The NGO Workshop and Fair offers an example of a process innovation, wherein Prof. Anubha Shekhar Sinha along with other faculty members has designed and ran a novel concept of a “project fair”. In this initiative, a process to engage, discuss and tease out live projects from NGOs and put them up for bidding by students is conceptualized. Under this process a workshop is held that brings together professors, students and NGOs on one platform. Professors and students of management schools predominantly work with commercial organizations, while NGOs operate from a social benefit perspective, often unable to manage strategic and managerial challenges to ensure sustainability and scalability of their efforts. A partnership creates a win-win situation for both. While professors and students get an opportunity to advance their learning and research, NGOs benefit as their delivery mechanisms and end results improve with infusion of management thinking.
This is a synergistic initiative. While IIMK helps the NGOs in applying the institute’s time-tested management thoughts to their projects, the NGOs helped the IIMK learn the ground realities of society. This initiative shows that there are ways to bring components of society, which are traditionally thought to exist and operate at oppositional ends, on the same platform for win-win outcomes. “We have worked towards bridging the divide between the NGOs and institutions of higher learning as we believe that whenever there is a paradox, we need to elevate ourselves to a higher level and look at problems from a different perspective.” said Anubha Shekhar Sinha. It has made meaningful interventions in certain educational institutions in Kozhikode. “It was sheer passion that got us to work towards bringing together NGOs, management faculty and students on the same platform for mutual learning,” said Prof. Anubha.