Shalabh, a student of the 5th batch of NGO Management at EDII, gets a happy smile while he reminisces about the time spent here. He comes from a very democratic family that did not push him to pursue the traditional roads to success, but instead encouraged him to respond to his inner calling. He pursued his B Com Honours and Masters from Shri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning as he aspired for a value-based education and not merely a money minting purposive one. Having ventured into the development sector, he realized that the gap in academic research and actual implementation of the resultant project became obvious. Despite appreciation the recommendations rarely saw the light of the day. This is when he understood the roles of NGOs and worked with them over the next two years and realised that no formal education was open in development space. He further educated himself about human rights. However, a need for professional training to manage NGOs was always perceived. It was at this time that he got introduced to EDII and its PG diploma in NGO management. The course content and the approach intrigued Shalabh and he joined EDII with great energy. The structure and design of the program bundled with his previous rich experience was now in cognizance and made sense to him. Shalabh shares that EDII has a very welcoming effect and a great learning environment. He was totally enamoured by the library that had a very peaceful and calming effect.
Shalabh appreciates how faculty at EDII were discerning enough to give him higher order thinking skills based case studies in finance instead of limiting his financial management curriculum to the general course. One-size-fit all policy was not blindly followed. His own Gandhian thoughts developed while he visited Lokbharati which is a Gandhian Institute. He also conducted some training for students of Masters in rural management and developed his own skills in the process.
Unfortunately while pursuing the course, Shalabh lost his father, to whom he was very close. He thus had to be on a long leave. Although he lost the Bharti Student of the Year Award due to insufficient attendance, he bagged the highest salary offer from Pravah which he joined to lead the project. Within the next three years he developed his team from four members to twenty. He worked on a World Bank aided climate change project besides conducting socio economic study for the fishing sector in India.
EDII soon beckoned Shalabh again and this time as the coordinator to the course. His understanding of the course and curriculum took it forward beyond the obvious. With constant student interaction, building their confidence and encouraging contemporary perspectives, Shalabh brought the two-year PGDM-Development Studies to a new level. The course was revamped and newer issues incorporated.
Shalabh admits that his own concept of entrepreneurship got conceived and nurtured at EDII. His fifteen years of multi-sectoral experience in health, livelihoods, water, sanitation and social entrepreneurship has helped him facilitate start-up social enterprises among women affected by HIV/AIDS. Armed with a professional approach, management skills, and EDII training, he emerged as an expert in project management, idea generation, project conceptualization and project implementation.
Presently Shalabh is the CEO of School of Social Entrepreneurship, New Delhi. His learnings and experience from EDII are evident in the work that he does. His exploring the unexplored reflects on his own risk taking behaviour. He passionately nurtures budding social entrepreneurs through this venture. Shalabh crusades that “All innovators are not entrepreneurs. Innovations need commercialization and hence a strong ecosystem to support social innovations should be delivered in a social enterprise model.”
We are proud to see him leave a mark, and wish him success in all that he does.