Sunday, 15 July 2012

Social Entrepreneurship : Bringing change to the lives of poor people

INTRODUCTION

How many of us ever go on to create something  that will benefit the people belonging to the lowest strata of society ?

Honestly speaking only few of us has the vision to create something like this. Harish Hande and Nand Kishore Chaudhary. 

Chaudhary started  Jaipur Rugs and Harish started  Selco. 

JAIPUR RUGS


Jaipur Rugs  is a Indian carpet making company based in Jaipur founded by Nand Kishore Chaudhary . Jaipur Rugs is the largest manufacturer and exporter of Indian hand-knotted rugs. Jaipur Rugs procure wool from different sources and then it give to 28,000 traditional weavers who are living in nine different states of India. 


Jaipur Rugs operates with the help of a complex web of humanresources:Approximately 300 direct, full-time employees:
  • 7 family members
  • 226 headquarters employees
  • 70 regional branch office staff, including 40 area commanders approximately 
  • 40,000 contractors (indirect employees): 28,000 weavers and 12,000 other laborers involved in the manufacturing process

Jaipur Rugs is changing the traditional model of middleman-ownedlooms to enable weavers to own their own looms. They support weaversto obtain subsidies from the government that help finance 50 to 75percent of the cost of the looms in some regions. For example, JaipurRugs began working in Sonbhadra district (in the Mirzapur region) in2006. In this district, a number of weavers had transitioned fromworking on looms owned by middlemen to purchasing their own looms.It cost Rs 7000–8000 (USD $152–USD $174) for a locally-made loom,and Rs 16,000–20,000 (USD $348–USD $435) for a higher-qualityloom. In this region, it is common to see double looms on which twosumak rugs can be made at the same time. Weavers can start with justhalf the loom at a cost of Rs 3000–4000 (USD $65–USD $87) andupgrade later to the full double loom. In some cases, the company loanslooms to weavers until the weavers gain enough credibility to get amonetary loan to purchase their own looms. For example Mr. Sakir Ali was a weaver in Sonbhadra district, who had been working directly for Jaipur Rugs since 2006. Within his first 1.5 years of working for Jaipur Rugs, he bought two new double looms and said that he earned more income than he did previously when he worked for a middleman. His wife and two daughters were trained by Jaipur Rugs Foundation. He was happy that his two daughters were weaving because they could earn money in the home without having to work in the fields.His wife also said that she was happy because she could earn money forher family and work beside her two daughters.



Jaipur Rugs  is not only  facilitating  weavers in their daily wage earning but also creating entrepreneur out of them.  Rohitari is an entrepreneur in Sonbhadra district, who used to be a weaver. He used his own resources to purchase three looms and as of May,2008, he employed 12 people. He produces rugs exclusively for Jaipur Rugs and uses the revenues to pay back his loom loans and reinvest in his business, which he plans to continue to expand.

Below given is a snapshot which shows how Jaipur Rugs is making a difference. 




The company’s social values are reflected in its commitment toprovide the following:

Competitive wages
—Wages paid by the company give peopleoptions to have a better quality of life than the alternative workavailable in villages.

Investment in skills training
—The main activities of the JaipurRugs Foundation are to recruit and train new weavers for thecompany.Because of the social impact that Jaipur Rugs has onmany regions of the country, the government subsidizes the cost of looms and training in certain regions.

Access to healthcare and education
—The Jaipur Rugs Foundation leverages alliances with other NGOs that provide healthcare and education to the weavers.

Opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs
—When he recognizes contractors who do good work and have the right attitude,Chaudhary believes in giving them loans so that they can becomekey links in the overall production process. As a result of hisrecognition of their talents, many contractors see their incomes,social standing, and capabilities multiply


SELCO


SELCO India is a Bangalore based social enterprise that makes solar lightingtechnology accessible to the economically impoverished people of India. SELCO’smission is based on a simple but powerful idea that the economic conditions of theimpoverished can be improved substantially if they are made productive.And one of the biggest hurdles before such productivity of the Indian poor is their inaccessibility to clean andcost effective sources of electricity. Most of India’s rural population does not have access toelectricity. Instead, they are dependent on highly polluting and inefficient sources of energysuch as kerosene or forest wood. Solar lights are free from pollution and provide greater illumination. However, given an average rural income of less than US$ 50 per month, upfrontinvestment in solar lighting, ranging from US$200 to US$500, can be expensive andseemingly unviable for the average rural household. To tide over this situation, SELCO madesustained efforts to persuade state owned rural banks to lend money to households so thatthey can make the purchase. They worked extensively with these state owned bank, anarduous task in India, to ensure that the repayment pattern matched the cash flow that would be generated as a result of the additional income facilitated by the purchase of solar lights.


SELCO was founded in 1995 by Dr Harish Hande, who did his Masters and PhD fromUniversity of Massachusetts, Lowel, at the Centre for Sustainable Energy. Since his graduatestudent days, Harish firmly believed in the potential of solar energy for improving productivity of rural households. He was confident that the economically backward would be able to leverage solar technology and it was possible to build a profitable business model even while such business met a larger social objective. However, to make it sustainable, the users of solar lights should be provided with doorstep financing and doorstep services. It wouldalso necessitate customizing the product and associated services for specific needs of the poor.Till date, SELCO has sold solar lighting to more than 100,000 rural homes and institutions inthe Indian state of Karnataka. Employing about 170 people, SELCO services thesehouseholds from 25 service centers scattered all across rural Karnataka. For its efforts SELCO and Harish has received several awards and recognition. While SELCO has been ableto establish a sustainable business model that realizes Harish’s vision of bringing low cos tenergy solution to the economically impoverished, its challenge today is to create greater impact by scaling their business as well as creating an organization that sustains its success beyond the tenure of its founding members.



Till date, SELCO has sold solar lighting to more than 100,000 rural homes and institutions inthe Indian state of Karnataka. Employing about 170 people, SELCO services thesehouseholds from 25 service centers scattered all across rural Karnataka. For its effortsSELCO and Harish has received several awards and recognition. While SELCO has been ableto establish a sustainable business model that realizes Harish’s vision of bringing low costenergy solution to the economically impoverished, its challenge today is to create greater impact by scaling their business as well as creating an organization that sustains its success beyond the tenure of its founding members.









2 comments:

  1. wonderful.. I will come back... to your blog. I will see it more carefully.. Good to get inspired by students. dr mandi

    ReplyDelete