Where Ideas for Social Enterprise Take Wing
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
A graduate from Oxford University, Manas Nanda’s dream was to make a social change. He found his way back to his roots by starting ‘Harvest Wild’, a social enterprise, with an aim to create livelihood opportunities for people living in remote forest areas in India. It was at IIM-Bangalore’s incubation cell, NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL), where his idea of bubble nut wash was mentored.
“I launched the pilot project at my hometown in Odisha in January 2015. I got sackful of soap nuts from nearby villages and did a few trials on how we can present them in a format to be used as laundry detergents. The product is now available in organic stores in Bengaluru. We are also taking online orders from across India and the UK,” Manas, 40, says.
His first task was to identify his role as a bridge between rural communities and health and environment-conscious urban consumers. “I was fascinated by the fact that we could make a dual impact—create livelihood in rural India and reduce use of toxic chemicals in modern detergents that affect people’s health and water bodies. I would travel to forest areas to see if some of the fruits and berries can be processed into marketable products that urban consumers would value,” he adds.
His proposal was chosen from hundreds of early pre-product entrepreneurial ideas that NSRCEL, one of the oldest incubation cells across all IIMs, receive every year. Such ideas go through several mentoring sessions by screening committees before emerging as market ready.