Commodity Cooperatives in Drought Prone Regions – Part 1

[Editor’s Note: I had a scintillating conversation with Dr. Trilochan Sastry (Academic Dean, IIM-Bangalore and social entrepreneur/activist) a few weeks ago regarding his pioneering work in shaping a new model for farmer owned-and-run commodity cooperatives in Andhra Pradesh. I professed my ignorance about cooperatives in general and Dr. Sastry was kind enough to share his …

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A Call to Social Arms – Part 1

Israel’s mandatory military service program has long been an ideal for some concerned Indian citizens (Israeli citizens need to put in a 2-3 year military stint after turning 18). They argue that a similar program for Indian citizens is the only way to inculcate patriotism and selfless service. Perhaps. After all, we are living in …

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No frills traveling MBA program from TREES (Part 2)

[Editor’s Note: I originally wrote about the education social enterprise “TREE Society” (Training Resources for Enabling Enterprises Society) back in April. In the past few months, they began their fifth pilot (at Timbaktu Collective) and also revamped their website. So what I’ve done is split the original post (it was a bit long) – this …

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Travel Another India – One Village at a Time

[Editor’s Note: Last week, I had an engaging phone chat with Gouthami, co-Founder & CEO of Travel Another India (TAI), a rural responsible tourism social enterprise registered in Chennai. This post is based on our conversation, subsequent email exchanges and related research.] Backstory Gouthami’s 18-year tenure in development agencies reached an inflection point during her …

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Why I Like These Social Enterprises – Part 1

It recently struck me that I should start adding a “What I like about <enterprise x>” section to each post. The section would include social metrics the enterprise is purportedly trying to influence. Instead of editing scores of old posts, I decided to do a round-up post, organizing the posts by category. Agriculture Our first …

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For the poor, what could possibly be more important than food?

Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo’s book Poor Economics continues to live up to its promise. If you’ve missed it, here’s the teaser excerpts I captured last week. I’ve been tweeting insights from the book fairly regularly (using the hashtag #banerjeeduflo). But not all insights can be packaged into 140 character tweets. So here are some …

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Eko’s Race to Profitability Received a Few Booster Shots

Earlier this week, TechSangam was the first blog to report on Eko Financial’s $5.5 million funding round from Creation Investments. TechCrunch’s Sarah Lacy followed with this really nice coverage on Eko. Sure TechCrunch hardly covers the Indian startup ecosystem but I just couldn’t resist the we first jibe. 🙂 When Abhishek Sinha (Eko co-founder & …

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