Making an impact

Published Oct 18, 2015, 5:32 am IST
Updated Mar 27, 2019, 10:56 am IST
ISB’s iDiya helps bring development to the forefront by training and rewarding social ventures
Rajeev Menon, Joel Rodrigues, Manish Ranjan.
 Rajeev Menon, Joel Rodrigues, Manish Ranjan.

The Indian School of Business’ social venture competition iDiya concluded its 7th edition on Friday. The final day of the five-day boot camp for social entrepreneurs saw the announcement of the top three winners among 10 enterprises.

The session kicked off with a panel discussion featuring experts from the impact space — K.C. Bhushan, senior advisor at Villgro; Rajeev Menon from Anthill Ventures, Joel Rodrigues from Ennovent; and NanoHealth’s Manish Ranjan. Speaking about how the social impact arena has changed over the years, Bhushan said, “It starts from the idea that we’re all stakeholders in the planet. But for a business to sustain, it must make money. We need to leave behind a better society than the one we receive, and that can be done profitably.”

The winners of the boot camp — who had earlier made pitches for the enterprises to actual venture capitalists — were announced, with guest of honour, US Consul General Michael Mullins giving away the prizes of Rs 2 lakh, Rs 1.25 lakh and Rs 75,000 respectively.

1st Place: Help Us Green
Former corporate employees Karan Rastogi and Ankit Agarwal’s Kanpur-based Help Us Green uses organic waste from temples and even cafes around their city to create products like all natural vermicompost incense sticks and bathing bars.

Ankit Agarwal and Karan Rastogi
“The packaging for our products are also designed in such a way that when disposed, plants will grow from them,” says Ankit, who has hired around 70 women from rural areas to work with them.

2nd Place: vChalk
vChalk is a Bengaluru-based educational organisation that works with low-income schools to help children develop basic learning skills in English and Mathematics. Romanian-born Daniela Gheorghe, who has been working in the Indian impact space for almost five years now, says that her model, which she developed in collaboration with co-founder Anil Bishnoi, is customised according to each child they work with.


Daniela Gheorghe and Anil Bishnoi

3rd Place: Aadhan
Using shipping containers to create movable skill-training centres, Nikhil Dugal, Akshat Goel and Priyamwada Singh’s Aadhan have helped the Ministry of Rural Development cut costs and time in their development programs.

Nikhil Dugal, Priyamwada Singh and Akshat Goel
“They have very strict certification processes for buildings,” explains Nikhil, “So instead we make a solution that fits the ministry’s standards that’s mobile, eco-friendly and re-usable.”