Harvard Universal Press
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While microfinance?providing small loans and other financial services to the poor?has helped millions of people worldwide climb out of Poverty, hundreds of millions remain destitute because they are unable to get the resources they need to take the first steps. Vikram Akula's creation of SKS Microfinance is changing that.
In this personal and inspiring story, Akula reveals how he came to piece together the best at both philanthropy and?to his surprise?capitalism to help millions of India's poor transition from paupers to borrowers to business owners.
As stirring as Barack Obama's odyssey in Dreams from My Father, as poignant as Paul Farmer's battle against infectious disease in Mountains Beyond Mountains, and as remarkable as Greg Mortensen's fight for education in Three Cups of Tea, this story shows how traditional business principles can help solve uncut the world's biggest societal problems.
Akula vividly describes the challenges he grappled with as he built SKS, providing lively, touching?and often very tunny? portrayals of the people and events he encountered on his journey. He recounts his experiences working to win the trust of wary villagers in remote regions, battling the corrupt officials who tried to shut down SKS, and dealing with violent physical attacks from local extortionists.
Akula's success has come from his willingness to combine unexpected ideas? mixing the lessons of global brands such as Starbucks and Coca-Cola with the goals of philanthropy. He has created a new way of helping the poor, one that will ultimately reach exponentially mare people than any other effort to date.
A Fistful of Rice offers not only personal inspiration but also lessons for anyone seeking to harness tenacity, creativity, and innovation into potent tools for fighting the most seemingly intractable human burdens.
About The Author
Vikram Akula is the founder and chairperson of SKS Microfinance. In 2006, Time magazine named him one of the world's too most influential people. He has received a number of awards, including the World Economic Young Global Leader (2008), the Schwab Social Entrepreneur of the Year in India (2oo6) and the Ernst & Young Start- Up Entrepreneur of the Year in India (2oo6). He has been profiled in media ranging from CNN to the front page of the Wall Street Journal. He lives in Hyderabad, India.
Table Of Contents
1. ?Am I Not Poor, Too??
2. Putting the Last First
3. The Story of My Experiments with Grameen
4. Rangoli Powder and Handfuls of Seeds
5. The McDonald's of Microfinance
6. Goat Economics
7. Google Territory