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Social Entrepreneur: Harish Hande (Part 14)

Posted on Wednesday, May 23rd 2007

We continue our discussion on India’s economic development, and the gaining affluence of the middle class. Harish challenges the common statements that there is high economic growth, countering that the growth only affects a very limited portion of the population.

SM: So the middle class has created affluence. HH: 18% of the wealth is with 1% of the population. For me, that is scary. There are 80,000 auto rickshaws in Bangalore alone. People say that is a growth. How is that growth? These are 80,000 who cannot find a job, and the only other thing these people know to do is rent an auto rickshaw and drive it.

You have not created jobs in those sectors. You look at IT, software development, or you talk about financial sectors. They require a good education, English speaking capabilities, and you end up cutting off most of India by that requirement alone. How would the benefits trickle down?

SM: The real estate and retail sectors are developing well. HH: These are in concentrated geographical areas.

SM: There is no ambiguity that there is a huge population and a huge geographical area which is missing from the economic development impact. HH: I have not seen any jump from when we started in 1995 to now in the increase in rural incomes.

Where are we talking about the 8-9% growth? These industries contributed much since 1992, but it does not reach the rural area. In Karnataka, 70-80% of the people go to other areas because of the lack of institutions in their home areas. This is not even considering the other states which are way behind Karnataka.

SM: What is you parting message to entrepreneurs in the poverty sector, not only in India but globally? HH: Think long term, and have patience. There is no short cut to creating good processes. A lot of people try to solve it quick, and that can’t happen. Some people do it by numbers – reach 5 million in 3 years, and I will give you money. I would never do that. Concentrate more on the processes, and the numbers will come.

SM: Thank you very much, this has been a very enlightening conversation. Your way of life is a difficult one, probably very few people could pull it off. My sincerest admiration and congratulations for taking on something as fundamental.

[Part 13]
[Part 12]
[Part 11]
[Part 10]
[Part 9]
[Part 8]
[Part 7]
[Part 6]
[Part 5]
[Part 4]
[Part 3]
[Part 2]
[Part 1]

This segment is part 14 in the series : Social Entrepreneur: Harish Hande
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Thanks Harish and Sramana for a very inspiring interview.
Takeaways that were eye opener for me.
1) Financing innovation matching technological innovation.
2) Developments in advanced markets can topple your apple cart.
3) Short cuts are the longest route to success;
4) Eliminating charity from org culture is the most charitable thing to do.

Hat Tips!
-Balaji S.

Balaji Sowmyanarayanan Saturday, May 26, 2007 at 1:57 AM PT

Sramana, Kudos for doing a great job with the intereview.

Jitendra Sunday, June 24, 2007 at 8:33 PM PT

This is great…keep it up.

Jim Wednesday, June 27, 2007 at 7:16 PM PT

Your blog is adding so much value overall. Thanks for all the efforts. Your interviews are sharp, cutting and brings out best. It’s enlightening to get so many different perspectives.
Keep up the great work !

Atul Dubhashi Thursday, June 28, 2007 at 9:20 AM PT

it is avery good coverage kudos to harish and his team
very interesting reading keep it up great work done by you sramana

krish paddy Saturday, January 19, 2008 at 11:40 PM PT

Fantastic interview..It touched all aspects of start up Venture.

Suresh Krishna Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 12:06 AM PT

Excellent Interview.We definately need more social entrepreneur like harish.
The Article was a great learning curve for people who want to make a difference to soceity with the Business do.
I would say terrific work harish has done

Atul R Saturday, February 9, 2008 at 6:31 PM PT

When I join Nehru Hall, IIT Kharagpur in 1989, Harish was the president of the hall. I was very impressed with his leadership quality. On top of that his helpful attitude was impressive. I think it was clear since then what this guy was capable of achieving.

Arun Kumar Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 2:11 PM PT

Nice work, congrats on a stimulating interview… Has anyone gathered these people and their ideas into one website, so others can learn from them, or maybe held a roundtable/workshop with them? I bet there are others like me who would love to learn more.

Sorry for the questions… Please keep up the incisive digging!

Mike Monday, April 14, 2008 at 12:42 PM PT

Thank you for highlighting a small but brilliant idea that lighted a 100,000 homes. What the govt could not do one individual, Harish Hande did it. To provide electricity for 100,000 home the govt would have spent crores of rupees while one man has done it so very economically. I would love to get in touch with Harish Hande so that his services can be used in the city of Mumbai where most people have to go without electricity for a couple of hours everyday.

Ravindra Srinivas Rao Saturday, May 3, 2008 at 8:18 AM PT

Harish is doing a great work.
Best of luck and Keep bringing Light leaving dark behind.

Rajendra M.Trivedi,M.D. Saturday, October 4, 2008 at 2:55 PM PT

Tamso Ma Jyotir Gamay

Lead me from Darkness to Light.

The interview was enlightening.

Bharat Sharma Saturday, November 29, 2008 at 7:49 PM PT

Gr8 job Harish…

I would like to partner with you and work for the uplift of my native village & nearby villages…(Though i am not a highly-intellact IITian)…

Why cant NRN , Premji , Ratan , Ambani ..etc… Harish…

We need clean air , water & food to survive in this world …we cant eat computers & live with softwares alone…(dont mistake me – I am not ditching IT)…

We know that Harish would hardly get Govt support in India…

IITs/RECs/IISc should support Harish by supporting him in R&D…

LETS SAVE INDIA (& world too)…


Chandrasekar M Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 7:51 AM PT

Hi Sramana

Sometime back i read an interview in with a person doing agriculture after working in ONGC for 10 years (forgot his name) …Mr. Abdul Kalam appreciated him a lot …

He is one more true Indian..Plz have an interview with him & publish it…

Also provide contact mail-ids of these gr8 people…

Chandrasekar M Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 7:59 AM PT

Just Inspiring!!!!!

It is the best interview, I have read.

Rachana Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 1:01 AM PT

The Happy News is Hareesh got MAGSESSE AWARD. This interview shows how he is dedicated and commited towards his Goal, So obviously Magsesse came for a deserved one. Congrats Hareesh.

–Ramachandra Hegde,
Bengaluru, Karnataka

Ramachandra Hegde Saturday, July 30, 2011 at 2:11 AM PT

It was an inspiring conversations… wonderful job mam…

sandeep Monday, September 19, 2011 at 10:00 PM PT

Excellent work done by Respected Harish Hande, I am also in Solar business doing in & around Mumbai. I would like to link up with Selco for Solar business at grossroot level in slum area & Adivasi Area . How to go ahead & whom to contact ? Pl guide me . My Name ARUN CHAVAN —
Email – arun waiting for feed back Thanks

Arun chavan Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 10:48 AM PT

I feel touched….. and more convicted to thrive for my own Private Dream.

Atul Kotnala
Gandhi Fellowship

Atul Kotnala Sunday, July 15, 2012 at 9:10 PM PT