2011 Winners

1st Place

Jayaashree Industries: The Low Cost Sanitary Napkin Maker

By Reshma Kamath

Reshma KamathReshma Kamath is currently pursuing her graduate studies in International Cooperation at the Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS) at Seoul National University (S.N.U), South Korea. She completed her undergraduate studies from San Jose State University, with a dual degree in Global Studies and Psychology, Summa Cum Laude. She is deeply interested in corporate social responsibility and law, and wants to enhance productive capacities in developing countries through public private partnerships. Her interest in this field prompted her to write this essay, which she hopes will shed light on an often neglected issue of women's reproductive and menstrual health. Throughout her studies, she has been active in community service through AmeriCorps, and various cross-cultural and leadership initiatives such as the Global Entrepreneurship Training 2011 co-sponsored by UNESCO, UniTwin and Handong University, where she promoted this business idea.

2nd Place

Ecotact: Providing Adequate Sanitation to the Base-of-the-PyramidIn Kenya

By Khuram Hussain Khuram 

Hussain KhuramHussain is an Acumen Fellow based in Nairobi, Kenya implementing operational improvements at Ecotact, an Acumen investee that provides sanitation services to Kenya’s urban poor. Previously, he has worked for TechnoServe in Conakry, Guinea and for Endeavor Global in Bogota, Colombia on strategic initiatives promoting economic development and local entrepreneurship. Before business school, Khuram worked for JP Morgan in the emerging markets sales, trading and research group in New York. He has an MBA from the Haas School of Business at University of California at Berkeley and is currently a Level III Candidate of the CFA Program.

3rd Place

Villgro Stores: Innovating Last-Mile Product Dissemination to Rural India

By Diana Jue, Ashutosh Sinha, and Suresh Shanmugam

Diana Jue

Diana Jue is a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, International Development Group. Her Masters thesis work is about appropriate technology dissemination to rural India’s Bottom of the Pyramid through social enterprises. In the summer of 2010, Diana conducted research on this topic at IIT Madras in Chennai, India.

Ashutosh Sinha is CEO of Villgro Stores and has a Masters in Agriculture Sciences and Business Management from MANAGE, Hyderabad. He possesses 12 years of experience in the rural agribusiness, energy and retail industries. Ashutosh has extensive experience in bottom of the pyramid markets and improving livelihoods through successful business model creation and implementation.

suresh Shanmugam
Suresh Shanmugam is Head of Operations of Villgro Stores. Qualified in agriculture and ecology, Suresh has over 8 years of experience in the grassroots-level farm science centers of Myrada Krishi Vigyan Kendra. He has worked with over 800 self help groups, 24 watershed development associations, 2 natural farming associations, and 5 farmers clubs.

Honorable Mention
Gramin Suvidha Kendra MCX & India Post Initiative
By Sarita Bahl

SaritaWith a Master’s in Medical and Psychiatric Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, coupled with Management and Science degrees, Sarita Bahl brings with her over 24 years of work experience. Her forte lies in her ability to function across different sectors and in various fields like Inclusive Business, Communications and Training.

A former Communications specialist with Monsanto India, she switched to Corporate Social Opportunities (CSO) as a career of choice and heads the department for Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited (MCX). In her present role as Vice President and Head, Group CSO, she has introduced various CSR systems and processes related to Policy Formulation, Inclusive Business models, Employee Engagement practices and Environment Sensitization. A trained CSR professional from the Swedish Institute, Sweden, her core expertise lies in setting the road map for sustainability and creating the brand value for CSR. 

Honorable Mention
Shokay: Creating Luxury Yak-down Products to Alleviate Poverty in Western China