Social Entrepreneurship in India: Quarter Idealism and a Pound of Pragmatism
Author: Madhukar Shukla
9789353882372 | PB | pp. 284 | 2020 | SAGE Response
With lessons from 120 real-life examples of Indian social ventures, the book dissects the phenomenon of ‘social entrepreneurship’ and highlights how ordinary entrepreneurs solve some of the most critical social problems strategically.
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While the phrase ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ sounds oxymoronic, it certainly is not an unfamiliar concept in the Indian market and society. India is a hub of social entrepreneurship and has a long history of doing business for social causes. The business giants like Amul, Aravind Eyecare, Lijjat, Sulabh Shauchalay, etc. have been solving social problems through entrepreneurial strategies since ages.
Inspired by tech giants like Uber or Paytm, aspiring entrepreneurs are looking for problems that can be solved through new business ideas. The emergence of social entrepreneurship as an identifiable sector and as a discipline/field of study has become a social phenomenon.
The book starts with tracing the historical roots and the milestone which have led to the recent emergence of social entrepreneurship as a recognized sector of practice and study. Rather than fitting ‘social entrepreneurs’ in a box, it identifies the qualities and patterns of successful social entrepreneurs, both as a person and how they function.
Sifting through these diverse approaches to solve social problems, it proposes five broad but distinct types of Indian social entrepreneurs. It describes how social entrepreneurs, like any other entrepreneur, identify opportunities and gaps in the ‘market’, develop innovative solutions to address those problems, and use entrepreneurial strategies to build and scale their ventures.It also discuss the key problems of access to basic social goods (e.g., education, healthcare, credit, etc.) by the poor segment of Indian society, the challenges in servicing this segment and successful entrepreneurial models which social entrepreneurs use to impact their lives. As scaling the impact is an essential requirement for the social entrepreneurs to make a difference in the society and lives of people, the book also discusses three different ways in which social entrepreneurs scale, and the prerequisites and challenges in scaling.
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About the Author
The author is the chairperson of Fr Arrupe Centre for Ecology and Sustainability and Professor (Strategic Management & OB) at XLRI Jamshedpur (India). He has a keen interest in theory and practice of social entrepreneurship. He also serves on the Board of School of Management & Labour Studies, TISS, and is a member of the Board of Governors of XLRI Jamshedpur.
He holds a Master’s degree in Psychology from Lucknow University and is a PhD from IIT, Kanpur. Prior to Joining XLRI in 1990, he has worked with National Productivity Council and Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad. He was also a visiting faculty to ESADE, Barcelona, during 1993–1994.
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