About the author
Sourav Mukherji is Associate Professor of Organization and Strategy at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. An engineer from IIT Kharagpur, Sourav obtained his doctorate from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. His major research interests are strategic and structural challenges faced by Indian firms competing in global markets. At IIM Bangalore, he teaches post graduate and doctoral level courses on Organization Design, Strategy Process, Organization Learning and Knowledge Management. Prior to joining IIM Bangalore as a faculty member, Sourav worked for the Boston Consulting Group as a strategy consultant, where he was involved in assignments concerning portfolio analysis, organization design, merger and acquisitions and market entry strategies for Indian and international firms. After completing his engineering, Sourav had worked with information technology firms like IBM and Oracle in various product management functions. As a doctoral student at IIM Bangalore he won the ‘Infosys Fellowship’, awarded for research in the IT industry. Sourav has presented papers in international academic conferences, spoken at national and international corporate forums and published in peer-reviewed journals on topics related to globalization of Indian organizations, outsourcing of knowledge intensive services, novel organization forms and knowledge management. He has also been involved in several consulting assignments, advising organizations on strategic and structural issues. At IIM Bangalore, Sourav was the Chairperson of Career Development and Placement activities during 2006-09. He is also a member of various committees that oversee ongoing programmes and new initiatives at IIM Bangalore. Sourav is among the board of advisors of an entrepreneurial venture in the information technology services sector.
About the case study
International Development Enterprise (IDE) is a development organization that operates in 11 countries worldwide with the aim of creating income opportunities for poor rural households in developing countries. IDE Nepal, an affiliate of IDE, was established in 1992 with the aim of developing low-cost irrigation technologies suitable for smallholders in rural Nepal. More than 80% of the people in Nepal are engaged in agriculture and a significant number of them have smallholdings. Typically, smallholder farmers are economically impoverished and belong to disadvantaged classes in the society. IDE realized that small holdings of these poor farmers can be effectively utilized for growing vegetables, if the farmers were provided with suitable technology for irrigation and water management and knowledge inputs for managing the vegetable farming process. IDE thus enhances farm productivity of poor farmers and increases their income by providing them with low-cost irrigation technologies and knowledge of farm management.
In order to ensure that increased farm productivity results in increased farm income, IDE links farmers to markets. Smallholder farmers are severely disadvantaged when it comes to accessing markets because of their weak bargaining power and information asymmetry. To overcome this disadvantage, IDE organizes the smallholders into communities and creates Marketing and Planning Committees that look after the interests of the farmer communities. Sooner or later, such communities mature into self-help groups empowering the rural poor to collectively bargain for their interests and rights. Today, IDE has started linking these communities with financial institutions and is in the process of enabling a credit model where the community can jointly provide guarantee to loans made to the individual member. IDE works closely with Nepalese government institutions for long term sustainability of its initiatives. It leverages the resources available with the government for implementing its programmes as well as focusing on developing capacity of government institutions so that the government can continue with the development initiatives even after completion of IDE’s projects.
Today, IDE Nepal operates in 22 districts in Nepal having reached more than 1.4 million poor farmers in 240,000 households in rural Nepal. Its programmes have resulted in the sale of 200,000 treadle pumps and 40,000 drip irrigation systems. It is estimated that IDE interventions have generated an additional income of US$150 per year for each of the 240,000 households whom they have reached.