Rajiv Khandelwal and Krishnavtar Sharma Awarded Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 for India


The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, in partnership with the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation, has announced that Rajiv Khandelwal and Krishnavtar Sharma, co-founders of Aajeevika Bureau, are the winners of the India Social Entrepreneur of the Year. Kapil Sibal, Minister of Human Resource Development, Science and Technology of India, handed the award to the winners in New Delhi. Aajeevika Bureau has introduced a unique photo identification card for inter-state migrants, allowing them to access banking, mobile telephone and other government services and citizenship entitlements. In addition, the organization offers skills training, job placement, legal aid and counselling (more details can be found in the profile below).

More than 100 applicants entered the sixth competition for the “India Social Entrepreneur of the Year” selection process. On behalf of ‘Jubilant Bhartia Foundation’, Start Up! – an angel investor and advisor to social entrepreneurs – managed the outreach and the due diligence process for the SEOY India 2010 Award. After several stages of rigorous assessment, four finalists were chosen. An independent panel of pre-eminent judges met on 12 November to select the winners from among the finalists. The judges this year included: Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson of the Hindustan Times; Y. C. Deveshwar, Chairman of ITC Ltd; Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson of Arghyam Foundation; Sudha Pillai, Member Secretary of the Planning Commission; and Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation.

The award has been given annually in the country since 2005 to individuals who have founded organizations or companies with targeted social missions benefiting underserved communities. The winners enter the global network of 200 leading social entrepreneurs of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a sister organization of the World Economic Forum.

Winner Profile: Rajiv Khandelwal and Krishnavtar Sharma, Aajeevika Bureau, Udaipur

Co-founded by Rajiv Khandelwal and Krishnavtar Sharma in 2004, Aajeevika Bureau is headquartered in Udaipur, with offices in Ahmedabad, Jaipur and seven blocks of southern Rajasthan, where, every year, an estimated 800,000 rural workers migrate seasonally to Gujarat and Karnataka.

All of Aajeevika Bureau’s clients are unskilled and semi-skilled men and women with annual family incomes of less than INR 36,000. They are typically unviable for self-help group or microfinance loans due to their migratory status and lack of assets.

Aajeevika Bureau offers rural seasonal migrants photo identity and financial services, skills training, and partnerships with local governments and businesses, mostly at their destination points in urban markets.

Over five years, more than 50,000 ultra-poor seasonal migrants have directly accessed the Bureau’s services, registering 50-80% growth in their incomes as well as increased citizenship entitlements. Additionally, Aajeevika’s model has been replicated by more than 30 civil society organizations in Bihar, Orissa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

The Social Entrepreneur of the Year Finalists are:

Santosh Kumar Choubey, AISECT

The AISECT network has over 8,000 education centres across 27 states in India. The organization focuses on IT skills training in rural areas. It has a student base of about 1 million to date, resulting in 6,000 self-employed people.

Anant Kumar, Lifespring Hospitals Pvt. Ltd

LifeSpring has nine hospitals in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Its mission is to enable low-income women to access high-quality maternal healthcare in India. It has delivered more than 7,000 healthy babies, and doctors have treated over 100,000 outpatient cases.

Ashwin Naik, Vaatsalya Healthcare Solutions Pvt. Ltd

Vaatsalya provides affordable and quality healthcare to more than 300,000 customers annually from middle-and low-income families. The focus is on primary and secondary healthcare services (internal medicine, maternal health, pediatrics and general surgery) in large towns and peri-urban areas through 10 hospitals, as of today.


The India SEOY Award identifies and celebrates visionary social entrepreneurs who have demonstrated systems-change models and are at the stage of scaling/replicating their ideas across India and in other countries.

Applications to the India SEOY Awards 2010 opened in May this year. The response was positive, and the qualityof applications were, by far the most competitive. The finalists of this Award were identified through an intensive 4- step process. On behalf of ‘Jubilant Bhartia Foundation’, Start Up! – an angel investor and advisor to social entrepreneurs – managed the outreach and the due diligence process for the SEOY India 2010 Award.

104 social entrepreneurs submitted their applications, of which 25 semi-finalists were moved to the next round of the competition. The Jubilant Bhartia Foundation and the Schwab Foundation teams thereafter identified 6 applications for the next stage of the competition – i.e the due diligence visits.

The four finalists, further selected from this pool, are extraordinary social entrepreneurs who are shaping and scaling large-scale solutions to building an inclusive India. They will meet the jury of the India Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award on 12 November 2010 in New Delhi. The jury will comprise eminent members from the corporate, media and the civil society sectors. The winner (s) will be announced on November 13, 2010.

The Schwab Foundation is a sister organization of the World Economic Forum. The Foundation provides unique regional and global platforms to promote social entrepreneurship as a key element to advancing societies and addressing social problems innovatively and effectively. It also fosters a close-knit community of social entrepreneurs for idea exchange and replication of best practices. Finally, social entrepreneurs gain unprecedented networking opportunities with global decision-makers, thereby furthering the legitimacy of their work and mobilizing resources for continual expansion.

Jubilant Bhartia Foundation, the social wing of the Jubilant Bhartia Group, was established in 2007. As a part of the Jubilant Bhartia Group, the foundation focuses on conceptualizing and implementing the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives for the group. The foundation’s objectives include various community development work, health care activities, cultural & sports activities, environment preservation initiative, vocational training, women empowerment and educational activities.


Updates from around the world