In simple language – break even point is where the total revenue in an enterprise meets the total cost. But in application it is not that simple, especially for a socially driven, donor funded telecentre operation, who used to convince a donor to balance their short fall.
But the positive point is, that the sound champions are already there in the telecentre eco-system, who managed to define the less-defined ‘telecentre break even points’. I have met 3 convincing case studies so far;
1. Grameen CIC’s (Bangladesh); the franchise telecentres are expected to meet break even point in 12 months. The total establishment cost per telecentre is estimated to be 1000$US. Grameen offers marketable services such as Grameen Public phone connection, e-top up services (FlexiLoad) and EDGE mobile internet services (with a one year gestation period) for the telecentre operator to reach that economic goal.
2. Drishtee (India); have a systematically designed ‘Mission 6K’, that is to provide a marketable package of services to each telecentre, enabling monthly revenue of 6000Rs (Indian). Estimated break even point is 4500Rs, which is expected to reach in 6 months to 1 year period. Service package includes; mobile phone top up, insurance services, educational services, matrimonial services, online marketing of village products etc.
3. OneRoof (Mexico); franchise model offers 9 products and services to sell through telecentres to reach break even point in 6 months time (estimated). Clean water filters, Carrier counselling, solar panels etc. includes in addition to the traditional ICT based services.
These cases demonstrate the product and service models designed by telecentre network operations of scale, targeting individual telecentre sustainability. There must be other simpler versions adapted by individual operators, as the economically sound individual telecentre operations are already out there, though yet to be taken into this study.