Representation at India Conference 2009 at Harvard Business School, USA
Dr. Pradip Kumar Sarmah, Executive Director of CRD was invited to the India Conference, 2009 held at Harvard Business School , Boston, USA on 15th March, 2009 to present in the Social Enterprise Panel on ‘Scaling Social Enterprise in India: What’s Holding us Back? The theme of the Conference was, "The Indian Growth Story: Sleeping Elephant or Roaring Tiger?” Dr. Sarmah attracted leaders from the field of energy such (GE India), real estate, consumer products (Coca-Cola and Amul), social enterprise, healthcare, private equity who highlighted both the opportunities as well as the challenges of doing business in India.
A lively discussion ensured amongst the panelists on the main limitations in the sector ranging from limited human capital, business and governance models, regulation and access to funds. Dr. Sarmah spoke at length about the working with partners in the field of technology, universities, municipalities, private sector and donors such as America India Foundation (AIF) to upscale Rickshaw Bank activities in India.
Dr. Sarmah also encouraged the young MBA students to join forces with the social entrepreneurs to address the skills gap and take-over the now proven business model and innovations to scale. He made a powerful closing comment on the need to re-focus on ‘reducing expenses’ to increase disposable income of poor, and not only on income increasing activities.
The India Conference is one of the larger student-run conferences in the US and has a strong legacy of creating a platform to allow business men and women, policymakers, and those involved in academia to meaningfully debate and discuss how India can fulfil her global potential. During this visit, Dr. Sarmah has also been invited for meetings by various organizations in Boston & New York including Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA for further deliberation and collaboration.