By 1982, the founding members of Indian Grameen Services (IGS), Shri Vijay Mahajan, Shri Deep Joshi and Dr. Sankar Datta were already considering the importance of professionals engaging in development action. The initial work done with ASSEFA, a Gandhian NGO, helped the trio in establishing Pradan (www.pradan.net) in 1983. In 1987, IGS was registered as a Section 25 (now Section 8) not-for-profit company under the aegis of Pradan, to undertake research and development in livelihood promotion.
By 1996, IGS was transferred to the newly formed BASIX Group, initially as an incubator for the newly formed NBFC, Bhartiya Samruddhi Finance Ltd. (BSFL). Later, IGS evolved into the research and development arm of Basix Social Enterprise Group (SEG) to test new ideas for addressing contemporary livelihood challenges. Aligned with its mission, IGS evolved viable, scalable; replicable; and most importantly sustainable ideas. The products and services thus developed were scaled up, either by IGS itself or by other BASIX Social Enterprise Group (SEG) companies or hived off as new entities. Since its inception, IGS has incubated a number of market led innovations and piloted new concepts around livelihood issues.
IGS envisions an equitable world where the poor and marginalized in rural and urban areas, have access to livelihood opportunities on a sustainable basis, are prosperous and happy. Thus, IGS describes its vision in Hindi as,
In pursuit of its vision to augment access of poor to sustainable livelihoods, IGS sees itself as a laboratory for incubating innovations and defines its mission as,
Incubating: initiatives by generating / adapting new ideas and mobilizing appropriate financial, human and technical resources for sustaining these ideas to prove their viability, replicability, scalability and sustainability, and hiving proven models into separate entities.
Innovations: Creating and / or improvising models and approaches which are novel and address contemporary livelihood challenges.
Pro poor: Livelihood promotion initiatives which by design (rather than default) have the potential to impact livelihoods for a large number of poor households, and which can be managed and owned by the poor.
Key values underlying IGS’ culture include:
Employees feel free to express their ideas and organization is open towards the new ideas or ways of doing things & strengthening systems leading to better decision making.
It is the value underlying trust & willingness of a person to acknowledge the feelings he/she has. It is the quality of being trustworthy.
Involves working together and using one another’s strength for a common cause. Individuals, instead of solving their problems by themselves, share their concerns with one another and prepare strategies, work out plans of action, and implement them together to create greater resources towards recognition and rewards.
Employees face problems and work jointly with others concerned to find its solution. They face the issues squarely without hiding them or avoiding them for fear of hurting each other thus helping team members to broaden their outlook.
Employees are action oriented, willing to take initiative & show a high degree of pro activity. They anticipate issues and act or respond to the needs of the future.
Emphasizes the importance given to innovation and trying out new ways of dealing with problems/issues in the organization.
Employees trust each other & can be relied upon to ‘do’ whatever they have committed.
The quality or condition of being autonomous & self governed. Employees have some freedom to act independently within the boundaries imposed by their role/job leading to higher accountability.
Dr. SudhaNair , is a microbiologist and obtained her doctorate from the University of Madras in the year 1991. She has eighteen years of work experience in taking the benefits of Science & Technology for sustainable rural development and livelihoods and has played a significant role in policy formulations for women in Science, Engineering and Technology.
She is currently a Senior Director and heads the J R D Ecotechnology Centre where she coordinates the activities of a multi-disciplinary team. She serves on various committees at the National (Department of Science &Technology, and Department of Biotechnology) and International (Member Executive Board Organization of Women Scientists for the Developing World, Advisory member of the Regional Office Asia Pacific Region, UNESCO and Member Gender Advisory Board, UNCSTD) to promote equality for Women in Science and in taking the benefits of Science to Women.
Mr. Vijay Nadkarni, has worked for over three decades in banking and has worked in agricultural banking, finance to small scale industries, commercial banking, financing of international trade, housing finance as well as finance for livelihoods. Besides working with State Bank of India where he headed a region, he was worked as the Managing Director of Krishna BhimaSamruddhi Local Area Bank, the only bank in the country with a mission to provide financial services to the under-served and to provide livelihoods.
He also has vast experience in the implementation of banking technology. He was the executive head of an alliance of voluntary organizations formed for promoting the credibility of the voluntary sector though promotion of norms of transparency and good governance. He has also volunteered for a large number of organizations and worked in tribal areas as well for disaster relief, conservation of environment etc. He is visiting faculty for the post graduate programme for development management conducted by the SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai.
Dr. Sankar Datta is one of the founder members of Indian Grameen Services. He has held leadership positions at Azim Premj University and Basix Social Enterprise Group. He also held senior positions in MP Oilseeds Coop Federation, PRADAN and IIM-Ahmedabad, before joining the faculty of the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) for five years. Dr Datta has been involved in extending professional services for rural development activities, specially focusing on livelihood support/ promotion, working with micro-enterprises, for more than three decades.
Dr Datta is a Member of Working Group on Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act constituted by Planning Commission (Rural Development Division) Task Force on Livelihoods and a Member in the Consortium for Management Training for NRLM. He is a member of the Advisory Council of Centre for Management in Agriculture, of IIM-Ahmedabad. He has a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and Animal Husbandry and holds a post graduate diploma in Rural Management. He holds a PhD in Economics from Sardar Patel University.
Ms Swati Desai holds degree M.A.(Economics) University of Bombay and LLB from University of Delhi. She has had an illustrious carrier of 35 years with State Bank Group with wide experience of serving the banks in varied verticals including credit, retail banking and international finance. During her long career in the Bank, she has held many challenging assignments.
Her last assignment was with SBI Securities Limited as Managing Director. She has long experience in SBI's treasury and hence financial markets. She was Managing Director of the broking arm of SBI for four years. She oversaw reorganisation of the Company and revamped processes and policies to set stage for growth. State of the art technology was developed and introduced to make the Company's on line presence the finest in the industry.
Ms. Patricia Mukhim, Independent Director She is an educationist, activist and journalist. She is currently editor of The Shillong Times, Meghalaya’s oldest English language daily and a columnist for The Telegraph and The Statesman. Patricia Mukhim is a member of the National Security Advisory Board and National Foundation for Communal Harmony, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi.
Patricia Mukhim was conferred the Padmashree in March 2000. Earlier in 1996, she received the Chameli Devi Jain Award for outstanding woman media person. In February 2008, Patricia received the excellence in journalism award. In January 2011 She was conferred the 2nd North East Excellence Award by The Indian Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. HershHaladker, has masters in Innovation Design from the Royal College of Art, London and Masters in innovation engineering from Imperial College, London. Hersh looked at innovation from three different aspects. He was awarded the design London fellowship for a joint MBA in innovation entrepreneurship in Imperial College, Business school. His work has involved innovations in products, services and processes.
He has partnered with companies such Swarovski, Sharp, mc laren, Britannia, GMR group, Pepsi Cp., Marico etc., in the past. Positions currently held - Founder and director - instillmotion consulting pvt. ltd. - www.instillmotion.net ; Head of innovation cell - spring.board - Symbiosis International University - www.springboard.org.in ; Member Secretary - Research and Innovation council, Symbiosis International University.
Mr. Devarakonda Sattaiah, has over 24 years of experience including a tenure of 20 years with BASIX Group dealing with Microcredit and Micro Insurance Operations with nearly 2 million credit customers, USD 450 million in loans outstanding and over 3.8 million insurance covers. He has got track record of starting and expanding businesses. Managed the Human Resource function for the same company with over 8,000 people in hundreds of locations.Exposed to some of the best management education in the world at Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad and to all round leadership exposure that is unique to the BASIX Group.
He comes with strong hold on operations process, mechanism, planning, tools and monitoring and mentoring practice. He served as Head of Human Resources (HR), Insurance Vertical, Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Director Strategic Products in BhartiyaSamruddhi Finance Limited. He comes with strong familiarity with the rural realities, dynamics and customer knowledge. He is a post graduate in Management with a bachelor degree in Maths, Physics and Chemistry from Osmania University, Hyderabad. He is the designated as Managing Director of BhartiyaSamruddhi Investments and Consulting Services Limited.
Arijit has over 23 years experience in the development sector with reputed national and international organizations. His key skills include programme design, implementation and evaluation, and analysis of policies and institutional strategies in rural livelihoods, institutional development, micro finance and natural resource management.
He has been exposed to both working with cutting edge workers as well as senior and policy level professionals and institutions. He studied Agricultural Sciences and also attended the international training program on microfinance organised by Boulder Institute. He has represented IGS and BASIX at various forums nationally and internationally.
Management Graduate from XISS Ranchi. With more than 18 years in livelihood, he currently heads Livelihood & Microfinance Promotion Fund and is the Thematic Lead for Inclusive Financial Services.
Post graduation in management with more than 28 years of experience in rural development. He leads Rajasthan and is the Thematic Lead for Solid Waste Management.
Post Graduate Diploma in Forestry Management and MSc in Botany. With more than 20 years of experience in rural development, he leads Madhya Pradesh and is the Thematic Lead for Institutional Development Support Services.
Post graduation in Zoology, Rural Development and Human Resource Management. With more than 23 years of experience, he leads Maharashtra and is the Thematic Lead for Eco Tourism.
B Tech in Agriculture Engineering and currently pursuing his PhD. With about 17 years of experience, he leads Telangana state and provides technical support to Karnataka.
Management graduate and a qualified lawyer. With more than 20 years of experience, he leads Bihar.
Doctorate in Agricultural Economics. With more than 8 years of experience he leads West Bengal and North East and is the Thematic Lead for Farm Based Livelihoods.
Post Graduate in Commerce and Business Management and ICWA (Inter). He has more than 15 years of experience in handling finances of both for-profit and not-for-profit institutions. At IGS he heads the Finance and Accounts Team.
Bachelor in Technology (Civil) and has more than 11 years of experience. He heads Jharkhand and is the Thematic Lead for Entrepreneurship Development.
Management graduate with more than 12 years of experience. He heads Odisha and is the Thematic Lead for Natural Resources Management.
Commerce graduate with more than 28 years of experience, he heads Administration.