Wednesday, April 24, 2013
I have known Mr.Nadim Jafri for the last twenty years or so, first as a young man interested in widening his knowledge base and then as a very unusual entrepreneur. He studied at the prestigious Saint Xavier Jesuit mission school and went on to obtain a management degree. He belongs to the Chilea community, a sect of the Islamic religion in our State and is very cosmopolitan, open to new ideas and experiential learning and has the persistence and energy to pursue the implementation details of innovative out of the box concepts.
Nadim Jafri is a man with commitment to pursuing developmental ideals and has the integrity and stamina to do so. Our State went through the horrifying experience of a major communal conflagration in 2002 which scarred his community. Rising from adversity he built an extraordinary business, which interestingly relied on community strengths and is a widely reported and analyzed phenomenon. It is an essential component of the healing process, society has gone through and he is a respected face of it. Jafri built on the idea that in rural areas which are generally bereft of satisfying retail trade advantages in India, he would use a highly successful department store he had built up in metropolitan Ahmedaabad as a base to franchise retail deliveries in rural areas using his community network as an instrument.
Jafri successfully built a business of some strength around this concept basically using his energy and integrity to build relationships on trust. He had the business skills to expand the business in terms of franchisee outlets but also in terms of depth in expansion into linked areas of backward linkages in processing and packaging for meeting customer demands.
Nadim Jafri will be an asset to a Social Entrepreneurship program any where. He will learn from a good program and contribute to it. He has proven managerial and great competence in creating social assets around trust and community interest. With the experience I have of the Ivy league system as a doctoral student in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania and of teaching in the Wharton School and at Swarthmore College, I can say without hesitation that he will be in the top percentiles of student cohorts. His application deserves the most serious consideration by the Yale Global Social Entrepreneurship Program
Chairman, Instituteof Rural Management and
Former Minister of Power and Science and Technology of India
(Recommended by Dr. Y.K.Alagh for Yale Global Social Entrepreneurship Program - 1st March, 2011)