Aravind Eye Care System was started in 1976 in India by Dr Govindappa Venkataswamy. The main idea was to get rid of blindness which had become very rampant in India. At the start of the eye care centre, the clinic has only 11 beds, and by the end of the first year, the clinic had gotten 23 more beds that would be used to serve the patients who required eye treatment (Prahalad 2010, p. 16).
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One of the core principles of Aravind Eye Care clinic was to provide eye care treatment to patients who could not afford to pay more than they could eye just to get treatment in other clinics. In most cases, Aravind clinic provided free treatment to the patients who could be able to raise enough money to pay for their treatment and this, in turn, earned Aravind Eye Care Clinic a lot of respect to become one of the biggest eye care centres in the world today (Schwab 2007, p. 10).
With reference to the given question, this paper will analyze the services offered by Aravind Eye Care System to the rural people in India and the world. This paper will also justify the types of costs that consumers incur in the service consumption stage of Aravind.
Why is Aravind a credence product and a people processing service?
India is one of the poorest countries in the world today. This means that most of the residents of this country are unable to get access to quality health care services due to the pricing by which I mean that considering that the price of getting quality is high. It will mean that most of the residents of this country will not be able to pay for it due to the low living standards. In addition to that, India has one of the highest blindness prevalence in the world according to a report that was released by the World Health Organization (WHO) that stated that most of the Indians are unable to pay for their eye treatment due to poor living standards that the country has.
This prompted the rise of Aravind Eye Care Clinic, which aimed to get rid of this vice that was known as blindness. In a bid to do this, the founders of Aravind Eye Care Clinic came up with the idea of providing the residents with quality eye care services for as little as no money. This, in turn, prompted people to become more and more aware of the clinic, and by the end of the first five years, it had performed more than 275,000 eye surgeries and had opened more than five branches in the provinces in India (Hartigan 2008, p. 15).
This translated to the acceptance by the people of the country, considering that most of them were not able to pay for quality health care due to price. Most of the people in India accepted Aravind Eye Care Clinic as an eye clinic, and most of them started visiting the clinic knowing that their needs in terms of eye care will be catered for at very cheap rates. In addition to that, the residents began to trust the clinic in that they felt safe when visiting the clinics, considering that most of them believed in witchcrafts.
Why is the acceptance of Aravind service by the rural population low?
On the other hand, in the rural areas where Aravind Eye Care Clinic was found the population was very low. Some of the reasons for this include; in a smaller clinic in the rural areas, very few patients were willing to pay for the services which were being offered Aravind Eye Care Clinic. This meant that most of the services that were being offered to the patients were being offered for free of charge and this had a negative impact due to the high number of personnel of Aravind Eye Care Clinic who were all to be paid at the end of the month.
The other main reason that made the population in the rural area low was that most of the people who lived in the rural areas did not trust Aravind Eye Care Clinic and this made them not come to the clinics where the services were being offered. The main reason for this was because most of the people in the rural areas believed in witchcraft and witch doctors and believed that they were the only people who could heal them other than Aravind Eye Care Clinic. This translated to the poor turnout in terms of the people who came for Aravind Eye Care Clinic services.
What are the reasons for the type of costs that consumers incur in the service consumption stages of Aravind?
Aravind Eye Care Clinic incurred explicit costs in that Aravind Eye Care Clinic had to pay out costs to be able to keep the services running. Some of the costs that Aravind Eye Care Clinic had to pay out included the costs of publicizing the events in that they had advertised to the patients about the clinics for them to be able to come. The other costs included; Aravind Eye Care Clinic had to buy lunch for the patients to able to keep them even where it came to lunchtime. In addition to that, the doctors and staff had to travel from the camps back to the hospitals which meant that another extra cost had to be incurred by Aravind Eye Care Clinic to try to get the patients.
On the other hand, Aravind Eye Care Clinic had to provide boarding and lodging for the doctors and staff to get them ready to work in the camps the following day. This translated to another cost that would be incurred by Aravind Eye Care Clinic and in addition to that, the doctors and staff workers had to eat so Aravind Eye Care Clinic had to provide for them.
What are those two of the three Ps of service that are critical to the success of the rural service delivery system?
For Aravind Eye Care Clinic to be able to have a huge success in the rural areas, it developed some service delivery methods that would help the clinic in getting a bigger success in the rural areas. Two of this service delivery methods are visits to every house by the basic eye health care workers and also a visit to every house by some of the patients who had been treated by Aravind Eye Care Clinic and healed (Shenoy 2011, p. 28).
When the basic eye health care workers visited the rural areas and conducted a house to house visit, they were able to know the exact number of patients that were in the village and were able to convince the patients who did not want to visit the clinic to do so. This was to make them more and more aware that the services offered by Aravind Eye Care Clinic were of the best quality and that the services were cheap if not free for those who were not able to pay for the services.
How are these two Ps critical for Aravind succeeding in rural markets?
In this case, the eye health care workers could convince the patients to go to the clinics to be treated and helped those who could not go to the hospitals by themselves. This, in turn, translated to an increase in the population that visited Aravind Eye Care Clinic in the rural areas. The basic health care workers who were sent to the house to house visit had to have the power to convince the patients that visiting the clinic was the best idea to be able to be treated before the situation got worse or even led to blindness (Mehta 2009, p. 35).
On the other hand, when the other patients who had been treated conducted a house to house visits, they were able to convince the other patients who were afraid of the costs and some who were afraid of the operation that nothing was to worry about. The operations that Aravind Eye Care Clinic conducted were safe. The prices that Aravind Eye Care Clinic was charging were very affordable for everyone willing to visit the clinic.
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Some of the patients who had refused to visit Aravind Eye Care Clinic said that they needed proof to show them that the operations that Aravind Eye Care Clinic conducted worked and it is for this case that some of the patients who have healed conducted a house to house visits. This was in a bid to trying to convince the other patients that the operations were harmless and that the operation worked in that the other patients who had refused to visit the clinic would then have proof that the operations that Aravind Eye Care Clinic actually worked (Elkington 2006, p. 24).
As a result, the population that visited Aravind Eye Care Clinic increased drastically. Most patients who had refused to visit the clinic were now convinced that the operations that were being conducted by Aravind Eye Care Clinic worked. The treatment was very important in trying as much as possible to prevent blindness which was the main reason why the Aravind Eye Care Clinic was conducting the clinics in the first place.
What is the competitive strategy of Aravind?
The competitive strategy introduced by Aravind Eye Care Clinic was the very low prices they charged for the services they offered. As compared to the other clinic that was there major rivals in the eye health care industry, Aravind Eye Care Clinic charged their patients very low prices when it came to the services they offered and this, in turn, translated to more and more patients coming in to be treated by the staff at Aravind Eye Care Clinic. This was a major strategy that helped them in beating their major competitors.
What are the market segments of Aravind?
Aravind Eye Care Clinic segmented their patients according to those who could pay for their services and those who could not be able to afford to pay for the services that were accorded to them. India is one of the world’s poorest countries, most of the people there are poor, and as a result, most of the people are not able to pay for their health care services and hence the high rate of blindness that was seen in the country. When Aravind Eye Care Clinic started its operations in India, the directors knew that some of the patients that were going to be treated by the staff of Aravind Eye Care Clinic were not in a position to pay for their own services and hence the directors had to segment the patients according to those who would pay and those who would not be able to (Sahay 2010, p. 26).
By segmenting the patients in these two groups, the directors would then be able to estimate the amount of income that Aravind Eye Care Clinic would generate considering that some of the patients would not be in a position to pay for their services. This would then translate to making an estimated growth of Aravind Eye Care Clinic, and with that, the directors would then be able to understand the market more and more.
What is the service positioning of Aravind?
For Aravind Eye Care Clinic to be effective in everything that they did the directors had to understand the market trends, and for them to be able to do so, they had to segment the patients in groups. On the other hand, the directors segmented the patients into groups by which some of the patients had very serious eye problems that needed to be checked at the main hospital and those that had minor problems that could be treated at the clinics.
By this, they were able to know who among the patients needed serious medical attention and those of the patients who would be treated at the local clinics. This was very important considering that some of the patients that were to be treated at the local clinics had very serious problems.
What four service delivery options does Aravind use for reaching consumers?
Aravind Eye Care Clinic used several service delivery options to try to reach patients in rural areas. Some of the service delivery opting include base hospitals which were also used as teaching institutes. These hospitals were fully equipped with all the necessary facilities that were needed in performing eye surgeries for its patients who needed eye surgery.
In addition to that, the base hospital was also used in performing the diagnosis and treatment of eye problems that were transferred from other clinics in the country because it could be able to cater for such problems in that it was fully equipped with all the necessary equipment and staff that are needed in performing these surgeries. In these base hospitals, 67% of the patients received services for no charge at all (Tidd 2011, p. 45).
Aravind Eye Care Clinic also used community centre clinic in a bid to trying to getting to the patients in the rural areas. These clinics were established at a distance of within 50km from the base hospitals to facilitate for better management of both the clinics and the problems that patients had. If a patient would have a more serious problem that cannot be resolved at the clinics, it was easier to transport him/her to the base hospitals where he/she would get the health care that he/she needs to get better.
What are the pros and cons of introducing a franchise system to further improve the acceptance of eye care services among rural consumers?
Some factors were considered when setting up the clinics. These factors included; a good transport network to the nearby villages in that the health care workers had to have access to the villages. They also made sure that there was no eye hospital around.
The other service delivery option that Aravind Eye Care Clinic used was the vision centres which were established in a village that had a population of more than 50,000 residents. This was in a bid to create awareness to the locals about the need to visit the clinics to have their eyes checked in a bid to reducing blindness. This centre also trained the locals about eye health care and how to protect themselves when it comes to eye problems.
These centres were fully equipped with the equipment that was needed for checking the kind of problems that were found in the eyes of the patients and the patients who visited these centres had to pay for a consultation fee. These centres were very important because they saved the patients the transportation costs that would be needed to go to the base hospitals.
Aravind Eye Care Clinic also used eye screening camps to try to encourage the patients to be able to get treated at the clinics. These camps were aimed at creating awareness in the community about eye problems, and this, in turn, created a very good image of Aravind Eye Care Clinic in the eyes of the community. These camps were usually held on the weekend because that is when people were free.
What are the promotion options suitable to improve the acceptance of eye care services among rural consumers?
For Aravind Eye Care Clinic to be able to promote the acceptance of the eye care services by the rural residents, it came up with some strategies that would among other things be able to involve the rural residents and make them more aware of the need to be able to have their eye checked in a bid to preventing blindness among the rural residents. Aravind Eye Care Clinic had a hard time trying to convince the residents who did not believe in medicine that it was important for them to get tested in a bid to trying to prevent blindness (Ghuman 2010, p. 52).
Some of the patients who had refused to be tested in the clinics believed that it was against God’s will to be treated and thus it was very hard for Aravind Eye Care Clinic to get accepted among the members of some families. Some of the rural areas members believed that Aravind Eye Care Clinic would charge them highly for the services and thus did not want anything to do with them due to the poor backgrounds.
Aravind Eye Care Clinic proved to the rural residents that the services that they offered were not expensive and that it was very advisable to get tested in a bid to preventing blindness and in turn patients in the rural areas increased in the health care facilities that Aravind Eye Care Clinic had set up because they were now convinced that the operations were working and that the prices that Aravind Eye Care Clinic was charging for these services were low comparing with other clinics were getting quality health care was very expensive.
This caused a sudden increase in the number of patients that visited the clinics in that most of the patients had now been convinced that the services that were being offered at the clinic were good and again that they were cheap compared to the rest of the health care facilities that were found in the rural areas (Fisk 2011, p. 58).
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