ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Social Good and Business Interventions

Inclusive Business Models: Transforming Lives and Creating Livelihoods by Sourav Mukherjee, New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2021; pp 250, `695.

Ever since C K Prahlad propagated the idea of fortunes at the bottom of the pyramid, several attempts have been made in many countries to address the challenges of poverty and income through combining business with social good. Mostly, it has taken the form of creating and managing business organisations with a clear social purpose. In India too, several social enterprises have sprung up in sectors of healthcare, education, finance, techno­logy, and others where the enterprise is run on business principles in serving the greater social good. Case studies of such examples are captured and used regularly in teaching in business schools and rural management programmes.

Inclusive Business Models: Transforming Lives and Creating Livelihoods by Sourav Mukherji is an important addition to this literature. Analysing 10 case studies from diverse thematic and organisational contexts, the author argues how social good is achieved through such business interventions. The social good in this context can be defined as key services like essential healthcare and education for the poor, income and dignity of workers in the informal sector, livelihood enhancements of small farmers and the self-employed, and general well-being of the poor. Unlike non-profits, all the examples in this book, except one, deal with private business organisations set up by passionate entrepreneurs trying to address the challenges of poverty, income, and dignity. These entrepreneurs came either from the world of non-profit or professional backgrounds of engineering or medicine. The exception in this trend is an example from Nepal which is a case of a large non-profit, and not of any individual entrepreneur either. Another one that perhaps is somewhat of an exception is the case of a fertiliser company’s neem collection initiative. This was pioneered by an entrepreneurial Indian Administrative Service administrator of the company.

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Updated On : 8th Jan, 2022
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