SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN INDIA

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‎”The secret of promotion in the age of social media isn’t to promote your self. It’s to promote others. Success comes when your success depends on the success of your customers, your suppliers, your end-users, and when you spend more of your time thinking about them than about yourself.” – Tim O’Reilly

“2013 will be the year of Social HR” claimed the international bestselling magazine for business, Forbes in its March, 2013 issue. Painting the picture in India is a large number of startups which are based entirely online. The success or failure of such organizations is directly proportional to their social media outreach. Social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked In, work wonders for the all-round development of this latest vertical of entrepreneurship in India. It is hence, no wonder that it is ultimately the youth of India who is showing maximum interest for this sphere of free enterprise.

Stating examples of web-based youth-centric startups in this nation was impossible some ten years from now but today, organizations like ‘Youth Ki Awaaz’ (www.youthkiawaaz.com), ‘Your Story’ (www.yourstory.in), ‘Let Me Know’ (www.letmeknow.in), etc. have come a long way in proving the growth potential of social entrepreneurship in India. In a country in which maximum percentage of population comes under the age group which can be broadly classified as ‘youth’, it comes as no surprise that the number of student start-ups emerging each year tilts towards phenomenal. Hence, Social Entrepreneurship finds many seekers in India.

The idea is simple. One can begin with a Blog or an uncomplicated commercial web domain and go on to build an enterprise that is largely followed by the youth and also sets the cash registers ringing through advertisement revenue. The journey from being a simple Blog to becoming a successful startup can be undertaken on an accelerated highway by opting for strategic web-space branding and marketing. This not only strengthens the position of the enterprise in the market and amongst peers but also builds a great public reputation by constantly engaging the target audience through social networking websites. As a direct consequence of this online social marketing, the sales of the start-up or the number of sponsors for that website receive a significant boost. In this way, the stage is set for the start-up to launch into bigger and better avenues for growth and development.

The greatest strengths sometimes also serve as one’s greatest follies. The downside of social entrepreneurship is its dependency on what is commonly termed as “popularity”. The greater the number of individuals talking about it on web space, or otherwise, the greater will be its development. A social enterprise is completely dependent on people other than the founder and the contributors or workers, hence, making it vulnerable to prejudice on the part of consumers. There is a highly probability that the enterprise works on a “buddy system”, a term used for describing the networking in workspace where one employee is responsible for referring the organization to one or more of their friends and receives certain perks on salary accordingly. It is important to note that in this case, even if the quality of content of a social enterprise is good, it can fall prey to poor marketing in the cut-throat world of entrepreneurship and turn to nothing. Hence, it becomes imperative for a social entrepreneur to enter the market with a well-defined strategy and back-up options. The fall-back mechanisms need to be strong, just as the networking skills and inter-personal communication skills should be burly.

Social entrepreneurship follows a societal view of governance which forms a co-dependent, perfectly symbiotic relationship among its members. As an enterprise, here one depends on one’s immediate surroundings and the environment thereby created is responsible for the achievements or disappointments of the social enterprise. Social entrepreneurship works well to form a community which works together ad hence, lives in wonderful harmony with one another. Therefore, it shows potential to bring peace in a conflicted society marked by people from diverse cultures. The one adage that fits like a glove in the case of social entrepreneurship is Charles Darwin’s ‘Survival of the fittest’ which states that, “It is not the most intelligent, dominant or physically strong creatures that survive. It is, in fact, those who adapt the best that are considered fit by nature to last till the end.”

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3 Comments

  1. Ankita says:

    In this context, Grameen Banks and Amul co-operative have done substantially well. They must also be mentioned. Otherwise, an exceptional article.

  2. Shivangi Singh says:

    Thanks Savita!Social Entrepreneurship is indeed the future.

  3. Savita Singh says:

    A brilliant write-up with amazing insights!Social entrepreneurship is the next big thing. The reference of Forbes given here is apt. Overall, an inspiring piece.

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