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Response to ET Prodigy raised in September 2009

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My submission to the ET prodigy case study of September 2009.

Case Brief:

Arvind Apte is employed at an Infrastructure consulting firm in a senior position. He has
been involved in multiple projects with International financial and labour organizations; focused towards creating more inclusive and sustainable growth in India.

Apte has identified the potential for a viable business model catering to this space, and
understands the need to contribute directly towards these initiatives. Apte has hence
decided to resign from his present job and start an organization that will create social
impact. Today at his farewell dinner, his colleagues kept probing him about his new
enterprise.

As he was driving back, Apte felt that he had not given enough thought to his new organization’s business model, in particular, thinking through ways and means to ensure self sustainability of the enterprise while realizing the mission and social goals.


The question was still lingering in his mind as he parked the car in his garage. What
should be the focus of his organization?


Should it be ‘To develop underprivileged job seekers into job creators’ or

‘To support capability building and scaling of existing ventures managed by underprivileged
individuals/ communities’

The chosen statement would set the course for Apte’s planning and implementation in his home state of Maharashtra over the next 3 years.

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Response to ET Prodigy raised in September 2009

  1. 1. Executive Summary I would recommend Mr. Apte opts for ‘Cascade World’ model. Reasons for selection: □ Among the six basic principles of governance underlying the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) of the Government, “sustained economic growth in a manner that generates employment” has a pride place. □ The Central and State Governments have been implementing several schemes and programmes for promotion and development of micro and small enterprises as these constitute an important segment of Indian economy □ The model allows for creation, regulation and sustenance of a globally competitive entrepreneur - friendly environment as need of hour Salient Features of the model: □ Empower young dynamic micro-entrepreneurs, who are disadvantaged and integrate them into the economic mainstream □ Become a role model, nationally and internationally, for mentoring and nurturing small start up businesses □ Commitment to promote and encourage Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship □ Preparing Rural Entrepreneurs to take-up the challenge of innovation and bridge the gap between learning and earning □ Create mechanisms that allow national partners and stakeholders to access the vast repository of trained entrepreneurs and benefit from the business opportunity □ Provide access to information through online educational packages that address different aspects of productivity, entrepreneurship, marketing, good practices, and quality covering Maharashtra and eventually pan - India □ Strategic Developmental partnership at local and regional levels □ Spot and support the launch, growth, stabilization and long-term success of the corporate responsibility companies □ Engagement of research and development partners and communities □ Participatory market analysis to identify market opportunities □ Prioritization of opportunities and selection of projects based on business viability and support from investors □ Scaling-up (expanding) of participatory research results and of the community enterprise development process □ Feedback from the business model results and implementing the lessons learnt in further strategizing
  2. 2. 1. Self Sustaining and Viable Proposition Key Result Areas (KRAs) for ensuring the above mentioned: □ Optimum Monetary Support: At least 70% of the corpus should be self-owned to reduce the unforeseen risks in the business. Optimum grants received from Government / private institutions; evaluate funding approaches such as the promotion of a consortium approach □ Educating the Youth: Establish a modus operandi for educational entrepreneurial exchange programs by the consortium and networks; evolve a mechanism for sharing expertise and good practices □ Market Identification: Identify market niche for technology products and services, manufacturing, ancillaries, auto components, consumer goods, dairy farming, agriculture to be addressed by entrepreneurs as these are low hanging fruits for investments □ R&D: Undertaking Research & Development activities and build a workable model of technology based Entrepreneurship; participate actively in selecting, testing and evaluating marketing strategies and technology options □ Quality: Provide a quality environment, mentoring and all support services essential for budding entrepreneurs through networking with the academia, government and industry by continual improvement of business activities □ Allocation: Prioritization and allocation of opportunities based on gender and wealth □ Feedback: Feedback of results to the community and R&D organization, and identification of further research questions □ Networking: Use present and past influence / networking to establish consortium and networks at the local, national and global level e.g, CGIAR Resource, State Universities and identify their role □ Business Law and Taxation: Assess mechanisms for and the legality of exchanging materials and information across borders and related tax gains / payments □ Framework: Define the objectives clearly and set up a Philanthropic, Socially responsible and Mutually beneficial framework. In addition, two frameworks may be used simultaneously to leverage greater impact, such as by combining marketing philanthropic and budget resources to achieve marketing and community development outcomes □ Set Target Returns: Each successfully trained entrepreneur should be given a stipulated loan amount with installments, period and Rate of interest defined and these should be based on the ROI generated by the business model undertaken □ Generate Wealth: This could include operational goals to improve human resource quality, cover staff costs through funds, build a market, create innovation, reduce risk, build brand name, etc. □ Giving Back: Apart from the Cascade World’s entrepreneurs generating another league of entrepreneurs, the winners will provide increased employment opportunities, train others, and contribute to the GDP of the country
  3. 3. 2. Process of identification of Individual Entrepreneurs Theme 1: Stakeholder Engagement - The way a company collaborates with its stakeholders including shareholders, employees, debt - holders, suppliers, customers, communities, non- governmental organizations, and governments could offer potential for getting referred to entrepreneurs in these domains. Theme 2: Targeting Risk Youth - Pick up students high school drop outs or graduates from government aided colleges, IITs, NIT’s, Engineering colleges, tool rooms, or students from Development Institutes of DIP&P in the field of Paper, Rubber, Machine Tools, etc..Their ability to advocate the program is more effective that that of another source. Theme 3: Spreading the ‘Word’ - A mobile library theme where once a month a Bus moves around the city to propagate the need to start a self sufficient business could help to identify and target low on income youths to register with ‘Cascade World’. Theme 5: Women in Business - The Government of India promotes increased lending for women entrepreneurs with special tax benefits and guidance provided. Targeting this sector has immense potential of getting easy support through Government grants and private venture capitalists. Theme 6: Membership cards - Special membership cards can be issued to the members who are successfully shortlisted for the ‘Cascade World’ at a nominal fee of Rs.300 and he gets a loan instalment waiver for one month for every other entrepreneur introduced. Theme 7: Tie ups : With franchisees, NGOs, GOs, other non-profit organisations, Vocational training Institutes, Entrepreneur Training Institutions and small-scale industry associations to identify talent. Theme 8: Effective Funneling: The organization should aim to provide resources and assistance to rural endeavours that establish themselves beyond the stage of concept and prototyping into a fledgling economic effort. Theme 9: Early Identification: Targeting potential entrepreneurs at an even earlier stage - right from when they are in school. It is best to start as early as possible and instill an appreciation for entrepreneurship, hard work and business sense, to help spur entrepreneurial activity. Theme 10: Food for thought: Volunteers need to spread the thought of entrepreneurship outside school & colleges campus, seminars, lectures, newsletters, skype, linkedin, discussion forums etc the thought of creating Job creators. Theme 11: Websites and Blogospheres: Entrepreneurs using online B2B marketplaces like TradeIndia.com, Alibaba.com and could be easily tracked through an online registration form for further guidance. Similarly bloggers with posts tagged as ‘CSR’, ‘entrepreneur’, etc could be tracked as well.
  4. 4. 3. Impact in the first 3 years and Scalability Stage 1: Often there is potential for adapting the lessons learnt in one cultural and geographic setting to another. Or, perhaps, lessons from a pilot initiative are ready to be applied on a larger scale. By doing this, you ensure growth is successful. Stage 2: Traditional paternalistic approaches should be reinforced to bridge the gap of understanding differences between them and the people who are disadvantaged. Stage 3: Building confidence with people who wish to be entrepreneurs is a must and is possible only if you show that the objective for them is clearly business-driven. By this Cascade World can built a strong collaboration, develop its legitimacy and profile, and construct a firm knowledge-base to move forward. Stage 4: Develop Core Competencies through creation of level-playing field, redistribution of benefits, select public priorities and delivery of goods and services to medium and upper income and effectively build a brand image Stage 5: Scale up: Since Mr. Apte is moving on from a senior position who has good connections not just in government, but other sectors as well, he should create a Trust for Youth Business, built a close alliance with a broad range of Indian Industry – top corporations including Multinationals, SME’s and Chambers of Commerce (Confederation of Indian Industries (CII)), work closely with large agriculture machinery manufacturer and other diverse products which will dovetail well with these manufacturers’ own rural development work in cities where its major factories are located. Therefore new frameworks should be established. As well, it should analyze company –to – company needs to gain support and address community involvement issues. It is important to tap the each partner’s unique asset □ In a report by CRY America, 40 % of India’s population is below the age of 18 years that at 400 million is the world’s largest young population. □ In the first three years the model should be spread out across 4 major cities - Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur and Nasik based on GDP growth figures as per last economic survey □ Approximate 300 entrepreneurs should be using the web platform for expanding their business and earning a decent livelihood □ An overall estimate of 800 entrepreneurs running successful businesses at a small and medium scale with 25% of them being women □ 1800 underprivileged youth identified and trained to earn a livelihood Thank you

My submission to the ET prodigy case study of September 2009. Case Brief: Arvind Apte is employed at an Infrastructure consulting firm in a senior position. He has been involved in multiple projects with International financial and labour organizations; focused towards creating more inclusive and sustainable growth in India. Apte has identified the potential for a viable business model catering to this space, and understands the need to contribute directly towards these initiatives. Apte has hence decided to resign from his present job and start an organization that will create social impact. Today at his farewell dinner, his colleagues kept probing him about his new enterprise. As he was driving back, Apte felt that he had not given enough thought to his new organization’s business model, in particular, thinking through ways and means to ensure self sustainability of the enterprise while realizing the mission and social goals. The question was still lingering in his mind as he parked the car in his garage. What should be the focus of his organization? Should it be ‘To develop underprivileged job seekers into job creators’ or ‘To support capability building and scaling of existing ventures managed by underprivileged individuals/ communities’ The chosen statement would set the course for Apte’s planning and implementation in his home state of Maharashtra over the next 3 years.

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