Thursday, May 06, 2010

Social Entrepreneur?!

I often wonder what great human beings CEOs like NRN, Azim Premji, Ratan Tata, etc are. My main flow of thought is that they are great because they have given employment to so many fellow human beings, thanks to them thinking big and taking risks and investing and what not. But my friend Adiga informed, quite rightly, that they might not have had such noble thoughts of giving employment to lakhs of people when they started their companies. Their main idea would have been to maximize the profits. This can only be achieved by recruiting the right people and pay them accordingly. Capitalism, in short. Employment to lakhs of people just happened.

I wish to be an entrepreneur too one day but not for the sake of maximizing the profit. It would be more for empowering employees to be bread winners in their homes. In this regard, I have found one small and simple way to start off. It is as thus:

In India, its very common to see all kinds of activities being performed by cheap labour. For e.g., we have folks on carts on roads who iron the dress. We have vegetable vendors in moving carts shouting out vegetable names on roads of residential localities with the hope of selling their inventory. We have tender coconut salesmen on shabby dresses without slippers cycling on punctured tyres brimming with hundreds of tender coconuts. We have maid servants washing dishes, clothes, cleaning the house, etc. We have teenagers wanting to clean the sump and the overhead tank. We have people to wash the vehicles and dust the windows. And so on and so forth.

My idea is to maximize the usage of such people so as to provide them with daily bread. Even though we can iron our own clothes, give clothes to the local guy on the cart who will iron your shirt for Rs 3. Do not bargain with the vegetable vendor and tender coconut salesman. Instead, give them Rs 25 if they ask for Rs 24. Bring in a maid to wash your clothes, dishes, clean the house etc for Rs 300. Employ the teenagers to clean the sump and the overhead tank and clean the vehicles for Rs 300.

Surely, these are the amounts which we can afford. For most, it takes a lot to just donate Rs 1000 for the needy. But if we get some of our work done for that Rs 1000, then it’s a win-win situation. Not only that, we are in a way supporting their family by employing them to perform tasks which we ourselves can do. A social entrepreneur. A noble thought, huh?

My mom calls me just lazy.


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