DHAN Foundation, based in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, was a non-government organization with a difference. It was neither a philanthropic organization nor a service organization but a development organization focused on grassroots development aided by professional management.
This series of cases focuses on DHAN’s journey in the realm of healthcare, tracing the genesis and evolution of its community health efforts, particularly during the first decade of its existence (1997 to 2007), and describing the challenges the Foundation faced along the way and its responses to those challenges.
Case B takes off where Case A leaves Vasi, and describes his decision to set up a secondary care hospital at Theni, Tamil Nadu, following the exit of Philips and Apollo Hospitals from the DISHA project. The case traces the fundraising and project management challenges DHAN faced along the way and its response to those challenges.
• Delineating the difference between innovation in designing new products and services as against innovation in creating new delivery systems for those products and services.
• Highlighting the far-reaching impact of the latter type of innovations on providing equitable access to services in general and to essential services like healthcare in particular, to large rural masses, whose paying capacity is much lower than the standard market rates.
• Driving home the power of frugal engineering and cross-disciplinary innovations in achieving cost reduction and large volumes of service.