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Sprinkles Global Health Initiative
Team: Laura Bogomolny ’08, Enrique Coronado ’08, Matthew Schabacker ’09, Peter Wolfgang ’08
Project: Healthcare - Demand Forecasting Model development
Supervisor: Dr. Stanley Zlotkin, SGHI Founder and CEO; and Jesus Macias, Business Manager SGHI
Mentor: Ricky Surie, Genpact executive and McKinsey Alum in Development member
Sprinkles Global Health Initiative (SGHI) is a nonprofit organization based in Toronto, Canada. SGHI’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of women and children worldwide by enabling the home-fortification of foods through the distribution of Sprinkles, an iron supplement. SGHI has a special focus on eliminating iron-deficiency anemia amongst children aged 6 months to 24 months.
Sprinkles, developed by the SGHI, are packaged in sachets, in a similar manner to small packets of sugar. Sprinkles consist of a blend of micronutrients in powder form. Any homemade food can be instantly fortified by adding Sprinkles. Coating of the iron included in the powder prevents changes to the taste, color or texture of the food to which Sprinkles are added. Sprinkles are currently marketed and distributed in several countries around the globe, on a small scale.
For this project, SGHI wanted to develop a demand forecasting model. The purpose of developing such a model was twofold. First, it was a required component of a proposal to be submitted to the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), a Gates Foundation affiliate. The proposal would request multi-million dollar funding to support the large-scale roll-out of Sprinkles across India (India has the highest concentration of malnourished children in the world), and in six other countries in Asia. Secondly, going forward the model would help SGHI convince marketing and distribution experts in other parts of the world to partner with SGHI and champion the promotion of Sprinkles.
As part of this project, the team helped SGHI identify the four key factors that would impact demand for Sprinkles: potential market size, distribution capabilities, strength of marketing and advertising campaigns, and regulatory and legal issues. The team then worked with SGHI’s partners in India — Population Services International and Hexagon Nutrition Ltd. — to determine the parameters of a demand forecasting model.
Research and Model Development
The team conducted primary and secondary research, and gathered information from SGHI’s partners, PSI and Hexagon, as well as from GAIN and the Gates Foundation. The team analyzed the size of the market for iron supplements in India, and examined the strength of PSI and Hexagon’s marketing and distribution networks, as well as the regulatory hurdles SGHI would need to overcome in order to promote Sprinkles nationwide. This involved examining relationships with healthcare providers and legislation regarding pharmaceutical marketing and other issues.
Real World Implications
By identifying the various factors that impact demand for Sprinkles and outlining how these factors interact, the team was able to provide SGHI with a strong framework for evaluating the likelihood of Sprinkles’ success in any market globally while simultaneously providing a detailed analysis of Sprinkles’ prospects in India. The team also helped to raise SGHI’s profile in India by building connections with senior executives at external organizations involved in this initiative.
The team's travel costs were supported by the Social Enterprise Program through its International Development Consulting Project Travel Fund and the Falez Family International Development Fellowship.
Social Enterprise Summer Fellows
“My experience working with communities in India and Africa, as well as on developing public-private partnerships with government and non-profit agencies, convinced me of the need for innovative approaches to international development”
“I see entrepreneurs as the key leverage point in development, so interning at Ashoka made perfect sense.”
Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy
“This internship matched my interest in harnessing the power and resources in the for profit sector to effect social change.”