The last few years of the past decade have been tumultuous, to say the least. One thing that has become crystal clear is that the power balance in the world is shifting. The world is beckoning the rise of the mighty Asian Tiger. And as the people who are actually fostering this change, we wait impatiently for our nation to rise above all the quagmires it faces right now. We wait for our nation to be at the heart of global Economic Center Stage.
But, the biggest challenge before us is. How do we get there? As we embark on the era of constant growth and a ‘conducive’ business environment, the question that one needs to ask is whether the road to being a super power is inclusive enough for it to benefit all?
To find answers to the above, Vihaan (Social service cell) and E-cell (Entrepreneurship Cell) at FMS brought together an eminent panel at the Annual Conclave-2011 to shed light on the topic: "Unleashing Entrepreneurship - Making Business Work for the Poor"
Dr. Kuriakose Mamkoottam, former Dean, FMS and currently Professor & Dean of School of Business, Public Policy & Social Entrepreneurship, Ambedkar University Delhi talked about the various issues faced in India currently and how the students of eminent B-schools like FMS can bring about a paradigm shift and play a crucial part in resolving them. He urged the students to use the immense knowledge and capabilities they possess to challenge themselves, take calculated risks and create support systems, thus making a difference to society. According to him, fear of failure among young students was the chief obstacle to this and B-schools must encourage students to take the plunge by making changes in their policies. ‘Placement Holiday’ at FMS was started keeping this in mind, wherein a student can opt out of placements to start a new venture, and in case he so wishes, can come back and sit for placements within 2 years. This aims to encourage entrepreneurship inclination among students.
The next speaker was Mrs Anu Lall, an XLRI alum who is currently working as the Director, Special Initiatives at Delhi Management Association. Founded in 1955, DMA is a premier and prestigious non-profit professional body, devoted to dissemination of management principles and practices, providing a wide range of services aimed at enhancing managerial effectiveness in a broad sphere of activities. She mainly talked about ‘Business for Social Change- unleashing entrepreneurial way for the bottom of the pyramid’. She emphasized on how the triple bottom line approach must be followed for the benefit of the society, instead of just going for profitability in any business. She focussed on the issues faced by the Bottom 60 (B60) segment and gave examples of organizations like ‘Life Spring’, ‘Selco’ and ‘Goonj’, who help address problems in Healthcare, Energy and other basic necessities.
The next speaker for the day was Pramod Joshi, a 1987 alumnus of IIM Bangalore and Founder and Partner of The Winning Mantra. He is currently working as an Advisor for Higher Education at the Shiv Nadar foundation, a foundation which has a vision to create a more equitable and meritocracy based society by enabling individuals to bridge the socio-economic gap in the society through the dissemination of world class education. He talked about Corporate Social Responsibility in the New Age and how various organizations have incorporated and implemented CSR activities. Talking about the Shiv Nadir foundation, he explained how the organization helps provide value based education to meritorious students from rural India by providing them scholarships and other opportunities. He called upon the students to do something real and valuable for the betterment of the country and the world at large, instead of just vying for high-paying MNC jobs.
The discussion showed how the success of an economy is reflected in freedom for all to work and sustain a living without any constraints. Thus, Entrepreneurship in its various forms and serving different classes of customers (including those that belong to bottom of the pyramid) provided a solution without impeding the country’s growth momentum.
Hence today, large organizations find it extremely important to empower the rural masses to be entrepreneurs so that these masses may then contribute to their bottom-line.
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