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This Social Entrepreneur is Creating Employment in Underserved Areas The non-profit body focuses on youth and women from ages 18-25 in the most rural parts of the world.

By Nidhi Singh

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The rural population in India is deprived of proper services despite government taking various measures to improve the situation. While on one hand, some people are moving to big cities in search of employment, others are dreaming of bringing jobs to rural India. Manav Subodh, Cofounder, 1M1B (1 Million for 1 Billion), also shares a similar dream. Before starting his entrepreneurial journey, Manav worked for 17 years in the corporate sector with organizations like Ernst and Young (EY), Intel, Hughes, and QAI.

"I had a typical career path, studying engineering, MBA and then getting into a corporate job in marketing/consulting. I was the global director for Intel Corporation in entrepreneurship and innovation. After spending ten years there, I left that job because I thought I wasn't able to make a difference. The sole idea behind 1M1B was to make entrepreneurship available to the people in rural areas," shared Subodh.

Started in 2014, the non-profit body focuses on youth and women from ages 18-25 in the most rural parts of the world. The initiative builds conscious enterprises and undertakes income enhancement initiatives for indigenous and underprivileged communities by engaging urban leaders and start-ups.

Tapping the Entrepreneurial Potential at the Grassroots Level:

With this unique initiative, Subodh wanted to get the entrepreneurship movement to the grassroots level of India as well as globally.

"Whenever I was organizing big summits for Intel, the people we met at the event were the 'want to entrepreneurs', who had choices in life. However, there are some people who don't have choices in life and time to come to such big conferences. That was when I thought of making something available for people who don't have too many choices today," he added.

Integrate Social Good Into the Business :

Subodh started conceptualizing 1M1B with the thought of creating a million entrepreneurs and leaders who will drive a billion people out of poverty. He believes job creation is not the sole responsibility of an entrepreneur.

"Entrepreneurship, today only means launching your own startup. But an entrepreneur can also start initiatives which are entrepreneurial and do good for the society by creating jobs. I believe one can still create jobs being a leader," he stressed.

Contradict Stereotypes:

Leaving a corporate job to pursue his passion for social entrepreneurship wasn't an easy task for Subodh. Initially, for him, it was very tough to answer people that why he is leaving a corporate job and going to the village.

"Nobody wants to work in a rural area. The hardest challenge was to influence the corporates. Getting entrepreneurship movement at the bottom of the pyramid sounds like a silly idea. Many people don't consider it as a go-to-business model," said Subodh adding that kind of work can also be done without compromising on lifestyle. We need to stop stereotyping.

Profit Vs Sustainability:

Unlike other companies, the nonprofit organizations have to consider different factors critical to sustainability. Subodh believes sustainability is different from making a profit.

"For non-profits, funding operations is more important than profit generation. Non-profits think that they don't need a business model and revenue stream. But its absolutely wrong, they may not make a 500 percent margin but they still need to make 13 percent margin on revenue. Most important, Non-profits still need to have a program where people are paying and there is a double-sided market. Also, because that audience might be of long-term business interest," concluded Subodh.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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