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Applying Human-Centered Technological Approach for Sustainable Businesses in Indian Informal Economies

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Informal sector in India is growing rapidly with the urbanization of the cities and increasing needs from its citizens. According
International Labour Organization (ILO) report 2012, most of them are immigrants or laid-off workers, work
for an average 10–12 hours a day, and remain impoverished. In India, street vending makes up 14% of total (non-agricultural)
urban informal employment (ILO 2012). Although informal sector in India is majorly being represented by
street vendors. They are exposed to harassments, advocacy issues, financial instability, livelihood related issues and many
more. This has a direct impact on the sustainability of their businesses. Also, diversity in the methods of business adds
to more complexity in the ecosystem. However, there have not been many attempts to bring about positive changes in
the businesses of street vendors. This study was undertaken at the Digital Impact Square (DISQ), a TCS foundation
initiative. The Author of this paper is presenting it by having worked on the project in the capacity of a Design Lead
and mentor. The aim of the study is to bring certainty in the fruit vendors’ business by applying human centered technological
approach and analyse the outcome. The study uses primary and secondary data collected and analysed using
human centered design approach to represent the mindset of street vendors in Nashik. The sample size for the research
includes 80 fruit & vegetable vendors. The paper also includes the findings of an experiment conducted with 3 selected
fruit vendors in Nashik. The insights from this study can be generalised for other geographies, as the study addresses
both the human side of core issues in their business operations and potential technological interventions.

Authors: Vivek Chondagar

Additional Info

  • Venue: India

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