I wanted to do something similar for a long period of time- get to know the real India, meet up with social and business entrepreneurs, understand what drives them, study their business model and assess the impact, and all this in a highly charged up environment with bright, young, and ‘fresh’ minds.
Surely enough,I signed up for TATA Jagriti Yatra, the moment my friend Jayanti Datta told me about it. This is going to be exciting- 18 days on a train, 13 villages and town, exchanging ideas with 350 + participants, 8000 km, meeting and learning from 18-20 real ‘change makers’.
Tata Jagriti Yatra '08 ( 24 Dec 08 to 11 Jan 09) is a train journey across India to meet with and learn from bottom-up innovators and entrepreneurs who are changing and challenging the definition of ‘Impossible’ at a grass-root level.
We plan to visit several institutions and meet several social/business entrepreneurs such as: Jyoti Nayak ( Lijjat Papad) , R Elango (Kuthambakkam panchayat-Chennai), Dabbawalla’s of Mumbai, Arvind Eye Care (Pondicherry), TATA Steel (Tata Nagar), SEWA (Lucknow), Anshu Gupta( Goonj – New Delhi), Bunker Roy ( Bare foot College- Tilonia), Jaipur Foot, and AMUL etc.
This is an excellent step towards inspiring and empowering the youth of India by awakening their spirit of entrepreneurship.
I shall continue to blog about the experience (while onboard). I plan to approach this Yatra or journey of ‘self-discovery’ on several dimensions –
- The big ‘Idea’ behind the venture;
- Belief System: What drives these social entrepreneurs? Vision, community engagement etc.
- Business Model: What, Why, How? Impact assessment, Scalability, Key drivers, other metrics( if available);
- Debates/Discussions/Idea exchange among participants;
- and much much more….:-)
I am really excited about exploring India with this extraordinary community.