Firang Invasion of India’s Social Enterprise Ecosystem

As you are reading this, an impassioned group of 500+ individuals from various walks of life would have descended upon Taj Land’s End, Mumbai for Sankalp Forum – India’s largest social enterprise conference. By ‘various walks’, I mean social entrepreneurs, impact investors, strategy consultants, investment advisors, and media. A first-timer at the conference might be …

Continue reading

Five Reasons to be Excited about Sankalp Forum 2012

At the outset I need to mention that I’ll be missing out on this year’s action at Sankalp Forum. Due to a last-minute personal situation, I had to cancel my plans. Instead of live-tweeting with gusto (like last year), I shall be consuming live tweets with gusto. For the uninitiated, Sankalp Forum is India’s largest …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

Thoughts on philanthropy disruption

Two panel discussions at Sankalp Forum 2011, both on impact investing, provided food for thought. One of them focused on  missing impact investors in the Indian social entrepreneurship ecosystem. The other panel (with VCs from Acumen Fund, Omidyar Ventures, and Gray Ghost Ventures), focused on the future of impact investing in India. If one were …

Continue reading

Anand Kumar’s Super 30 Journey

  Well organized conferences usually feature popular speakers towards the start and end of the day. The penultimate session at Sankalp Forum Day#1 featured a talk by Anand Kumar (of Super 30 fame) — and what a talk it turned out to be. It helped that the audience had a high awareness of Super 30 …

Continue reading

Selected Shorts from Sankalp Forum 2011 (Day 2)

[Editor’s Note: The title of this post is a tribute to the popular NPR/PRI radio program Selected Shorts. This post is a sampling of of tweets that I found interesting on day#2. The list could have been longer but it’s been 4-5 days and Twitter limits the tweets in its searches.] Pankaj Khandelwal, Chairman & …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

If I was looking for inspiration…I found it at Sankalp Forum

When I was interviewing Sean Blagsvedt for this post, he casually asked if I was attending Sankalp Forum. “Say, what forum??” was my response. A subsequent perusal of Sankalp Forum‘s site offered sufficient intrigue. A plea for registration fee waiver (on grounds that Techsangam was a non-revenue-generating blog to date) yielded partial success and I …

Continue reading