Review by Jonathan C. At a mere pages, it is a fat pamphlet. In , after six months of lending, SKS, at the time a nongovernmental organization, had borrowers. Today, the for-profit company serves nearly 6 million Indians with microloans. For both author and reader, an autobiography is always fraught with danger.
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Shelves: nonfiction , A fast and important read. Vikram Akula pioneered aggressive growth, for-profit micro-finance. His argument for profitable micro-finance is absolutely compelling. With higher profit margins, his company could expand at a pace that would be impossible to match by a similar non-profit organization. By standardizing--and digitizing--the loan procedure in simple and elegant ways, Akula A fast and important read. By standardizing--and digitizing--the loan procedure in simple and elegant ways, Akula branded his product in a way that no one before him even the Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammed Yanus, creator of micro-finance had been able to do.
I also agreed with his argument that the poor are not children; they do not need or desire coddling. They know their own needs better than well-intentioned but far-removed government programs which often unintentionally oppress the poor instead of helping them. Micro-finance allows the poor to take control of their situation directly. The book jacket compares him to Paul Farmer, and since I had never heard of Vikram Akula before, I was initially skeptical.
But truly, he and his company are doing noble things on a massive scale. A moving and inspiring account of a do-gooder who sets out on climbing and defeating the insurmountable mountain of poverty in rural India. With degrees from the likes of Harvard, Yale and Chicago University, the man could have chosen a lavish lifestyle in America, far from a different bleak world out here in India.
However, real life is messier than movies. I am amazed why a Bollywood producer has not yet approached the author for the rights!
A Fistful of Rice – Book by Vikram Akula
The Quintessential Entrepreneur
A Fistful of Rice: My Unexpected Quest to End Poverty Through Profitability
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