Tag Archives | migrant

Returning to the Migration Meme

In the past week, three conversations with three different migrants in Bangalore (all working as security guards) reminded me why I need to devote more time (and blog space) to the migration meme. Conversation #1: RMM works for Handiman Services as a security guard supervisor in Koramangala. RMM is 50 years old, hails from Jajpur […]

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Abhay Mishra goes to Sikkim Manipal University

Abhay Mishra (name changed for this story) is 24 years old. He’s halfway through his MBA program at Sikkim Manipal University after completing a 2-year computer course and a B.A. degree. He has never worked in his life. Abhay’s father, Mishra-ji (name changed), is a man in his mid-50′s and works as a security guard […]

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Calcutta’s dying breed of ‘human horses’

As part of my research for an upcoming post on SMV Wheels (a social enterprise serving the rickshaw puller community), I’ve read many articles and viewed several photoessays. A photo gallery from National Geographic (April 2008) on Calcutta’s dying breed of rickshaw pullers (called ‘human horses’) is a great piece of photo journalism. I’ve embedded […]

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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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Khata Kholo Har Darwaza Kholo – Eko’s Branchless Banking (Part 2)

This is part 2 of our coverage on Eko‘s Branchless Banking solution play (Part 1 is here). Eko-SBI-Migrants = Win-Win-Win As you may recall from our earlier analysis (Banking for India’s Domestic Migrants), nearly 50% of migrants prefer to use banks for remittances but only 30% actually use banks. They yearn for the security and […]

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A fresh look at the migration narrative

During one of the panel discussions at last week’s Sankalp Forum, an interesting conversation emerged. Two early-stage VCs (Seed Fund’s Mahesh Murthy and Kae Capital’s Sasha Mirchandani) were making the point that it wasn’t a case of missing ‘investors’ as much as it was a case of missing ‘entrepreneurs’. Of course, their perspective was that […]

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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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Banking for India’s Domestic Migrants

India’s 100 million strong domestic migrants contribute a whopping 10% of its GDP. As I covered in The Twentyfirst Century Kabuliwalas of India, domestic migrants are one of the missing links in India’s development. A key recommendation from a study commissioned by UK-based Overseas Development Institute is that migrants need dramatically improved access to market […]

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The Twentyfirst Century Kabuliwalas of India

Rabindranath Tagore (Bengali poet, novelist, playwright, painter and musician) is renowned for so many works of art that it seems almost criminal to dwell on a personal favorite. Yet I must. Tagore’s Kabuliwala is a poignant tale set in Calcutta about a poor Pathan from Afghanistan (Abdur Rehman Khan) who lives with his old mother […]

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