The day-long social impact summit facilitated cross learning among those working in sectors such as health, education, energy, environment, sports and rural development
IIM Bangalore organized its first social impact summit SAHAY to connect social entrepreneurs in an attempt to capture synergies among complementary ventures’. SAHAY brought together entrepreneurs from sectors such as health, education, energy, environment, sports, women & child development, and rural development. It also attracted investors, mentors, academicians, bureaucrats and student volunteers from premier academic institutions and gave them all a platform to discuss challenges and opportunities and find common ground for future collaboration.
Recognizing the need for such a platform, Vikasana, IIMB’s student-run social impact club had put together a day-long summit that included luminary talks, panel discussion, and networking sessions centered around scaling, sustainability, and other related topics. “Our interaction with various social ventures has made us realize the commonalities of problems across these, along with some peculiarities in the social space. There is a huge learning from these organizations and the stakeholders, which can help the budding enterprises. As MBA students, we are in the right place to leverage our network and initiate a platform in Bangalore to bring together the different groups and share our experiences of the corporate sector. SAHAY aims to build on the importance of cross learning and communication among the people who are passionate to create social impact,” said Hima Bindu, President of Vikasana.
The keynote address by Ramakrishna and Smita from ‘Rang De’, an online crowd-funding platform for social causes, emphasized the theme of the summit i.e. ‘synergy’ to tackle a wide range of social issues. “We build on our strengths in IT to create an online market place called ‘Habba’ for traditional artisans , thereby helping them practice and preserve their skills and also move up the value chain,” said Ramakrishna.
Dr. Kalpana Gopalan, Principal Secretary, Govt. of Karnataka, and alumna of IIMB’s doctoral programme, highlighted the implementation challenges of Public Private Partnerships in the social space.
The expert talks included sessions by Nagaraja Prakasam, Angel Investor & Mentor at NSRCEL, who offered insights on attracting investors and fundraising; Ashwin Mahesh, Co-Founder of Mapunity, spoke about opportunities for social ventures in Karnataka and suggested ways in which they could attract quality volunteers; Pankaj Jain, Founder of Gyan Shala, explained the Gyan Shala model; Cherian Thomas, CEO of World Vision, highlighted the importance of achieving financial stability and Mukund BS, Co-Founder of ReNewIT, spoke on how his organization helped bridge the IT divide.
The talks were punctuated by a panel discussion on ‘Sustainability & Scaling Up’. The panel comprised Shankar Maruwada, Co-Founder of EkStep; Ashutosh Kumar, Executive Director of Jagriti Yatra; and Harsha Lal, EVP of Rural Shores. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Srivardhini Jha, Visiting Faculty, NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at IIM Bangalore.