In the realm of social entrepreneurship, India is the epicenter of impact investing and the hub of innovation in the social enterprise. Unlike other countries where the agenda is being decided and driven by government or huge private enterprises, India has led its footprint as the innovator who has dared to plunge into the world of social entrepreneurship.
You're probably wondering what social entrepreneurship is and who is a social entrepreneur. Well, a social entrepreneur is an innovator, a passionate professional with a zeal for business and a social outlook. Social entrepreneurship means to innovate and evolve a business model through which you can make a profit and contribute to social progress. Social upliftment and business innovation are at the core of social entrepreneurship.
India has a rich history and a legacy of several outstanding individuals who have in the past few years, taken efforts to shape India’s tryst with social enterprise. To name a few;
- Mahatma Gandhi; Father of India and of social enterprise through his innovation of Khadi;
- Dr. Verghese Kurien, father of India’s milk revolution;
- Anil Kumar Gupta, IIM-A professor and founder of Honeybee Network;
- Harish Hande, co-founder Selco Solar;
- Dr. G. Venkataswamy, founder of Aravind Eye Hospital;
- Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder of Airtel.
Let us also look at some changemakers of today, who are helping the country through their innovative business models.
Husk power system is based in Bihar and is co-founded by Gyanesh Pandey, Manoj Sinha, and Ratnesh Yadav. They have developed a technology of electricity production through rice husk which is abundantly available in that area. They provide eco-friendly and easy electricity to several rural people in the region at a very affordable price.
Frontier Markets is founded by Ajaitha Shah who aims to bring highest technologies at lower prices in rural India. Frontier Markets Organisation is her brainchild which is recognised by several famous publications. She is also ranked among the most influential leaders below 30 by the Business Week.
Founded by Sumita Ghose, Rangsutra is an ethical clothing brand which builds a bridge between rural artisans and urban fashion. Rangsutra brings handmade ethnic clothing, handicraft, and jewellery from skilled artisans in rural India to the markets and helps them get a valuable price for their hard work. It is today helping 1800 artisans from India to make a decent living through their art.
Vatsalya Healthcare is founded by Ashwin Naik. It works passionately in the rural healthcare sector of India. 70% of Indians live in semi-urban and rural India; however, the healthcare system is concentrated mostly in the urban areas. Vatsalya is now trying to bridge this gap by building and maintaining hospitals to ensure optimum rural healthcare.
Founded by Aditya Baran Mallick, The Institution for Quality Skill Training aims to extend help the youth from poor backgrounds to have a better living. It works in over 13 states of India and seeks to admit 50,000 students every year. The turnover of this institute is Rs. 2.5 crore and is funded by Kitendo Capital; a Switzerland based angel impact investment fund.
With so many innovators and brilliant changemakers, India will undoubtedly see a bright future in social development and business. Deshpee Group appreciates the efforts taken by all the bright minds who have collaborated commercial profit with social development.
Taking inspiration from the thought, we have also tried to give back to the society. Our offspring, Nelda Foundation dedicates itself to environmental causes and aims to reach its goal of influencing the plantation and maintenance of a billion trees within 25 years in India.