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A Kerala Conundrum

What are the conditions that will enable the entrepreneur inside many of us to find expression? C Balagopal’s book, ‘Below the Radar – The untold story of how modern manufacturing grew by stealth in Kerala’, explores this question and provokes thought in the reader, writes G. Sabarinathan, PhD1  Well before Vasco da Gama set out for Kerala in 1498, this littoral strip of land in Southwestern India had been in touch with the Greeks and then the Romans and the Arabs, writes Manu Pillai, the young sensation among historians, in…

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Elective Story

An elective, in a B-school, resembles a living organism to the extent that it needs to adapt itself to the emerging environment if it has to survive. The number of mutations that his elective – New Enterprise Financing (NEF) – has been through, over 21 years, is an example of such adaptation, writes G. Sabarinathan1 A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on the last edition of my elective, New Enterprise Financing2, that I had taught at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB).  The comments on the post and…

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Women Entrepreneurship in India – A Story in Two Surveys The ‘one size fits all’ approach to growing unicorns as the unidimensional goal of entrepreneurial policy, that is currently considered fashionable, has to give way to a more pluralistic and inclusive set of policies for nurturing entrepreneurship among women in India, writes Dr. G. Sabarinathan

YourStory (YS) recently published a survey of women in tech entrepreneurship.  The survey MakersIndiaWomeninTechReport-1603954154238.pdf (yourstory.com)) (is based on investments consummated between January 2018 and June 2020 and startups that have at least one woman co-founder. The findings of the survey are not heartwarming to anyone who cares about women in entrepreneurship.  About 5.8% or $ 1.69 billion of a total of $ US $ 29.4 billion of capital that was invested during the period was invested in 378 enterprises that had at least one woman co-founder.  That tells us that…

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The Blue Sweater – A Story of Moral Imagination

How I came across the book As the year draws to a close, like a slow batsman trying to add a few lucky runs in the last few deliveries remaining in a limited over match, I managed to finish reading one more book:  The Blue Sweater, by Jacqueline Novogratz. I had heard of Novogratz as the founder of the Acumen fund when I had been invited to a dinner with a few Acumen fellows a few years ago.  My engagement with impact investing then – and to a large extent…

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‘Mind Without Fear by Rajat Gupta – My Reflections’ Prof. G. Sabarinathan delves into the book and discovers much more than courtroom drama in the compelling tale of resilience and growth

When Mr Rajat Gupta was elected Managing Director of McKinsey, it was headline material in Indian business media. A few years later came the news about Rajat Gupta’s being charged with insider trading and his going to jail.  So, when I saw his book, Mind Without Fear, in the campus bookstore I wasted no time in getting a copy. The book broadly deals with three aspects of Gupta’s life.  His personal life, of which he offers relatively scanty details, his life at McKinsey of which he speaks at some length…

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Twenty Years On… Prof. G. Sabarinathan shares glimpses of his journey of two decades at IIM Bangalore

It was twenty years ago to this day that I drove into IIMB to start a new phase in my life.  It was not just the start of a new career.   It was Kannada Rajyotsava day.  As my black ambassador, as old as myself back then, rolled through the streets of the campus, directionlessly because I did not know the way, it may have been a curious sight to the few residents who may have been looking at the streets.   Cars were relatively few on the campus in those days. …

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