Social Enterprise in IIM Calcutta
This is a guest post by Abhishek Kapoor, Consultant at Paladion Networks
As convocation comes close, I am revisiting the year I spent in IIMC doing one year full time MBA. Three significant events happened – Lattice (The PGPEX networking event), TEDx and Social Venture Incubation Cell (SVIC) Formation, informal as of now.
I would like to share how the SVIC got formed starting from myself getting motivated and ending with motivation getting spread to many others virally!
My first brush with social enterprises was during 2006-07 when my wife did a course in Social Enterprise Management at SIES, Nerul, Navi Mumbai. As I had to complete most of the assignments and project work for my wife, I also ended up in learning lots of stuff about contemporary work happening in social arena, work such as micro finance, eChoupal etc.
Post joining IIMC, I read a post in Hindu on Unconvention, a conference on rural innovation to be held in Chennai for 3 days during December 2009. Intuition, thats all guided me to enroll for this event. I knew nothing about the speakers, nothing about rural innovation so far, nothing about incubation cells in IITM or other places! Never really knew that so much was happening. Unconvention changed me unconventionally really, thanks to Paul Basil for organizing such a lovely event. What a wonderful and humble human being he is. Another assurance of goodness originating from the country of gods, Kerala!
Motivated, elevated, innovated, incubated and socialated (!), I was a man with a mission. I decided to initiate something similar in IIMC. Event? Cell? Body? Team? Didnt know. But something was to be done. As usual, I started with top gear. My life-bike doesnt have initial gears so the only way to work for me is to get into 3rd gear at minimum.
Started from conceiving a similar event of 2 days, got that reduced to one day later as I thought the best way to launch SVIC was through an event. Didnt get enough momentum in the campus and then I thought of trying my connection in the IIMC Alumni Kolkata chapter where I had my elder brother (8th batch IIMC) as my godfather! Few dialogue and I got a slot to deliver a presentation in the 2nd week of Feb’10.
Just before the presentation, another event happened in XLRI on inclusive development organized by Prof Madhukar Shukla’s team. Prof MadShu, as he is widely known amongst XLites, is full of contagious energy and enthusiasm. Another event, another round of connection, another dose of motivation for me! Back to campus with another bang.
Created the presentation and delivered to the alumni in Bengal Club. Few arguments, few supporting evidences and we had the mentor from Alumni ready – my brother himself! Only one demand from alumni – you get the entrepreneurs, we commit our support.
Back to campus, on the laptop, logged in to student dashboard and left a small message to PGP to contact me if anyone is interested in launching an enterprise with social objective. 5 responses with two from PGP-2 and three from PGP-1. Two from PGP-1 were Vivekanandan and Winny Patro. Vivek is getting into Butterfly Farming and Winny into Handloom Stores. I would like them to narrate their story in their own language hence not elaborating this much here.
Once two entrepreneurs were ready, I immediately started looking for mentors from the faculty. Four of them are willingly providing their support and guidance to the venture formation. Vivek and Winny have also met the alumni representative to explain their models. Thus all connections are in place now.
The event didnt happen but the connections are made. Next year, we may see event also happening if things move as per plan and enthusiasm builds up further. SVIC? Should get formed next year.
Huff Huff! One small milestone achieved!!
Next year, we can expect two enterprises with social objectives coming out form IIMC!
About AbhiShek Kapoor:
Executive with 13+ years’ experience including delivery management, proposal presentation, sales support, P/L tracking, solution design, service development and implementation in the domains of IT Risk Management, Infrastructure Planning & Operations.
Passionate about mass market of India, inclusion, rural technologies and innovation, social objective driven enterprises, children education, travel, mirco-entrepreneurship, my home town Kashipur (Uttaranchal) and my family!
Working on a defined roadmap of 3 years at least in which a complete cycle of delivery-team building-client management-leadership development-business growth can be ensured. Would face tough targets and extreme challenges without any scope of complacency. Would get connected with the customer base directly through presales / business development / marketing / delivery etc.
Would build competencies in business development, sales and rural marketing. Post MBA, would leverage the insights and skills gained from earlier roles in Information Security management, IT Risk Advisory, Consulting delivery, Presales, IT infra and airline domain