Muhammad Yunus speaks to NYUVinay Ganti
31st Jan 2009
Here are some high level points from his talk last night. My own observations are preceded by initials, while comments he said are left alone. I kept them in this order as this was the original chronology of how they developed:
- (VG) Power of one man: it is impossible to not be in awe when you listen to what he has done.
- (VG) Amazing brand image: While they may not be concerned with profit, there is no question that Grameen is very focused on building and maintining a strong brand identity that in itself is opening doors and creating opportunities.
- Low tech + high tech: much of what Grameen does is marry high tech with existing/traditional products. The prime example is Grameen Danone which uses a dietary staple of Bangladeshi children to transmit nutrition.
- “I wondered what I was doing” – his question when he realized he does not own a single share in any of his companies. (VG) This unyielding desire to create is found in any successful entrepreneur. For them money is only one part of what drives them.
- “Human beings have multiple dimensions as should businesses”
- “You don’t need fancy packaging in a social business because you are making something you need”
- “Why should people pay for something they will throw away” — his response to make the the packaging to Danon Yogurt not only bio-degradable (currently happening) but edible and nutritious as well! (Danon is working on it).
- Poverty museums — one day we will take our children to these to show them what the world was like when people still existed in poverty
- “Technology is like water it takes the shape of whatever you put it in” — it is not the technology that is critical but it is being use for
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