A first-hand account of one man's quest to eradicate poverty by unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit of India's poor.
What Paul Farmer is to infectious disease, Vikram Akula is to poverty, and his quest has been as harrowing and heart-breaking as Farmer's. Scene by scene, Akula reveals how he pieced together the best of philanthropy and- -to his own surprise--the best of capitalism to serve millions of India's poor. Akula's transformation from activist to entrepreneur to corporate executive parallels that of each SKS Microfinance "member" from pauper to customer to business woman. In creating a high-performance enterprise of true professionals, Vikram has done what other microfinancing models have failed to do, which is to achieve the scale, the scope, and the profitability necessary to sustain its efforts without ongoing fundraising. It is a remarkable entrepreneurial journey, populated by a colorful cast of characters including India's political star, Rahul Gandhi.
A FISTFUL OF RICE, the lively and sharply told narrative of Vikram's entrepreneurial journey. Like Mountains Beyond Mountains, the book should inspire readers of the possibilities and introduce them to Vikram's philosophy as he discover A Third Way to address the world's hairiest problems.
About the Author :
Vikram Akula is the Founder and Chair of SKS Microfinance, one of the leading microfinance institutions in the world. He is also a sought-after public speaker, and in 2006, Time magazine named him one of the world's 100 most influential people. Akula launched SKS in 1998 because he saw a fundamental flaw in existing microfinance institutions: their inability to scale to large numbers. A former management consultant with McKinsey & Company, Akula holds a B.A. from Tufts, an M.A. from Yale, and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and he was a Fulbright Scholar. He has received several awards, including the World Economic Young Global Leader (2008), Schwab Social Entrepreneur of the Year in India (2006), and the Ernst & Young Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year in India (2006). He has been profiled in media ranging from CNN to front page of the Wall Street Journal. See SKS's website, www.sksindia.com
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