What is "social business?" Ask Muhammad Yunus. That's precisely what India Inc's top bosses will do when they meet the Nobel Laureate and Grameen Bank managing director here on Monday.
Yunus will teach them why and how social business is not charity but business wherein a surplus is passed on to the target group of beneficiaries in the form of lower prices, better service and greater access.
Yunus along with German social entrepreneur Hans Reitz will also enlighten the participants about the concept of Grameen Creative Club. This means creating a type of business that is not just about private interest but about collective benefit - health, happiness and security of all, especially the less privileged.
The proposed interaction is being jointly organised by law firm Nishith Desai Associates and Hindustan Construction Company-promoted Lavasa.
Yunus and Reitz will also provide a framework for tackling social issues by combining business knowhow with the aspiration for social change. Grameen Bank sources said the Grameen Creative Club, a collaborative effort between the Yunus Centre and circ responsibility of Wiesbaden, Germany, sees its founders and staff tour the world spreading the Grameen word to anyone who is willing to listen. Social issues like poverty can be resolved through a business model, they added.
Thus, Yunus and Reitz will explain to India Inc that poverty is an artificial external imposition on a human being, and since it is external, it can be removed through collective efforts.
The timing of Monday's meeting is crucial. It comes at a time when the Central government in the budget for 2010-11 has proposed a slew of proposals for the betterment of the common man. One of the proposals is a seven-fold increase in the funds for making India a slum-free country. The proposed exercise is also important as companies are increasing the allocations earmarked for corporate social responsibility.