In order for our business to be a success, we need to offer something more to our customers than our competitors do. There are several things that differentiate our lemongrass oil to that of local competitors.
First of all, our product is 100% sustainable. It runs on solar power and thus doesn’t harm the environment. This appeals to environmentally conscious customers. Not only does the fact that it is sustainable enlarge our target group, it also reduces costs: Other lemongrass oil producers still use firewood as an energy source, which is much more expensive. This means that our product could also be sold for a lower price with the same amount of profit. This makes our business model sustainable and we can call this sustainable entrepreneurship: “Social entrepreneurs play the role of change agents in the social sector, by adopting a mission to create and sustain social value (not just private value)” . This means that we are not only trying to earn money, we are doing so in a way that we can help the environment by using a sustainable energy source.
Another thing that sets our product apart from the others is its quality: During our time in India, we will run many experiments with the distillation unit and doing calculations until we find the highest purity possible. The knowledge “imported” from the TU Delft in combination with the Amrita students delivers a product that can outshine all others on the market. Quality is thus one of the main value propositions we offer. We aim to create this business model as a collaboration between an NGO and a corporation, such as explained by Dahan, Doh, Oetzel and Yaziji . In this case, you could describe Amrita SeRVe as the NGO, having the experience needed to work with local rural communities and including social responsibility in their activities. Our business can be described as the corporation. Through adapting our business model to that of Amrita, we can develop a successful sustainable cooperation since we can provide the know-how and technology, while they provide the network and experience.
A product of high quality is a luxury in itself, but to emphasize this luxury we will sell our product in a unique, fancier packaging. The competitors sell the lemongrass oil in small plastic tubes. We find that this looks cheap and that the package should match the luxurious content. This is why our product will be packed in glass tubes with… We know that this way, hotels and spas would rather choose our product over that of competitors.
There is one important value proposition left to our product, which is its homeopathic healing power: The lemongrass oil can be used to treat headaches, muscles pain, colds, insect repellant, etc.
 Dees, J.G. (1997), The Meaning of Social Entrepreneurship. Stanford University