Friday, June 20, 2008

Innovation in Emerging Markets- Microimage

What can a natural disaster do to the survivors?

This is what Harsha Purasinghe, CEO of Microimage, got when Tsunami hit Sri Lanka and may other parts of the sub-continent. The mega natural disaster changed his life for ever and what he created out of it promises to be an early warning system for disaster leveraging mobile phones.

DEWN, that stands for Disaster and Emergency Warning Network, is Harsha's attempt to minimize loss of lives and property in the advent of disaster.

DEWN leverages existing deployed base of GSM in Sri Lanks in delivering these services augmented with some very intuitive features, all using SMS services. The innovation sets examples in designing and delivering innovation for the emerging markets.

Some of the lessons learnt during the creation of DEWN are:

  • Using existing technology

  • Usability challenges

  • Adoption and implementation of the solution

A confident Harsha talks in length of technology, business model and other enablers around the innovation. All this just needs to be admired and get inspired from. No doubt Microimage won several accolades including GSM Annual Award of Innovation for 2007 and several other awards from National Science Foundation.

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