, and low overheads.

Keywords: Reducing Poverty, Public Health, Vision Correction

JEL Classification: I12, I31, M14

Suggested Citation

Karnani, Aneel G. and Garrette, Bernard and Kassalow, Jordan S. and Lee, Moses, Better Vision for the Poor (March 1, 2010). Ross School of Business Paper No. 1137. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1569479 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1569479

Aneel G. Karnani (Contact Author)

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

Bernard Garrette

HEC Paris - Strategy & Business Policy ( email )

Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351
France

Jordan S. Kassalow

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Moses Lee

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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