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Thinking Social

School of Management and Entrepreneurship proudly hosted The Tata Thinking Social Seminar on February 27,2016 in SNU campus. The event was formally inaugurated by Dr. Subhro Sen, Director of School of Management and Entrepreneurship & School of Extended Education and Professional Development, Shiv Nadar University. In his opening address, Dr. Sen emphasized on the importance and significance of social entrepreneurship in the current times for the balanced upliftment of all sections of the society. He thanked the participants for their presence in the event and encouraged them to absorb and imbibe the rich knowledge of experience to be shared by an interesting ensemble of practicing social entrepreneurs, academicians and industry thought-leaders.

Mr. Sujoy Sen from IIM Calcutta Innovation Park shared with the audience IIMC’s key contribution of promoting social entrepreneurs through their incubation cell, the vision that the organization has for promotion of social entrepreneurship and the evolution of TSEC. He also stressed on the importance of serving the bottom of the social pyramid and its significance in boosting these sections of the society. The participants were exposed to the processes of the Incubation cell of IIM Kolkata, the programs undertaken and the selection process followed along with the solid support structure that existed to guide them. Mr. Sen’s key takeaway for the students was “In order to sustain yourself and create an impact it is essential to bring together the business and a social cause together”.

Ms. Kirti Poonia of Okhai.org gave the audience an insight into the importance of giving back to the society and importance of removing the ‘Profit-tinted glasses’ that the corporate organizations usually wear in the evaluation of feasibility of a social enterprise. She shared with the audience the organization motto” To improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally through long-term stakeholder value creation based on leadership with trust resulting in “Thinking Social” every day at work.” She also shared the learnings from her experience on “Thinking Social” that she had gathered while managing Okhai.

Prof. Devi Vijay of IIM Calcutta shared with the audience about the social entrepreneurship course being conducted at the institution and how it has evolved from being an idea to a class of 90 students pursuing the course. She gave an in depth idea about the working of the course, the involvement of the students in an attempt to create an impact by working on the live projects across the spectrum of exposure. In a highly interactive session she emphasized on the importance of social good as long as it is meaningful. She stressed on addressing the root cause and not the symptoms that arise from them for an effective approach and implementation.

The first technical session was addressed by Ms. Sumita Ghose , founder Rangsutra – a social enterprise connecting more than 2000 women artisans. Ms. Ghose emphasized on the importance of persistent efforts in order to pursue the cause that you deeply and firmly believe in. Citing examples from the evolution of her company she stressed out on the importance of helping women to find their self-confidence and financial independence. She also stressed on the importance of involving the people at the base level in the decision making process as this allows them to be in control in deciding the course of the nature of business.

The next session was taken by Mr. Rustam Sengupta, founder and CEO, Boond. In an electrifying speech, Rustam highlighted the joy people get when then they enjoy electricity for the first time in their lives and interestingly through solar powered microgrids and also helping them fight the climate change Mr Rustam Sengupta shared his story of developing his "just a dream" into a sustainable high impact enterprise. This endeavor of providing innovation to empower the underserved was conducted in a very energetic and an interactive manner.

Two budding entrepreneurs, Prantik Sinha and Ashutosh Burnwal, whose enterprises (NAMEs) being incubated by IIMCIP demonstrated how an idea can be transformed into a viable business venture that not only is sustainable but also addresses an unmet need of the society. Through the story of becoming entrepreneurs, demonstrated that it is the presence of sheer passion and commitment to the cause that you believe in that will help you steer your efforts in a manner that will help achieve the impact on society that you desire.

The final session was handled by Ms, Manisha Gupta of StartUp! who is having 20 years of rich experience in the social entrepreneurship sector of the country Ms. Gupta in her speech, gave the audience the key insight of innovation being the driver of any kind of transformational impact changing model. Bringing clarity to a highly complex and debated topic, she cited social entrepreneurs as as visionary individuals who identify a social interactive problem and figureing out an innovative solution that enables a change to happen in a rapidly scaled way. She emphasized on the importance of value creation and the pursuit of happiness as fundamental blocks of any social entrepreneur trying to make a difference.

Concluding the event, Prof. Partha Sarathi Roy of SNU thanked the speakers for sharing their inspiring stories with the students. A sentiment that was a commonly shared among the participants and the speakers was the innate requirement of social entrepreneurs and the change that they can bring to the society and such seminars being a vital platform in ushering that change.

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