Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Fistful of Rice By Vikram Akula

In 'A Fistful of Rice' Vikram Akula traces out his journey of starting SKS and shares his philosophy, take on tackling the poverty and rural issues in the country. The strength of the book is it very well-written and easy to read (infact at times a little too easy) and gives us an understanding of the for-profit micro finance model as against the NGO model which Grameen Bank promotes.

The book starts with his experiences on his visits to India in his childhood and moves on to the days where he started working in rural India and to the part where his search for a scalable model helps him conceptualize the SKS model. The idea he promotes through the book is that it is not a bad thing to make profits from micro finance or the poor. His idea is that one will not able to attract more money (other than grants and government funds) unless and until you are able to provide decent returns. This is what Late Prof C K Prahalad propounded in his book bottom of the pyramid where he said that there is money to be made by serving the world's poor.

Towards the end of the book, Akula shares the new areas in which SKS is expanding , from using their reach in rural India to sell product to their members, the non-profit work which they are doing in areas of education & health....

The book was written before the Microfinance crisis hit, so there is no mention about that, and the negative coverage which the industry has got, but then these issues are out the scope of this post, but there are a lots of positives which one can take away after reading the book especially for people interesting in making their presence felt in rural India.

3 comments:

Debby's thoughts! said...

In 'A Fistful of Rice' Vikram Akula traces out his journey of starting SKS and shares his philosophy, take on tackling the poverty and rural issues in the country. The strength of the book is it very well-written and easy to read (infact at times a little too easy) and gives us an understanding of the for-profit micro finance model as against the NGO model which Grameen Bank promotes.


The book starts with his experiences on his visits to India in his childhood and moves on to the days where he started working in rural India and to the part where his search for a scalable model helps him conceptualize the SKS model. The idea he promotes through the book is that it is not a bad thing to make profits from micro finance or the poor. His idea is that one will not able to attract more money (other than grants and government funds) unless and until you are able to provide decent returns. This is what Late Prof C K Prahalad propounded in his book bottom of the pyramid where he said that there is money to be made by serving the world's poor.

Towards the end of the book, Akula shares the new areas in which SKS is expanding , from using their reach in rural India to sell product to their members, the non-profit work which they are doing in areas of education & health....

The book was written before the Microfinance crisis hit, so there is no mention about that, and the negative coverage which the industry has got, but then these issues are out the scope of this post, but there are a lots of positives which one can take away after reading the book especially for people interesting in making their presence felt in rural India.

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Anonymous said...

In 'A Fistful of Rice' Vikram Akula traces out his journey of starting SKS and shares his philosophy, take on tackling the poverty and rural issues in the country. The strength of the book is it very well-written and easy to read (infact at times a little too easy) and gives us an understanding of the for-profit micro finance model as against the NGO model which Grameen Bank promotes.


The book starts with his experiences on his visits to India in his childhood and moves on to the days where he started working in rural India and to the part where his search for a scalable model helps him conceptualize the SKS model. The idea he promotes through the book is that it is not a bad thing to make profits from micro finance or the poor. His idea is that one will not able to attract more money (other than grants and government funds) unless and until you are able to provide decent returns. This is what Late Prof C K Prahalad propounded in his book bottom of the pyramid where he said that there is money to be made by serving the world's poor.

Towards the end of the book, Akula shares the new areas in which SKS is expanding , from using their reach in rural India to sell product to their members, the non-profit work which they are doing in areas of education & health....

The book was written before the Microfinance crisis hit, so there is no mention about that, and the negative coverage which the industry has got, but then these issues are out the scope of this post, but there are a lots of positives which one can take away after reading the book especially for people interesting in making their presence felt in rural India.

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vrittivaani said...

In 'A Fistful of Rice' Vikram Akula traces out his journey of starting SKS and shares his philosophy, take on tackling the poverty and rural issues in the country. The strength of the book is it very well-written and easy to read (infact at times a little too easy) and gives us an understanding of the for-profit micro finance model as against the NGO model which Grameen Bank promotes.


The book starts with his experiences on his visits to India in his childhood and moves on to the days where he started working in rural India and to the part where his search for a scalable model helps him conceptualize the SKS model. The idea he promotes through the book is that it is not a bad thing to make profits from micro finance or the poor. His idea is that one will not able to attract more money (other than grants and government funds) unless and until you are able to provide decent returns. This is what Late Prof C K Prahalad propounded in his book bottom of the pyramid where he said that there is money to be made by serving the world's poor.

Towards the end of the book, Akula shares the new areas in which SKS is expanding , from using their reach in rural India to sell product to their members, the non-profit work which they are doing in areas of education & health....

The book was written before the Microfinance crisis hit, so there is no mention about that, and the negative coverage which the industry has got, but then these issues are out the scope of this post, but there are a lots of positives which one can take away after reading the book especially for people interesting in making their presence felt in rural India.

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