“My farther reads the news paper online, now he does not want to buy the papers” – some anecdotes tries to prove that Telecentres are fully integrated with rural societies and they depend on the Telecentres for various services.
In fact, if a person in rural Sri Lanka tries to read a news paper on line, he has to pay at least $ 0.5 whereas he can buy the new paper for around $ 0.25. It may be worth for a busy executive to read the online version of a news paper but may not be for rural folks.
Telecentres made the technology available for rural communities. So what?
The real issue was we didn’t have applicable content and services to deliver through Telecentres. So services such as Dialog tradenet (www.tradenet.lk) can make a real difference in terms of providing relevant services to the community while sustaining Telecentres with incremental revenue.
Three potential roles
- Finding products or services at cheaper rates for the community in the area (used products, etc.). That could be even finding the raw materials for SME businesses.
- Help entrepreneurs to find the market. Exploit the free advertising opportunity in tradenet. There is a potential of reaching a huge market of nearly seven million people (customer base of Dialog).
- Playing the role of an intermediary/Broker. Most of the rural products and service sellers find it difficult to interact with modern markets. So telecentre operator can play the role of intermediary to bridge the gap.