Tag Archives: Entrepreneurs

This is how we do it!

This is how we do it!

Half the world’s population simply wants what the other half takes for granted.

At the turn of the new Millennium, the World Bank carried out a massive effort designed to understand poverty from the perspective of the poor, interviewing more than 60,000 underprivileged women and men from 60 countries for its landmark Voices of the Poorproject. What was most important to them?  Providing for their families good food, healthcare, education for their children, safety and dignity. In other words, half the world’s population – the 2.5 billion women, men and children living at the base of the pyramid — simply wants what the other half takes for granted.

There is a deal of talk on Social Innovation and solutions that can provide succour to underprivileged people, particularly in rural areas, education, access to healthcare, good jobs, higher incomes and better social status.

Fostering equity, sustainability and enterprise require reforms at every level, from government to business, community and the economy. But such change doesn’t happen organically; it is brought in by social entrepreneurs who catalyze the need in every individual to move towards freedom, self-sustenance and opportunity into a vital force to help people help themselves.

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Reflections by the Brahmaputra


BrahmaputraThe IIT Guwahati on the banks of the great river that runs over a km wide at this state capital, had its students hold their annual festival, Udgam in early January. About a thousand students of the 6000 on campus of B. Tech, other bachelor degrees, PHDs, and Master students combine to hold this festival once a year.

It is a lecture series held over the weekend with eminent business wizards and entrepreneurs delivering lectures on their work. The intent is to have them share their experiences and inspire the students. People from diverse fields of knowledge participate in the event and share their knowledge. Among them this year was a brand specialist from Bangalore, an Education Network consultant and Hariharan of ZED.

Among those who have been speakers at this platform are stalwarts from industry like Mohit Dubey (carwale.com), Arun Shourie, Mira Sanyal (former CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland), Soumodip Sarkar, an economist, and the CEO of Mumbai Dabbawala Association, Anuja Chauhan, a former executive creative director of J Walter Thompson, and so on.

Other such events of the IIT Guwahati are the half marathon, the Technothlon, and the Techniche. Says Hariharan, “The quality of thinking among the young as I found at the Sabarmati Ashram two weeks ago among 450 other students, and now here at Guwahati is remarkable.”

Here were about 650 first year students and about 2000 students from the subsequent years of the IIT programs at Guwahati, participating. “Their levels of concerns on India are truly beyond their age in terms of maturity,” he added.

“There were B. Tech students of chemistry and mathematics who had rejected offers of up to 1.3 crores last year! These boys have opted to continue their masters and then to get on to research rather than fall for the lure of money.”

These islands of relative excellence in India are securing a greater commitment from the youngsters trained in their portals, unlike in the past when their predecessors went with the sole intent of taking attractive salary packages, and not putting their learning to better use.

This trend has nothing really to do with the institutions themselves; it is to do with the change in India’s young.

It is heartening to hear such commitment from the young especially when we know that there are 600 million Indians who are under 25 and 150 million of them just crossing 18 years as they gain their right to vote in the Parliamentary elections for the first time.
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