By: Trisha Ghoshal, Supriya Sharma

In 1998, astute interpreters of economic history and self-described provocateurs[1] Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore wrote the HBR article[2] that drew all eyes to the impending phenomenon of ‘the experience economy’- a natural successor to businesses progressively customizing services to the extent of individualization.

A namesake book arrived a year later and the idea that experiences are the new drivers of economic value creation caught fire with business innovators and tech entrepreneurs in the developed world. …


By: Joel John & Moses Sam Paul

Image by vectorjuice on FreePik

When we started work on our fellowship, remote work was a niche concept. It has now become the norm in large organisations such as Stripe, Facebook and Airbnb. We used to think last-mile delivery personnel in the gig economy are not essential to the functioning of a society. However, with the pandemic and lock-downs, they became crucial for delivery of multiple goods. The year of the pandemic saw accelerated changes from a policy and technical standpoint, though more work is needed to accommodate these paradigm shifts. …


By: Sabina Yasmin & Vinith Kurian

Image by Rinku Dua on ShutterStock

A majority of the Indian Government’s recent efforts has laid emphasis on farmers’ well-being. In 2016, the government proposed the ambitious goal of doubling Indian farmers’ income by 2022. This requires engagement from multiple stakeholders — the government, the private sector and the civil society. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been playing a critical role in agriculture and farming area development, especially in rural and underprivileged areas. While data for the number of NGOs working in India is limited. As of 2016, an estimated 31 lakh NGOs, across all sectors are registered under the Societies Registration Act, out of which 2.9…


The pull of a government job

By: Anshuka Sachdeva &Valerie Mendonca

Image by KreativKolors on Shutterstock

For my call today, my respondent is from Bihar. I have always carried the impression that Biharis are a studious and intelligent type, perhaps because I have always associated Bihar with Nalanda, one of the oldest universities in the world. A second reason was the preponderance of Bihari candidates in the Indian Civil Services examinations, a legacy of the British system of testing candidates for public services. …


By: Shruti Sheopurkar & Nalini Srinivasan

We had previously written about the market access conundrum, and how market access is a daunting challenge that rural women have to face. To explore how this challenge was being addressed by the artisan community in Gujarat, we spoke to 60 artisans from six villages across Kutch earlier this month. Each village is home to communities who specialise in a unique form of embroidery. These artisans are connected with Shrujan, a not-for-profit committed to preserving the unique forms of embroidery practised by communities in Kutch.


By: Liju George, Rohitkumar Pillai, Dr Gayathri Aaditya Eranki & Dr Pramod Khadilkar

Our year-long study on financial inclusion and FPOs (Farmer Producer Organisation) is reaching its conclusion. The study extensively researched 20 FPOs spanned across India through consented interviews of various stakeholders including the CEOs, BoDs (board of directors), member farmers and non-member farmers. This particular blog tries to take the reader through the lens of a non-FPO member farmer in the vicinity of one of the FPOs that participated in our research. He justified his staying away with “there is no substantial benefit being a member of the FPO”. …


By: Joel John & Moses Sam Paul

Photo by Tricky_Shark

A year back, we received our admission to the BIRF (Bharat Inclusion Research Fellowship). At that time, though there were rumours of the country going into lock-down, its suddenness and totality were unanticipated. So also did we not reckon with loss of jobs and technology zooming (forgive the pun) and making up for lack of logistics. We did, however, have misgivings about logistical challenges we may face during the survey. …


Saving to startup

By: Rashmi Sharma, Anshuka Sachdeva and Valerie Mendonca

Image by wong yu liang on Shutterstock

For my next story, I dial the number for Altaf. His caller tune is a popular Bollywood song of the 90s: ‘Chand tare tod laun, saari duniya par me chaaun, bas itna sa khwaab hai’ (I dream of possessing the moon and the stars; to be on top of the world; it’s not a really big dream). The song in the movie encapsulates the dreams of a middle-class hero trying to work his way to the top. Altaf answers my call, breaking my reverie. …


By: Shruti Sheopurkar & Nalini Srinivasan

Image by Sumit Saraswat on Shutterstock

Offering a third model of radio broadcasting — in addition to commercial and public broadcasting — community radio is local people producing and broadcasting their own programmes, who also participate in operating the station. Usually a short-range, not-for-profit radio station or channel, it caters to the information needs of people of a particular locality, a geographical community, or communities of interest, in languages and formats appropriate for local context. Community radio stations are operated, owned and influenced by the communities they serve. It is a medium that enables individuals, groups and communities narrate their own stories, share experiences and become…


Working towards financial independence

By: Anshuka Sachdeva and Valerie Mendonca

Image by PRASANNAPIX on Shutterstock

I dial Aniket’s number who had asked me to call up any time after 8 p.m. As I listen to the recorded message reassuring the callers on the latest COVID-19 vaccine, a thought flashed through my mind about these fraught times. Before I could examine it closely, I hear Aniket’s ‘Hello’. He was expecting my call and said he was happy to answer any of my questions. His words are measured — he replies concisely with staccato breaks.

Aniket Diwan, 22, was born and brought up in a rural area outside Ambala in Haryana…

Bharat Inclusion Initiative

We aim to build knowledge, foster innovation & entrepreneurial activity towards improving financial inclusion and livelihood for the poor.

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