Sanergy: Sustainable Sanitation




Case Details Case Introduction 1 Case Introduction 2 Case Excerpts

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EXCERPTS

SANERGY – THE INCEPTION

In the fall of 2009, three students – Auerbach, Lindsay Stradley, and Ani Vallabhaneni of MIT Sloan School of Management, met while taking a course, Development Ventures. The course dealt with solving a challenge affecting the lives of a billion people and focused on building entrepreneurial ventures in developing countries.

After coming to know that more than 8 million people in the slums in Kenya lacked access to proper sanitation, the three classmates teamed up. They conceived of the idea of providing hygienic sanitation through a franchise model in the slums of Nairobi. While detailing the idea, Auerbach said, “We would franchise these toilets, and people would run them as small businesses...

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A SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MODEL

According to the founders of the Sanergy, the startup demonstrated value chains which provided potential solutions to the sanitation crisis spread across the globe. Sanergy had a multi-purpose business plan which started with sanitation and ended with fertilizer and energy; it offered an affordable, accessible, and hygienic sanitation solution by creating a dense network of low-cost sanitation centers for the underprivileged sections of society living in places without sewage or electricity...

A WIN-WIN VENTURE

Though Sanergy was working for the downtrodden section of Kenya’s urban slums, it was driven by the profit motive also. The company discovered a way to maximize its own revenues while solving global problems of improper sanitation and improving lives....

THE IMPACT

By September 2012, Sanergy was employing 42 full-time staff and 10 part-time staff. Half of its total number of employees came from the local community including masons, sales agents, and waste collectors...

SCALING UP

By 2013, Sanergy had scaled up its model in Kenya through public and private partnerships such as Government of Kenya, Unilever, Kiva, and Oxfam. Joshua Boger, former CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, believed that the biggest challenge for Sanergy would be to speed up its expansion work...

THE CHALLENGES

Despite being successful in many areas, Sanergy’s growing popularity came with its share of challenges...

A TOUGH ROAD AHEAD?

Given the challenges facing Sanergy, analysts opined that though it had made a good start and the progress of the initiative was commendable, it still had a very tough road ahead. ..

EXHIBITS

Exhibit I:About Kenya

Exhibit II:Map of Kenya

Exhibit III:Sanitation Facilities in Kenya

Exhibit IV:Integrated Sanitation Value Chain (A)

Exhibit V:Sanergy: Awards and Fellowships