MBA Student Wins First Prize in Sustainable Global Enterprise Competition

Srinivas Venugopal, a first-year ILLINOIS MBA student, recently received notice that his submission won first place in the 2009 Base of Pyramid Narrative Competition hosted by the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University and sponsored by USAID and the International Finance Corporation.  His work was chosen from among 100 submissions from 15 countries.

Venugopal’s submission, entitled “Engaging with the Emergent Order to Create Social and Financial Value: Learnings from an Education Venture in Low-Income Villages of Timl Nadu,” describes the challenges of delivering an entrepreneurial for-profit education venture to 80 villages in 8 districts of Tamil Nadu, India.

Working against a severe shortage of local quality teachers, a dispersed and poor consumer population, Venugopal relied on his education and experience identify innovative service delivery and business models.

Within two years the initiative achieved sufficient success to be acquired by a $3 billion business house in India.

Venugopal’s winning submission made him $4,000, additional funding to help him tell his story to others, and various promotional opportunities.

In addition to his responsibilities as an ILLINOIS MBA student, Venugopal works as a teaching assistant for Professor Madhu Viswanathan and a project coordinator for an ACES Extension project to help farmers in developing nations.