Business of Humanity® Project Continues Operations During COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe, the ability to manage the pandemic in remote parts of our inter-connected world presents urgent challenges. At the University of Pittsburgh, the Business of Humanity® Project (BoH) has partnered with the Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation (ATNF), Safe World Rural Services (SRS), and Narottam Lalbhai Rural Development Fund (NLRDF) to aid its Tuvar Health & Wellness Center to continue to operate under new and ever-changing circumstances during the pandemic.

In accordance with the lockdown guidelines issued by the Government of India, the Tuvar Health & Wellness Center reopened on April 20, 2020 and has been continuing to provide healthcare services to rural communities in and around Tuvar.

The BoH Project teamed up with ATNF, SRS and NLRDF in 2018 to design and build the Tuvar Health & Wellness Center, located in Gujarat, India. Just a few years ago, Tuvar village in a remote region of India lacked many basic amenities, including affordable electricity, running water, toilets, and healthcare.

Founded in 2011, the BoH Project is led by Dr. John C. Camillus, Donald R. Beall Professor of Strategic Management, Dr. Bopaya Bidanda, Ernest E. Roth Professor and Chair of Industrial Engineering, and Kristy Bronder, Executive Director.

After several years of hard work in Tuvar from the BoH Project team and their partners, the community now has custom-designed photovoltaic generating plants, household power and lighting, street lights, running water, toilets, a telemedicine clinic, and a service center connecting the community with government programs. In addition, an agribusiness enterprise has been initiated to provide employment to the community and resources to sustain the energy and health infrastructure constructed by the BoH Project. The agribusiness enterprise will also generate a return that will attract investors to future such projects.

“We are proud and honored to have partnered with ATNF, SRS, and NLRDF on the Tuvar Health & Wellness Center,” said Kristy Bronder, Executive Director of the BoH Project. “The project has continued to evolve as the needs of the community have risen.”

Motivating the Business of Humanity® is the proposition that firms can enhance their profits by incorporating social benefit into their business model. Business of Humanity® strategies emphasize an integrated, structured approach to adding economic value by innovating business models that take advantage of disruptive technologies to meet people’s basic needs profitably.

“One of the recent additions to the Tuvar Health & Wellness Center has been the implementation of the Social Health Education sessions, which have proven to be a vital resource for educating women on health issues that can affect them,” said Bronder. “In order to begin to address the issue of young women quitting school when they begin to menstruate, ATNF started reaching out to local schools and worked with teachers to hold menstrual hygiene sessions to educate young women and provide them with sanitary pads, which they can also receive for free at the center.”

The BoH Project has also become an important part of the curriculum at Katz. MBA and EMBA students can enroll in the course “The Business of Humanity: Strategic Management in the Era of Globalization, Innovation and Shared Value.” Students in the course have developed, evaluated and improved the business models employed in Tuvar and in our Pittsburgh community.

Learn more about the Business of Humanity Project.