Among the top stories this week, we feature Next Billion’s interview of Gaurav Gupta from Dalberg who makes a persuasive argument that we need to think a little differently about how we frame the idea of base of the pyramid business. Also, don’t miss the stories behind three very interesting social enterprises this week – Punarnawa Crafts – who is reviving India’s heritage, Desta – who is adding several new ways to increase the income of rural people and one of our interesting Artha Venture Challenge finalists Jack on Block - a new age facilities management company that seeks to solve the chronic urban housekeeping problem
Framing the BoP : Dalberg’s Gupta on avoiding negative definitions for BoP business
How we perceive people living at the base of the pyramid affects just about everything else a social entrepreneur, an NGO, or a multinational company does from that point on – whether it’s hiring, sourcing products from, or selling to low-income people.
Stuart L. Hart, founding director of the Emergent Institute and president of Enterprise for a Sustainable World, noted at the BoP Summit last month that it’s time to move away from BoP 1.0, or thinking of the BoP merely in terms of producers/consumers. Instead, Hart said it’s time to begin adopting a BoP 2.0 mindset. He defined that as considering the base of the pyramid as business partners, engaging in deep dialogue with customers, co-creating sustainable technologies and developing direct, personal relationships.
In short, Hart advocated a platform-based approach that harnesses several industries and sectors to fight poverty (think microfinance) instead of a “sharp-shooter” approach (think water filters).
That was the basis for the discussion with Gaurav Gupta, Dalberg’s regional director for Asia, after day one of the conference. Read more here.
Punarnawa Crafts: developing new ways to revive an ancient Indian heritage
India is one of the important suppliers of handicrafts to the world market. This industry provides employment to over six million artisans in rural and semi urban areas and generates substantial foreign exchange for the country, creating particular masterpieces made of metal, wood carvings, hand printed textiles, leather, lacquer, marble etc.; a wide range of crafts produced in more than 40 different areas around India. However, it remains largely fragmented and unorganized; suffering from lack of education, low capital, and poor exposure to new technologies.
In a bid to preserve traditional handicraft practices from extinction, keep its rich history alive and empower local rural communities, Punarnawa Crafts is creating livelihood chains for artisans via skill & design development trainings. Read their story here
Social Enterprise Showcase: Jack On Block – A handy plan for the handyman
“In 2010 I was setting up my apartment in Bangalore. It then struck me that there is a definite problem with the quality and availability of simple handyman and repair services in India. In 2012, I decided to activate this learning and revolutionise this disorganised labour sector.”
Sharath Vatsa, Founder and CEO at Jack On Block, a social enterprise facilities management company talks about offering reliable urban housekeeping services while giving the informal domestic sector dignified, credible jobs. Incidently, Jack On Block is also one of the finalists for the Artha Venture Challenge. Read their story here
Connecting rural India and India Inc: Just another Desta day
Village first: Nishant Banore
A meeting in a village in northern Maharashtra’s Akola district is on. In attendance are the village elders and other residents including Ranjeet Dhomne, a designated village manager who represents the social venture Desta. Dhomne, who also runs Dhomne Krishi Seva Kendra in the village‚ is listening to some of the issues the villagers have been facing. Farmers ask Dhomne questions about what crops they should sow or how they could optimize the output of their fields as it rained heavily this year.
The discussion rolls on and some other representatives of Desta start talking to the villagers about products that can help them generate or save money. Read more about Desta
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