Monday, September 6, 2010

Interviews at the End of the Road

Earlier this summer, Driptech colleagues and I spent a month crisscrossing our way around northern and western India, conducting interviews with farmers who had been shown a demonstration of our affordable irrigation solution. Our goal was to learn more about the rural environment in India and to gauge reactions to our product.

The farmers made for enthusiastic interview subjects, offering outspoken opinions alongside piping hot milk tea. Never mind that when the temperature is above 100 F, you’re not in the mood for hot tea; it was a great time, and we enjoyed the opportunity to meet our potential customers and learn more about their lives.

We learned more about the difficulties that farmers in Rajasthan face with water shortages and the hot season, we heard about family members who had left for the cities to look for more opportunity, we heard about the time spent (wasted?) on making mud irrigation channels to move water through the fields in Karnataka, we heard about the material and technological developments that are slowly filtering down from the cities to towns and then on to the villages. In the end, we came away with a much better understanding of our potential customers that will only allow us to serve them better.

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