Poor countries across the globe lack basic infrastructure which is very critical for their economies to grow. Current business models do not cater to the needs of people at the base/bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) or large segment of low-income-earning population. In the recent economic environment where a large number of International investors and companies are expanding into low-income markets; there is a huge demand for graduates with social business essentials. But there are very few programmes that are generating such human resource. In this context, Business Schools for Impact Project of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), a project in collaboration with Global Business School Network (GBSN) and top international business schools’ global business impact initiative has originated. The project aims to create a worldwide network of academics and impact investment practitioners, help students gain professional experience in low-income countries, and develop teaching material for business schools, including a Global Impact Masters (GIM) Programme focused on economically effective and socially productive forms of corporate behaviour. It was felt that to promote such programme a regional hub approach should be followed with a network of few institutions.
The meet at Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI), Ahmedabad, is second in the series of meetings aimed at building network of business schools for South Asian Region to encourage B schools to adopt various elements of pro-poor investment curriculum along with their conventional curriculum and encourage its students to be elements of social change and sustainable development. Professor Jay Mitra, Essex University, and Professor Satyajit Majumdar, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), emphasized on the need to create a virtual network which help in developing regional impact programme as an offshoot of UNCTAD GIM.
Professor Saikat Sen represented SAFIM, an initiative of Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry in this meet and presented a course on ‘Leadership by Consciousness’ in this network. He made available the details of the course curriculum to the network members on May 26, 2015, at EDI. This course was accepted in the network and will be offered in various Institutions through network partners in future. SAFIM also became a member in this global network.