Wheeling the UP rickshaw pullers away from exploitation

[Editor’s Note: Last week I had a phone conversation with Naveen Krishna, Managing Director of SMV Wheels (a Varanasi-based social enterprise with an innovative business model that steers cycle rickshaw pullers away from exploitative rickshaw merchants). Naveen is a Masters in Social Work graduate from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) who learnt all about the rickshaw …

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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 …

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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 …

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BOPEEI: Generating off-grid electricity in cloudy and coastal regions

[Editor’s Note: An early blog subscriber and friend clued me onto an energy inclusion social enterprise started by one of her classmates from University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. The entrepreneur is Ashish Gawade and the enterprise is BOPEEI. This blog post is based on my phone conversation with Ashish and related research.] How …

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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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Creating a killer user experience for the MFI field agents

[Editor’s Note: Earlier this week, I spent a few hours chatting with Sameer Segal at his cozy rooftop office digs in HSR Layout. Sameer is the Founder & CEO of one-year old Artoo, a startup with a vision of a “Paperless Microfinance” world with reduced delays and dramatically reduced expenses via its flagship Android application …

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Khata Kholo Har Darwaza Kholo – Eko’s Branchless Banking (Part 1)

[Editor’s Note: A few weeks ago I had an engaging phone conversation with Abhishek Sinha, co-founder and CEO of Eko Financial Services, a trailblazing branchless banking social enterprise that’s making a dramatic difference to the lives of India’s migrants. This two-part series draws extensively from our phone conversation, follow-up email exchanges, and related research. Khata …

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A monster in the making: the Babajob story

[Editor’s Note: Last week, I drove down to Richmond Town, Bangalore to interview Sean Blagsvedt, Founder & CEO of Babajob. Babajob’s office is in the 3rd floor of an apartment-style commercial building opposite the Hockey Stadium. Over a delicious cup of cappuccino and a cozy rooftop setting, Sean opened up on how he got to …

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