The Cause is the Business


Social Enterprises are mushrooming across the world.
There are several attempts to define what a Social Enterprise is and there are many interpretations.
How can we build a business that creates social value and makes a profit ethically?
Some of us have grown up believing that ‘profit’ is a dirty word. Profits from social causes is just not done for us. How can we sustain a social enterprise that does not ask for charity or donations and provides ourselves a fair income?

Social Enterprises come in many models. There are some Robin Hood kind of business models that attempt to rob the rich and pay the poor. There are some CSR kind of initiatives that also gain brand equity from their CSR activities.There are some enterprises that work on green technologies and products and gather carbon credits besides an income from their products and services. There are some great social enterprise models that enable community enterprises.

At Methodlabs India I am striving to create a reasonable business model that I can call a social enterprise.
I believe that it is better to earn a profit from working and adding social value than live off charity.
I also believe that the social value my business adds is worth much more than the income that accrues to my enterprise.
I do not want to run a donor funded non-profit organization.
I also do not want to exploit my employees and profit off their labor unfairly.
I prefer to build a trans-organization that has a collaborative, ethical and sharing culture.
To me the cause is the business.


About Gunasekar C Rajaratnam

Social Entrepreneur, Guna has been working 28 years with market research and social research agencies and as an independent research consultant. Volunteers most of his time on social and public causes and has travelled extensively within India and has visited Africa. Trained as a barefoot manager, Guna leads a de-cluttered life of simplicity and personal Integrity and aims to be a 'Karmayogi'. He works with marginalised and rural communities and helps them set up sustainable enterprises in rural and urban areas. He holds these Positions: Director - Methodlabs Services Private Limited Co-Founder - Coworking Chennai Started as a freelance field data collector in 1985, grew up to a Senior General Manager in 1998 working for professional research agencies and as an Independent Research Methodology Consultant since 1998. He has designed and played a role in implementing a variety of research and analytic projects in retail markets, consumer behaviour, health, environment, social development, hard to reach communities and indigenous people. Specialities: Research Methodology, recruiting, training and managing large research teams, online collaboration tools, open source software, qualitative and quantitative research techniques, clinical and laboratory research practices and Knowledge management. Domain knowledge in Industrial diversification, marketing, retail markets, appropriate technologies, social development, health, sexual health, environment, urban wildlife, communities and indigenous people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s