Hippocratic Oath for Social Entrepreneurs

On the final day of the Acara Summer Institute 2011, after the teams had made their final presentations, this appeal from Dr. Trilochan Sastry stayed with me: Whether you sell drip irrigation or polytunnel kits to farmers or build toilets for slum dwellers, could you ensure that the potential downside to your target users is …

Continue reading

Arming farmers with timely information – what it really means

Reuters Market Light (RML). ITC eChoupal. Ekgaon Technologies. IKSL. TCS mKrishi. These are some of the leading social enterprise initiatives from established companies or startups that are attempting to deliver relevant information (crop prices, subsidies, weather, crop diseases, etc.) to India’s farmers so they can make better decisions. There’s no better to understand the final …

Continue reading

Differences between CSR and CSV (Creating Shared Value)

Earlier this week, I wrote an overview post on Creating Shared Value. In the foreword, I loosely described the Shared Value concept as ‘CSR on steroids’. As though anticipating such loose characterizations, the authors of the Shared Value paradigm included a section that visually summarizes the key differences between CSR and CSV. I reproduce that …

Continue reading

An agricultural extension innovation going viral: Digital Green

[Editor’s Note: Early this week, I had an engrossing phone conversation with Rikin Gandhi (CEO of agricultural extension pioneer Digital Green). Born and raised in the U.S. and educated at Carnegie Mellon University and MIT, Gandhi “reverse-migrated” to India in 2006 to help start a biodiesel venture in the wastelands of Maharashtra. The venture didn’t …

Continue reading

FarmsNFarmers – a full-service approach to maximizing farmers profits

[Editor’s Note: A few weeks ago, I had an engaging conversation with Shashank Kumar, co-founder of Farms N Farmers, an end-to-end farmer consulting-and-marketing social enterprise with the goal to maximize profits for small plot farmers. This post is based on our conversation and subsequent email exchanges.] After 5 long months, I was finally reminded of …

Continue reading

Establishing commodity cooperatives – role of promoting organizations

[Editor’s Note: This is the final part of a 7-part series on commodity cooperatives in drought prone regions, originally authored as a pre-published paper by Dr. Trilochan Sastry (Academic Dean, IIM-Bangalore and social entrepreneur/activist). Dr. Sastry is shaping a new model for farmer owned-and-run commodity cooperatives in Andhra Pradesh through Center for Collective Development (CCD), …

Continue reading

Establishing commodity cooperatives – promoter philosophy, leadership and cooperative rules

[Editor’s Note: This is part 6 of a 7-part series on commodity cooperatives in drought prone regions, originally authored as a pre-published paper by Dr. Trilochan Sastry (Academic Dean, IIM-Bangalore and social entrepreneur/activist). Dr. Sastry is shaping a new model for farmer owned-and-run commodity cooperatives in Andhra Pradesh through Center for Collective Development (CCD), a …

Continue reading