US2U Consulting's Kerwin Blackburn on Friday visited Indian non-profit organisation Literacy India and its offshoot social enterprise Indha Craft in Gurgaon, south of New Delhi.
Kerwin is currently spending two weeks in India studying Social Entrepreneurship at IILM Institute for Business & Management as part of a British Council visit, undertaking research for US2U Consulting's corporate social responsibility strategy.
The visit explained Indha Craft's business model as a social enterprise - manufacturing and retailing handcrafted products - as well as its purpose of supporting adjacent NPO Literacy India in its aim of providing basic education to women and children in a socio-cultural environment.
Kerwin also gained an insight into Indha Craft's effective supply chain, from on-site paper recycling department to gift shop via a team of skilled craftswomen. The visit also took in Literacy India's lively classrooms and ethos of "Education, Empowerment and Employment".
After an inspiring tour, Project Director Mr. Satya Prakash also reflected on the challenges facing the two organisations and their strategies to overcome these in line with their 5 year plan. Much to Kerwin's surprise, this includes a desire for visitors to promote Literacy India and Indha Craft in their home countries and provide the organisations with international exposure.
Such was the passionate and upbeat nature of the visit, when asked for his advice for those thinking of entering the social enterprise sector Mr. Prakash's response was, "don't do the same product as us!".
More news of Kerwin's visit to India to follow...