Misfit & Balder association

The partnership between Misfit & Balder speciality foods seems to be a perfect example of social enterprises working in unison to create an impact. The duo believes in adding value to their products in the market by using the unused fruits & vegetables that are being thrown away as waste. The misfit is a Washington based startup founded by Phil Wong & Ann Yang in 2005 deals with cold pressing juices from fruit scraps. The innovative idea by the founders believes in creating product lines by converting one man’s trash to other man’s treasure. Around the globe, huge quantities of food are getting wasted, so the message is loud & clear from Misfit that they want to be in the forefront to fight this social issue with innovative ideas.
So the duo has decided to tie up with “Balder” one of the leading distributors of neatly cut fresh fruits & watermelons in the market. The process of producing neatly cuts fruits creates wastages daily, So finding this is an opportunity in 2016 Mist fit juicy has successfully tied up with Balder. Although balder is a large corporation involved in the distribution of perfectly sliced fruits to the grocery shops in the Northeast, yet they were clueless in minimising the wastages during the process. Amid all the daily wastages Balder has agreed to sell its carrot tops and trimmings to misfit, This resulted in a significant reduction of wastage of food materials, wastages, Henceforth after the tie-up with misfit, balder started generating a fresh revenue stream by addressing the issue of food waste by associating with a social enterprise.

The partnership between misfit & Balder speciality foods seems to be a perfect example of social enterprises working in unison to create an impact. The duo believes in adding value to their products in the market by using the unused fruits & vegetables that are being thrown away as waste. The misfit is a Washington based startup founded by Phil Wong & Ann Yang in 2005 deals with cold pressing juices from fruit scraps. The innovative idea by the founders believes in creating product lines by converting one man’s trash to other man’s treasure. Around the globe, huge quantities of food are getting wasted, so the message is loud & clear from Misfit that they want to be in the forefront to fight this social issue with innovative ideas.
So the duo has decided to tie up with “Balder” one of the leading distributors of neatly cut fresh fruits & watermelons in the market. The process of producing neatly cuts fruits creates wastages daily, So finding this is an opportunity in 2016 Mist fit juicy has successfully tied up with Balder. Although balder is a large corporation involved in the distribution of perfectly sliced fruits to the grocery shops in the Northeast, yet they were clueless in minimising the wastages during the process. Amid all the daily wastages Balder has agreed to sell its carrot tops and trimmings to misfit, This resulted in a significant reduction of wastage of food materials, wastages, Henceforth after the tie-up with misfit, balder started generating a fresh revenue stream by addressing the issue of food waste by associating with a social enterprise.

Striking right partnership

The association between Misfit & Balder is a classic example of aligning one’s own business with a social enterprise to gain an advantage in the marketplace. The partnership with a social enterprise in today’s world increasingly makes more sense. It also helps both partners in creating social impact by keeping their bottom line in sync with the overall business objective. I think these models can be emulated better in developing markets like India in a big way. Traditionally every organisation gives more importance to improve their bottom line through delivering better value to its shareholders & investors. Now it is time to think beyond this notion in order to create a better social impact in the society. Founders of the Misfit feel sustainable business relationships not only add value overall but also helps to create a better social impact. In this case, Misfit as an organisation is successful as a social enterprise to leverage its strengths to create an authentic impact by addressing the pain points faced by large organisations. So any forward-thinking organisation for that matter can reap real benefits socially and financially by associating with such social enterprises.

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Social business

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Nobel laureate Mohammed Yunus from Bangladesh defines social business as a self-sustainable business created, designed to address the social problems. The social business is a not a new model per se, but it is a new approach of looking at the business with a different perspective to create maximum social impact in the society. The social business model requires new thinking with the aspect of creating maximum value in the society taking the community and the people together for a common good. When the business entity starts focussing the new path it bounds to create altruist impact in the society. However, it should be based on acceptance, embrace the problems faced by the society through collective action with an objective to bring perceptible changes in the quality of life of people. This new approach could create a lasting impact on the society by accepting, collectively to create opportunities for everyone in the community. Besides, that approach has the potential to create an environment of right balance and hence can act as a catalyst for change. Also, the new role if adopted can alter the existing business’ equation significantly in the society by becoming more inclusive in approach & behaviour.

Social business a moment of truth

Time has come for business houses to realise the moment of truth by thinking the way it conducts its business. The moment of truth means business houses need to think and behave as if they are part of the environment and society in which it operates. The moment they see themselves as a separate entity from the society, it leads to the creation of more friction with its external stakeholders and also cannot strike a right chord with the society.

Importance of shared value creation

The current business practices have created enough mess on the environment and society, So the situation certainly calls for a shared value creation means business houses need to extend their hands towards society in which they operate. The decision makers and the employers should internalise themselves the consequence of their action on the society. Henceforth a constant effort and need of the hour is to bring business and society together. Also social business to a great extent can create social harmony and sustainable growth.
Nestle the Global multinational giant has redesigned its coffee procurement process working extensively with small farmers who were trapped in low productivity and poor quality due to environmental degradation. The role of Nestle as a company in giving advice on new farming practices, providing the farmers with plant stocks, distributing fertilizer and pesticides and last but not least company paid the farmers in premium for cultivating quality coffee beans. The social impact created by this move has helped the small farmers in distress and improved their economic benefits and also helped to improve their quality of life.

Impact investment via social business.

Resourceful action seriously can create an impact in the society and could solve the problems faced by society at large, provided stakeholders of the company to act creatively with a mind to usher maximum positive impact in the society. The existing capitalistic business models has been creating unequal scenarios and sapping resources with no remorse has already weakened the nature and society . So going forward if they continue to do same means it would create detrimental effects on the community, natural resources and economy. So social business is the new model of capitalism where owners decide not to take the dividends but keep reinvesting the financial resources for new social business ideas in order to a create much larger impact in the society. Besides, that concentration of wealth in the hands of few can be reduced and effective deployment of resources to the population at the bottom of the pyramid.

 

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Governments’ role as a facilitator

Elected government through its administration alone cannot suffice the role in bringing radical changes in the society and it has proven beyond doubt that collective effort from business houses and industry leaders could bring a very positive and impact full change in the status quo. So Government as a dispensation should become more of a facilitator in framing new laws and policies for a smooth operation of social business models across different areas. Since the magnitude of the problems faced by the majority of the population is huge, it is also equally important that all stakeholders in the society should think and act with empathy to get rid of the issues faced by the society. Hindsight issues at hand certainly ask for fundamental changes the investment made on business and how the profits made out of the business get redeployed to create maximum social impact. The government should come forward with policies to create an environment for such a smooth transition. When proper policies are in place might pursue business houses and its owners to proactively take up the most pressing issues in the society and unitedly find solutions by giving the opportunity for everyone’s sustenance.

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Calibrating CSR in India

The CSR spending in India has seen a surge at CAGR of 14 % in the last two fiscal which is a promising sign despite having only 5% growth in their net profit. However, the majority of the corporates had taken the help of  NGO’s for  CSR spending it also means internally companies had deployed minimum resources to monitor their CSR activities. Perhaps post amendment of companies acts in 2013   business houses ever since has shown good compliance prescribed by the law.  But in a larger country like  India problems are galore in the areas of healthcare, education and the environment. Hence,  CSR funds could only account for a mere 1% of the total public spending in 2015-16. The spending model of  CSR funds in India are generally are programmatic grants. So in the hindsight to make a meaningful progress in CSR spending the very nature of their involvement needs to be evolved further to create a better impact.

CSR sector wise

Need for a  participatory approach

Generally, the CSR spending trend in India needs to get evolved from individuals to an Ecosystem where corporates can play a very proactive role in creating visible changes and perceptible impact on the problems faced by the society.  In order to create a larger impact, the existing model of CSR spending need changes and corporates should take serious initiative internally if they really want to create a meaningful impact in the society. Instead of being just grant givers, corporates should transform themselves from delivering services to building capacity & enabling the market for overall development.  The participatory approach should be a continuous affair whereby companies should constantly engage with various stakeholders in the society and ensure that measurable output is generated through their engagement.  Also, business houses internally should set an objective and drive those objectives meticulously similar to the ways how their business is been driven.

 

 

Become a catalyst for development

1)To become the catalyst for development, the companies in India should take various steps

2) Better use of resources and leveraging it effectively to create a better impact.

3) They need to establish better synergy between various players for the desired impact.

4) Bring in new stakeholders to the system and gain more competencies from them.

Promoting socially responsible business

Corporates should take a keen interest in promoting micro-entrepreneurs in the community, helping the people with financial support in starting a small business that could create a multiplier effect in the economy. So forging such useful long-term association can help improve the situation on the ground. Henceforth corporates in India should focus more one such aspect frequently rather than just becoming grant givers. The synergy between the various stakeholders in the society would help to create a win-win situation for all.

Importance of shared value creation

Beyond the corporates’ pet projects and largely advertised philanthropic activities, it only helps to improve the branding of the company and leaves very little to create an impact in the society. So beyond the objective of building a company’s brand, The active involvement in the society can only be achieved through “smart partnering “. Only through smart partnering creative solutions and strategies can be devised to address the very fundamental core issues faced by the society. The successful smart partnering initiative from HUL named “Project Shakthi”  was a very good initiative that had empowered the women folks in the rural sector by providing financial independence and have helped to achieve self-reliant.

Strengthening the core values internally&externally

Business creates impact, So it does matter how an organisation lives up to its core values extrinsically and intrinsically in relation to the society and vice-versa. How far corporates leaders are serious in practising those professed values in all aspects, Besides making profit business as an entity has a social commitment to the society or towards the community it operates. So it does matter the seriousness in which companies have aligned those core values to the overall development of the society. The whole aspect of doing business through the prism of generating value to shareholders should be replaced with a much more sanguine way of taking every other stakeholder together.

Engage the entire workforce and lead by example.

 When it comes to CSR, the workforce of every organisation is very crucial in bringing maximum benefits to the society. When it comes to employees they choose an organisation whose values resonates with them.It also helps in retaining existing as well as attracting fresh talents towards the organisation. Besides that activity that encourages the core values helps in improving the motivation level of employees which further leads to foster innovation and creative thinking in many spheres both inside and outside of the organisation.


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