Innovation from India and the Netherlands improves the lives of a million tuktuk drivers

Three Wheels United announced as top 100 global innovative solutions

20 JUNE 2013, ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS / BANGALORE, INDIA
Summary
Three Wheels United announced as top 100 global innovative solutions by Sustainia. A combination of financial services, social innovation and cleaner technology appears to be the key to success to realise structural change in the lives of Indian tuktuk drivers. Three Wheels United creates a revenue increase of 70 percent and gives the drivers access to energy efficient tuktuks.

Three Wheels United, an Enviu startup, is annnounced as part of the top 100 of global sustainable innovations.  Sustainia100 is an annual overview of Sustainia100 is an annual guide to 100 innovative solutions from around the world that presents readily available projects, initiatives and technologies at the forefront of sustainable transformation. 

The current situation for tuktuk drivers in India
Currently, India has about 5 million auto rickshaws drivers on the road. On average, they work more than 12 hours a day for which they get approximately 3 dollars. In addition, the drivers have no access to financial services and are not entitled to social services. And each tuktuk generates as much pollution as dozens of Western European cars together.

The solution of Three Wheels United
To make a structural change in the current auto rickshaw system of polluting vehicles and underpaid, exploited drivers Three Wheels United developed a business model based on three principles: access to financial and social services, creating alternate sources of revenue and clean-tech for auto-rickshaw engines.

By using this combined business approach, the revenues of the tuktuk drivers increase by approximately 70 percent. Three Wheels United also offers loans to the drivers so they can replace their tuktuk engines with cleaner ones. This results in about forty percent CO2 savings. 

A social mission and business model in one
Current traditional business models are often not sufficient enough to create an impact that goes beyond profit. As Stef van Dongen, founder of Enviu states: “it is important to develop innovative business models that create value for both people and the environment. We do this by developing innovative business models and starting impact driven businesses and communities.”

Ramesh Prabhu, entrepreneur of Three Wheels United clarifies: “Three Wheels United is a sure shot successful business model because it has been developed on the principle of co-creation where every stakeholder is involved in its creation. We provide very unique and innovative solutions to tackle a clearly identified social problem with a scalable and disruptive solution We currently have 145 new vehicles on the road and are ready for scale." 

Future Plans
Within five years Three Wheels United wants 50,000 tuktuks on the road and thereby indirectly aims to improve the lives of 200,000 Indians. Three Wheels United also has concrete plans to expand to more cities in India besides Bangalore. In the longer term, the goal is to improve the lives of 1 million tuktuk drivers and their families.

Quotes
"It is important to develop innovative business models that create value for both people and the environment. We do this by developing innovative business models and starting impact driven businesses and communities." Stef van Dongen, founder of Enviu
"Three Wheels United is a sure shot successful business model because it has been developed on the principle of co-creation where every stakeholder is involved in its creation. We provide very unique and innovative solutions to tackle a clearly identified social problem with a scalable and disruptive solution We currently have 145 new vehicles on the road and are ready for scale." Ramesh Prabu, entrepreneur of Three Wheels United
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About Enviu

English

Enviu kick-starts companies aimed at creating social and environmental impact. The products and services of our start-ups improve the quality of life of as many people as possible.

Together with our community of over 10,000 people from over 30 countries, we generate innovative business concepts and build partnerships to address social and environmental issues. To realize our start-ups we work with entrepreneurs, businesses, investors, governments and various other stakeholders.

Nederlands

Enviu kick-start bedrijven gericht op het creëren van sociale en duurzame impact. De producten en diensten van onze start-ups verbeteren de kwaliteit van leven van zo veel mogelijk mensen.

Samen met onze community van ruim 10,000 mensen in ruim 30 landen genereren we innovatieve business concepten en bouwen we partnerschappen waarmee we maatschappelijke- en milieuproblemen aanpakken. Om onze start-ups te realiseren, werken wij samen met ondernemers, bedrijven, investeerders, overheden en verschillende andere belangengroepen.

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