A packed audience of student leaders, NGOs, community organizations and international visitors heard Infosys founder and Chairman Emeritus, N. R. Narayana Murthy, speak about the keys to success for an entrepreneur. Keeping a focused objective, benchmarking and improving oneself against measurable metrics and planning for the organization to last over centuries helps build a company that is truly scalable and thinks sustainably, he said. Above all else, he also told the audience, make sure you enjoy what you are doing and ensure your customer is also happy.
Spread over three days in January, Development Dialogue in Hubli has become the leading conference on social entrepreneurship in India. Over 3,000 attendees ranging from student leaders, NGOs, farmers, educators, and entrepreneurs of all types attended a range of keynotes, panels and workshops that spanned a number of subject areas.
The session opened with a display of several hundred student projects from the top LEAD programs around the state. Several student leaders were honored for the significant social impact of their projects. A stellar keynote panel consisting of ‘Padmashree’ Aloysius P. Fernandez, Chairman, NABARD Financial Services; Neelam Chhiber, Co-Founder, Industree, Managing Director, Mother Earth and winner of the Schwab Foundation’s Indian Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2011; N. K. Chaudhary, Founder-Chairman, Jaipur Rugs Pvt. Ltd; Girish G Sohani, President and Managing Trustee, BAIF; and G. Kumar Naik IAS, Principal Secretary of Primary and Secondary Education, Karnataka State Government shared their perspectives on how the ecosystem played a role in developing their work. The panel was moderated by Ramji Raghavan, Founder and Chairman, Agastya International Foundation. A number of engaging breakout panels kept several hundred attendees informed and captivated over the following two days.
Harish Hande, founder of SELCO India and 2011 Magsaysay Award Winner, delivered an inspirational closing keynote which challenged the audience to radically revise their preconceptions of the real opportunity to serve the needs of the bottom of the pyramid.