I found this book inspiring primarily because Mr. Akula has been able to see a need and do something about it. I admire his ability to get in there and find solutions and also that he's been able to Vikram Akula. Around the globe, poverty has held too many people in its grip for too long. While microfinance - small loans to impoverished individuals - initially attracted attention in the press, it didn't achieve the scale, scope, and profitability necessary to substantially combat poverty.
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Around the globe, poverty has held too many people in its grip for too long. While microfinance - small loans to impoverished individuals - initially attracted attention in the press, it didn't achieve the scale, scope, and profitability necessary to substantially combat poverty.
In this highly personal narr Around the globe, poverty has held too many people in its grip for too long. In this highly personal narrative, A Fistful of Rice, Akula reveals how he pieced together the best of both philanthropy and to his surprise capitalism to help millions of India's poor transition from paupers to customers to business owners. As thoughtful as Barack Obama's personal journey in Dreams from My Father, as harrowing as Paul Farmer's battle against infectious disease in Mountains Beyond Mountains, and as gripping as Greg Mortensen's fight for education in Three Cups of Tea, Akula's story shows how traditional business principles can be brought to bear on global problems in new ways.
A Fistful of Rice offers not only inspiration but also lessons for anyone seeking to transform tenacity, creativity, and innovation into potent tools for fighting even the most seemingly intractable human burdens.
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Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Apr 18, Madhur Shrimal rated it it was amazing. I was just in office when I saw this book with one of my friend. When I saw the book name, it sounded very interesting to me. I mean the title contains a deep meaning. So I thought of reading it. And yes I got to know why the title is this. A small incident, which contained a fistful of rice, made a person think so deep that he propagated the concept of for-profit organization and micro-finance to eradicate poverty on mass level.
This books gives light to the struggle of Vikran Akula and his emp I was just in office when I saw this book with one of my friend. This books gives light to the struggle of Vikran Akula and his employees at the starting of the organization and especially in But their determination never died and they reached the acme.
Cheers for Vikram and his team. It's a mind blowing book for people who wants to do something actually good to eradicate poverty and make everyone self-sufficient.
View 1 comment. May 14, Manoj Kakran rated it liked it. Story of building SKS Microfinance and how enabled many of people to improve their lives.
Feb 01, Lily rated it really liked it 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 b 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.
What a brilliant way to begin the process of ending global poverty in earnest; this is Akula's dream, and his efforts--and achievements!! 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. It's clear that Akula has a little bit of an ego, but at the same time his approach toward the poor in India is so humble. Feb 15, Deepak rated it really liked it.
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.
The fact that he didn't is worth applauding, especially when it cost him his mother's respect and later, divorce with his wife. I couldn't help but notice the striking simil 3. I couldn't help but notice the striking similarities between the book and the Shahrukh Khan flick 'Swades'.
However, real life is messier than movies. Reel couldn't dare match with real. Who would've thought helping people in earnest will entail politicians' threats, gang extortion demands and life-threatening attacks? I am amazed why a Bollywood producer has not yet approached the author for the rights!
Quite unintentionally, the book ended cracking me up on a few occasions; when an employee the author sent for another female employee's protection from rural thugs instead ends up terrorizing her, or when his wife with whom he's reckoning for divorce turns out to be a divorce lawyer. Jul 18, Yuce rated it liked it Shelves: irc. I take a bow to thee, Mr. Aug 18, Judy rated it it was ok Shelves: bio-memoir , reads , india. Being a sucker for beating-the-odds stories, I picked up this book hoping it would prove to be an unveiling of how a single man helped poor women of India start their own businesses.
The beginning of the book was promising as Akula relays an anecdote of a poor Indian woman picking up a few spilled grains of rice one-by-one and his resulting realizations that some people are that poor and that hungry.
However, as Akula becomes more educated and more experienced in the field of micro-finance the e Being a sucker for beating-the-odds stories, I picked up this book hoping it would prove to be an unveiling of how a single man helped poor women of India start their own businesses.
When he started taking a stopwatch into the field to time how long his employees spent with customers in order to streamline the business in line with McDonald's management policies, he lost my respect. Perhaps, that type of tactic does save money, but what happened to good old fashioned first-name basis customer service?
So, I wasn't surprised when the last few chapters became a place to drop names like Bill Gates, the Ghandi family, Bill Clinton, etc. Since I'm no finance expert, its hard to point my finger at Akula particularly since so many Indians have made his system work for them, but I'm still looking for books about people who are able to help the needy without patting themselves on the back. Feb 04, Autumn rated it it was ok. This is a tough book for me to review.
My feelings are mixed. If we're talking about writing ability and readability, "A Fistful of Rice" is a success. The chapters are clear and well-thought out, and the picture of his microloan program in India is very interesting. What I had a very hard time stomaching is the motivation behind the This is a tough book for me to review.
What I had a very hard time stomaching is the motivation behind the book. As is evident from the first chapter, much of it is a defense of running his microloan business as a 'for profit' venture. No matter how much good his loans have done, and the success rate is high according to his estimation, the thought of making money more than it takes to keep the operation in business off the sweat of some of the poorest people in the world is hard for me to stomach.
As a picture of India and what can be done to help manage poverty there, "A Fistful of Rice" is a good book. My heart, though Sep 19, Karin rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , financial , memoir. An excellent story. Not handouts, but loans so they could pursue their dreams and crea An excellent story.
Not handouts, but loans so they could pursue their dreams and create their own wealth, and upward mobility. As long as he is providing value as CEO, why not pay him like one. He seems to be energetic, hopeful, enterprising and intelligent. Good for him.
A Fistful of Rice – Book by Vikram Akula
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A Fistful of Rice : My Unexpected Quest to End Poverty Through Profitability
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