I currently work for Gramothan Foundation–a series of rural development experiments that I am bringing my NYU Stern business rigor too. To be frank, it is my SAF Officer Cadet School training that has turning out to be more useful in weathering the tropical jungle conditions.
GF has adopted 14 Villages and 9 Hadis called DB Kuppe Gram Panchayathi in H.D. Kote Taluk, Mysore District, Karnataka State, India. Locally we call it Machur. The economy of this ~9000 member large community is casual labor across the Kabini River in Kerala ($4 – $6 per day); agriculture provides a secondary, seasonal value due to a dearth of irrigation. One key road, the Mysore to Mananthawady New Road is impeccable, bearing interstate traffic between urban Karnataka and the far more prosperous Kerala–the others are patchy to sporadic unusability.
GF is currently starting up initiatives in health, infrastructure and income generation. We have even developed and market tested a new BOP Product that charges batteries for lights through human power.
I personally feel that GF’s focus is too broad–specialization and development of a core competency is an essential lesson learned from private sector efficiency.