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XLRI Hosts 4th Social Entrepreneurship Conclave

16th March, 2021

XLRI- Xavier School of Management recently hosted the 4th Social Entrepreneurship Conclave virtually. India's future lies in villages, but today rural India is facing a lot of challenges align with this, theme for this year's conclave was 'Rural Sustainability for a Cohesive World.' SIGMA-oikos, the social initiative committee of XLRI, conducted the 4th edition of the Social Entrepreneurship Conclave. The conclave was conducted under the aegis of the Fr Arrupe Centre for Ecology and Sustainability (FACES).

The Social Entrepreneurship Conclave is an initiative to bring Social Entrepreneurs from across the country and give them a platform to discuss their work and learn from other experiences. It provides the ideal platform to young management graduates for the exchange of ideas, to formulate solutions to problems through discussions and interactions and learn from the practitioners.

In the Inaugural address Fr. P Christie S.J, Director, XLRI - Xavier School of Management, said, "I appreciate the organizing team for choosing a highly relevant theme 'Rural Sustainability for a Cohesive World.' We have witnessed unprecedented economic growth in our country in the last 30 years. Unfortunately, the large population, particularly in rural areas, did not have the privilege to enjoy this growth's benefits. Rather, their lives have become more impoverished. The disparity between the rich and the poor in urban areas and rural areas has grown beyond proportion. Poverty is rampant in rural areas, and they do not have access to decent health facilities, good education, sanitation, etc. It's aggravated by the digital divide, which we witnessed in the pandemic. When most of our students in the rural area could not pursue their studies. India's soul lives in villages, as said by Gandhi Ji. Rural development is a key to India's overall social development. Social entrepreneurs have played a significant role in rural sustainability, which is a key for India's development. I am happy that the FACES Centre has come up with a comprehensive action plan to impact the lives of the poor in the rural areas around us in Jharkhand. Many universities across the world provide us models for making an amazing impact on the underprivileged lives by training and promoting social Entrepreneurs. This conclave will provide us an opportunity to learn from each other and co-create a solution for a better & equitable, and more sustainable society."

The Chairman of Technico Agri Sciences Limited and Vice Chairman of ITC Infotech India Limited, Mr. S Shivakumar presented the keynote address on the theme "Rural Sustainability for a Cohesive World." The man behind ITC e-Choupal, Mr. Sivakumar discussed the challenges faced by marginal farmers and provided his views on how social entrepreneurs can tackle it.

After an enriching keynote session, Santosh Parulekar (co-founder and CEO, Pipal Tree), Rashmi Bharti (Co-founder, Avani), and Sanjeev Kumar (Co-founder, advisor, The Goat Trust) engaged in a panel discussion on the sub-theme "Sustaining Rural Livelihoods''. Mugdha Shah moderated the session (National head, Kasturi, Tata Chemical Society for Rural Development).

The Second panel discussion was on "Agriculture Innovations Strengthening Rural India."The panel of speakers consisted of Dr. Ramanjaneyulu (Executive Director, Centre of Sustainable Agriculture (CSA)), Krishnan Pallassana (Country Director, Digital Green), and Biswajit Bordoloi (Founder, Axum Agri) moderated by Ankur Omar (Founder, Farmonaut, and Kheti-X).

About SIGMA-oikos:

SIGMA-oikos (Social Initiative Group for Managerial Assistance) is a student-run social collaborative group at XLRI, which run under the able guidance of Professor Tata Raghuram and Professor Madhukar Shukla. SIGMA-oikos focuses on transformation and change in the social sector by contributing to the community and impoverished sections of the society. This is done through several events across the year, which are executed by a 14-member team dedicated to making positive contributions to the community Its events include Blood and stem cell donation camps, Paper recycling, and food wastage prevention drives, spreading legal literacy amongst village inhabitants across Jamshedpur, conducting Basic computer learning courses for underprivileged children.

Apart from that, SIGMA-oikos also holds national and international reach as they execute research projects in association with national NGOs such as Goonj, helping Hearts and Seeds and international NGOs such as oikos to help impoverished communities become self-sustaining through sales enablement services and supply chain optimization. SIGMA-oikos also hosts case study competitions where the best minds from top tier B schools across the country come together to solve national problems such as water conservation and renewable energy.

SIGMA-oikos works to cultivate and boorish the growing community of social entrepreneurship by providing a platform for information exchange, networking, and discovery of rising figures in the field through events such as the Social Entrepreneurship Conclave and National Conclave for Social Entrepreneurship. Award-winning entrepreneurs come and share their story and make it a melting pot of ideas and collaboration.

About XLRI:

XLRI-Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur is a premier, private management institute in India founded in 1949 by Fr Quinn Enright, S.J. in the 'steel city' of Jamshedpur (www.xlri.ac.in). Over the last seven decades, the institute has grown into a top-ranking business management school of international repute with a wide portfolio of management programs and research publications. Its alumni are spread around the globe and have demonstrated responsible business leadership in their organizations. XLRI continually strives to contribute its mite to the professional growth and management of numerous organizations and institutions across industry sectors. XLRI has been awarded two prestigious International Accreditations, viz., AACSB - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and AMBA - Association of MBAs. XLRI has also earned the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) accreditation.