On 30 Nov 2008, Centre for Social Initiative and Management provided an opportunity of networking with few National and International NPO by partnering with Unltd India for their “Learning Journey” program in Hyderabad. Unltd was an UK based organisation that supports social entrepreneurs by providing funding and support to help in shaping their ideas. Learning Journeys (LJ) was one such unique experience that is aimed to develop leaders to create greater impact in the world. It was a networking event among like minded people from different countries varying from Hongkong to India and UK to US
Although numbers of Not Profit Organizations (NPO) were invited with different background with different objectives but one thing which was common among them was the passion for becoming a change maker and building a better community. The event started with introduction of Director of UnLtd (UK) and their activities. Next introduction session was from coordinator of CSIM, Mr KL Srivastava and about CSIM activities. The major session was taken by Vijay Mahajan co-founded PRADAN, a rural development NGO, in 1983. A graduate of IIT, Delhi and IIM, Ahmedabad, Vijay has devoted his working life to promoting livelihoods in rural areas. In 1996, after leaving PRADAN, Mahajan went on to found BASIX, the first for profit microfinance institution (MFI) in India, and among the first in the world to attract commercial equity investments. He also shared his journey from his graduation to BASIX, the success mantra, challenges, supports and above all the passion and vision. He also told that most NPOs become ineffective because of lack of business model approach or management. For the success of a NPO it is important to have vision, passion, values and adequate scaling and accounting. It is important to demonstrate the values for NGO/NPO as they have to work on social sector. Values help in developing rapport with the society.
He stresses on word of mouth publicity as if we target rural population most of people are barely literate and hi-tech. It is important for social sector people to participate in the lifestyle of community for better understanding of the problems. It will not just help to have an outlook but a better look of community need. Of course, networking plays an important role in fund raising or fund development.
However, Entrepreneurial concept favors the combination of social motives and values in business model but business model is not applicable to all NPO, as sometime human values are stronger than the funds. But, it does not mean that there is no need for financial management. For those NPO where there are little chances of fund development, it is important for them to reduce the expense and cost.
Other organisation who participated in event were Education for free, Ashrya Aakruti, Safa, Sakshum, ILP (Indian literacy programe), ISFC (Indian school finance company), ISB, Social impact Net, Food works and CSIM.
Indeed it was a perfect networking and knowledge sharing event. I want to extend my thanks to CSIM for arranging such networking event.