Vignesh Illavarasan is featured as ICT Champion by the IDRC Asia Office:
P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi has identified situations in which mobile phones lead to positive development outcomes. Since 2008, he has been involved in research on the economic and social impact of ICTs, especially mobile phones. His research interests are focused on how micro-entrepreneurs, especially women, leverage ICTs for economic growth.
According to Ilavarasan, the role of ICTs in social and economic development is complex. To understand the patterns involved would require systematic examination of how multiple, interdependent factors play out in different user groups and environments.
Ilavarasan’s research shows that mobile phones can indeed play a role in the social empowerment of women micro-entrepreneurs. Businesses owned by women in the informal economy, in particular, may experience economic growth from the combination of ICT access and owner motivation. He says that the more that women micro-entrepreneurs use their mobile phones, the more likely they will experience some economic growth.