Building the Business Environment for Social Enterprise

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HERD Education and Medical Research Foundation undertook secure steps for building a sound business environment to be able to create conscious entrepreneurship. Having started off as a plainly philanthropic organization with a focus on healthcare delivery, improved educational inputs, rural betterment and participation in development, it now includes more diverse business enterprises in order to maintain financial stability for its primary intentions.

We had struck out with an unassuming and all inclusive outlook. In the past couple of years we adopted strategic business development plans that came by through our experience of opportunistic enterprise development needs. We did this in the fond hope of creating in-house financial avenues that would sustain the social development agenda. Since our initial philanthropy could only continue up to a point, it became essential to create sound business routes to keep our passion fueled.

It has been over a decade that we had been tracking the trajectory of our social work impact. And we realize we still have miles to go. This then made us add on specific strategies to shape our future. On the one hand we want to continue with the social development agenda, particularly in the oft neglected rural regions. On the other hand we are keen to broaden our perspectives on successful management of the startup companies.

While doing them both, the objective remains to provide relevant context to both ends of the spectrum. We will be continuing with our quest in achieving the four pronged social change that we envision. At the same time we also need to embed deeper insights and experiences into the mindsets of our young business managers, so that they know the importance of business leadership, competition, focus and differentiation strategy.

Roping in the best talents, senior management is keen to nurture and invest in the division heads who are being cultivated with the desire to grow. At this point in time we are facing it all – financial pressure, pressure on human resources, difficulty in overcoming fierce competition, and dealing with market trends and competitors. Since our businesses are largely consumer-centric we need to invest in the best HR grooming. Also, in order to stay on top of the game we need to invest in the best.

Concurrently we are developing sound briefing/reporting systems that inform everyone in the organization about the successes and failures. The aim is to assess gaps, undertake measures, re-strategize if need be to strike at success. We are cultivating an effective reporting-communication system with regard to strategies deployed and targets met. Weekly and monthly review meetings include planned agenda and PPT scorecard methodology for internal communication processes that act as a democratizing strategy. It gets everyone on board to be on the same page and to add their inputs wherever needed. This not only shares the measure of achievement and progress of works towards particular goals, but also keeps the business heads goaded and glued to the targets.

Such debriefing sessions also become essential strategy planning meetings. Such open communication processes provide the complete picture to the management and employees at the same time. Also this becomes a means of effective communication channel, when top to bottom everyone, together hear, see and approve business moves and directions. The crucial part here is to ensure that staff is well prepared to offer timely review, assessment and feedback. HERD Group of Companies within the ambit of HERD Foundation is thus moving ahead in areas of competence, pragmatism and full-on involvement and collaboration.