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Wednesday, 26 November 2014 11:04

Listen to a podcast with Anand Shah

 Podcast interview with Anand Shah

 

Serial Entrepreneur Anand Shah in this interview takes us through the many projects and organizations he has funded, or helped in funding. He speaks candidly of the gaps in the ecosystem, and the needs for young budding entrepreneurs. He also shares with us his latest goal of starting an institute that trains people to go into politics. Lastly, offering word of immense wisdom and experience, Anand urges individuals everywhere to be brave and take action.

 

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Anand Shah, CEO, Piramal Foundation 

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“If you’re an entrepreneur, and you have a good idea, and you believe it’s possible you need to stick with that idea. There is no substitute for action whatsoever, when you act the money will follow.”

anand shah

 

In 2008, Anand and a team of 4 Social Entrepreneurs launched Sarvajal to provide clean drinking water to rural Indian villages. Anand also serves as CEO of the Piramal Foundation, an innovative private foundation dedicated to developing the social infrastructure to enable India’s youth to actively participate in the nation’s progress. Anand is also a consultant on academic strategy for the upcoming Vedanta University. He has been a Core member of an effort to start “Teach for India”, is a member of the tt30 (a young think tank of the Club of Rome), and serves on the international board of KaosPilots (a European school of creative business design and social innovation).

 

After graduating from Harvard in 1999, Anand served as the Technology Director and teacher at the MATCH Charter school in Boston. In 2001, with his two sisters and many friends, Anand helped found Indicorps, where he currently manages overall programs and strategy. 

 

 

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Vishnu Swaminathan, Country Representative, Ashoka Innovators for the Public 

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“I think in 5 years if we are able to make ourselves invisible, and irrelevant in the kind of work we are doing, that is the goal.”

 

Vishnu is presently the Country Representative for Ashoka Innovators for the Public in India.  Ashoka is a global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs—men and women with system-changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. Vishnu leads Ashoka India's efforts to create an "Everyone a Change maker" world—one where each person has the skills, drive, and resources to push forward solutions to pressing social and environmental problems, and each organization works to maximize the change making potential of its members. Vishnu also heads the Housing for All program at Ashoka in India, which is working on increasing the supply of affordable housing for low income communities in India on market based models.

 

Before Ashoka, Vishnu co-founded and led two companies working on financial transactions and Animation technology in Singapore for 8 years. After one of the companies was acquired he moved to India to head a leadership school for three years, where he led the school's social effort by creating an independent Centre for Social Development and Governance.

 

He started his career as a 3D and Film Special effects artist. He holds a couple of patents from his ventures and has worked on a wide range of hybrid business models, technologies, innovations, communities and geographies. He lives with his family in Bangalore, India and enjoys photography.

 

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Monday, 27 October 2014 10:50

Listen to a podcast with Vishnu Swaminathan

Podcast interview with Vishnu Swaminathan

 

As Country Representative for Ashoka, Vishnu in this interview gave us a detailed overview of the Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in India. He spoke about the changes that the sector has gone through over the years, the formula for a winning proposal, the services required, the greatest needs of social entrepreneurs and the platforms available in this space. Finally Vishnu highlighted his ambitious vision and goal for the future of this sector. 

 

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Wednesday, 24 September 2014 11:36

Listen to a podcast with Stan Thekaekara

Podcast interview with Stan Thekaekara

 

In this interview, Stan candidly talks about the inspiration and struggles he has faced with his organization – Just Change. An adamant believer in the goodness of individuals, Stan highlights the Just Change model of Participative Capital, which aims to act as a platform that puts producers on a level playing field. Finally he talks about what social entrepreneurs need to do in order to invite capital which can further their own social agenda.

Click here to listen to podcast

 

 

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Monday, 11 August 2014 11:57

Listen to a podcast with Audrey Selian

Podcast interview with Audrey Selian

 

In this interview, Audrey takes us through the business model that the Artha Initiative has adopted. She speaks about the reason they chose to invest in India, as well as the many projects they have invested in across India. Highlighting some of the high impact businesses the Artha Initiative works to promote, she also sets out the criteria of investors the initiative seeks to work alongside. Finally she leaves us with a question over the CSR Companies Bill that will leave many in the audience pondering deeply.


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Stan Thekaekara, Founder, Just Change 

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 “I am a great believer in peoples goodness and I feel given a chance people will behave differently, and what we don’t have now is a paradigm or a structure or market which allows people to behave differently.”

 

A champion activist, thinker and social entrepreneur, Stan Thekaekara in this interview candidly talks about the inspiration and struggles he has faced with his organization – Just Change. An adamant believer in the goodness of individuals, Stan highlights the Just Change model of Participative Capital, which aims to act as a platform that puts producers on a level playing field. Finally he talks about what social entrepreneurs need to do in order to invite capital which can further their own social agenda.

 

Stan Thekaekara, activist, thinker and social entrepreneur has worked for nearly 40 years in the field of human rights and development. 

Stan's public life began in 1974 with Adivasis in Bihar. In 1986, he co-founded ACCORD, to mobilise the Adivasis of the Gudalur Valley, Tamilnadu to fight for their social, political and human rights. In 2000, Stan founded Just Change, an international cooperative linking producers, investors and consumers in mutually beneficial ways – rebuilding the notion of community and regaining power in the marketplace. 

Stan has served as a trustee of Oxfam GB and was Visiting Fellow at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the Said Business School, Oxford University.

Known for his radical and innovative thinking on development economics, he has delivered numerous lectures, including the Alternative Mansion House Speech in London and the Fourth Annual Feasta Lecture at Trinity College, Ireland. He has also written extensively on development issues. Outlook Business listed him among the top 50 Social Entrepreneurs of India and described him as “the man who delights in turning textbook theories on its head”.

 

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Audrey Selian, Director, Artha Initiative 

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 “I think that the definition of being likeminded is, refers to a shared vision on risk versus return and the willingness to not sacrifice the good in the quest for the perfect. I feel strongly that there is as yet no real science to the impact measurement element that is at the forefront of all our respective activities in this community of investors.”

 

In this interview, Audrey takes us through the business model that the Artha Initiative has adopted. She speaks about the reason they chose to invest in India, as well as the many projects they have invested in across India. She mentions Artha’s need to invest in high impact business of providing a product or service that is simply non-existent. Finally she leaves us with a question over the CSR Companies Bill that will leave many in the audience pondering.

 

Audrey Selian currently serves as Director of the Artha Initiative associated with Rianta Capital Zurich, an investment advisory structure to the Singh family trusts.  She is also an advisor to the Halloran Philanthropies, and has been active in the impact investing sector since 2006.   Audrey is co-founder of Artha Networks Inc. (ANI), an online impact investment tech platform that is designed as a social network to tackle the economics of due diligence around smaller (impact) investments.  The first launch of the Artha was in India, and through ANI the architecture has been licensed to the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) to launch InvestAmericas, a platform focused on SME financing in Latin America. 

 

Audrey has a background in management consulting from PricewaterhouseCoopers, and her entrepreneurial experience includes several years spent in business development, marketing and sales at an NSF-funded software start-up called Wireless Grids. She holds a PhD in Technology Policy & Development Studies from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and degrees from The London School of Economics and Wellesley College. In 2003-4 she was a doctoral fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

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Podcast interview with Vanita Viswanath

 

With her years of expertise backing her, Vanita Viswanath in this interview broadly talks about the Social Entrepreneurship ecosystem – she addresses the challenges, the gaps, the intricacies surrounding funding, and the need for a platform where stakeholders can come together. She gives us insight into the working of the Udyogini model, and also the importance of women in this ecosystem. Finally, she assess the Companies Bill and how it needs to be better utilized. 

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Vanita Viswanath, Advisor, Udyogini 

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 “There is a thirst for innovation… there are a lot of people asking for out of box approaches and they want business thinking even for non-profit models.”

 

With her years of expertise backing her, Vanita Viswanath in this interview broadly talks about the Social Entrepreneurship ecosystem – she addresses the challenges, the gaps, the intricacies surrounding funding, and the need for a platform where stakeholders can come together. She gives us insight into the working of the Udyogini model, and also the importance of women in this ecosystem. Finally, she assess the Companies Bill and how it needs to be better utilized.

 

After having served as CEO from 2000 until January 2014 for Udyogini, an NGO based in Delhi, Vanita Viswanath now serves as Advisor at Udyogini. Udyogini works to empower poor women through enterprise -- focusing on training, value chain development and market linkages in north and central Indian states. 

Vanita has published widely and lectured in leading Universities in the United States such as Yale and Columbia. In 2012, she was a finalist for the Social Entrepreneur of the Year award instituted by the Schwab Foundation, a sister organization of the World Economic Forum. In 2011, she was one among 11 global non-profit leaders to be selected as a Senior Fellow, an honour given by the Synergos Institute, New York, to work with the Senior Fellows Network to help lead the global agenda for poverty alleviation and social justice.  She was also a member of a Planning Commission Working Group on Clustering and Aggregation in the 12th Five Year Plan. Vanita received her PhD from the University of Texas, Austin, USA.

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