Indian Tales of Inclusive Business Models
Thursday, January 6, 2011
We just spent the last few weeks criss-crossing India to discover how private sector companies are striving to support India’s quest for “inclusive growth.”
Inclusive growth has become the economic development mantra for both Indian politicians and CEOs in recent months. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is championing this concept to ensure that even as the red-hot Indian economy keeps growing at 9%, this growth is equitable so that the 300 million Indians living with less than $1 a day are not left out of the economic boom. He has challenged Indian companies to come up with inclusive business models that deliver more value at less cost for more citizens – be it in agriculture, healthcare, education, energy, or financial services.
Indian companies have traditionally contributed to inclusive growth primarily through philanthropic activities or CSR (corporate social responsibility) projects. While these non-profit projects have a modest societal impact, they were devoid of for-profit business models – and financial motivation – needed to scale them up.