Empowering people to Rise through grassroots movements

Posted By: Anand Mahindra|Dated: August 16, 2011

We’ve all been told never to doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world—indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Activist Rises

This is true today in a different way than it ever has been before. People are standing for transparency in government and institutions. Children are teaching their parents to buy green products. In the Middle East they are casting off authoritarian governments and claiming the right to govern their own lives. With mobile phones, rapidly expanding internet connectivity, and exploding social networks, one person can inspire many who share the same view. Anyone can activate a dormant network of impassioned individuals, who just needed to get connected to get going.

Our world is being transformed by groups of ordinary people who share a belief.  Today, we’re brought together not by our class, community, or country, but by our ideas. It’s the rise of movements.

As the leader of a large company, I’ve asked myself: is there a role for corporations in grassroots movements?

In a word: yes.  Companies are part of movements, too. Companies respond to changes in customer preferences—they contribute to the movement by catering to its values.  The green movement is leading businesses to create new products that are better for our planet—look at GE’s Ecomagination. Look at how the health and fitness movement has led to the boom in gym memberships, the elimination of trans-fat in snack foods, and the mass appeal of sports brands like Nike and Reebok—or how the value of collective prosperity inspired farmer’s cooperatives in India’s dairy industry.

In short, businesses translate movements’ values into new products, services, and processes.  They bring an ideal into the material world.

And at a basic level, corporations are simply groups of individuals. Businesses are learning from the influence of Generation C—connected, changing, convergent—to think of employees as ‘resident consumers.’ We also need to think of them as resident drivers of change.  By empowering employees to join movements for positive change, businesses stay connected to what matters to their stakeholders.

This is why Mahindra is launching Spark the Rise, a platform for tapping into a movement that is already out there – a movement where people are standing up to take responsibility for the future. We believe in the power of ordinary people acting together to redefine our world – and we think Spark the Rise empowers people to do just that.

We all have ideas—now we have the means to connect, and to act.

What can YOU do?


About the author:

Anand Mahindra

Currently Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra, Anand started off at Mahindra in 1981 at Mahindra Ugine Steel Co. Since then, he has spearheaded the Group’s growth and diversification into new business areas from a series of key positions. He serves on the India Council for Sustainable Development, the National Sports Development Fund, and the Board of the Naandi Foundation, among others.  He earned his Bachelors from Harvard College and his MBA from Harvard Business School, USA.

The views expressed above are those of the author, and not necessarily representative of the views of the Mahindra Group.

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  • Sethuraj73

    Good ideas, but it will look honest if you support Annas campaign against corruption- We are ashamed to live in the most corrupted country in thee world

  • http://www.facebook.com/mayankmohun Mayank Mohun

    The first step to Rise, is not to look outwards but inwards. Inwards into ourselves, our state and our country and understand what really matters to us… and change that; to see the same change happen outside.

  • http://www.facebook.com/drkgowthaman Gowthaman Krishnamoorthy

    I liked it. Just curious to know when Mahindra is going to launch the Indian Middle class car? – 2 lac budget one.

  • Ramachandrareddy G

    apart from usual stuff like CSR what more a corporates can do for the social  upliftment  of BPL, i see there a lot scope for the corporates  in this sector, some how i feel they are ristrict them to CSR than going beyond, Mahidra group in perticurlar can  do lot of work in niche area like women empowerment and promoting of the RtE (right to education) 

  • Ramachandrareddy G

    how do one get to post ideas rise 

  • Monujesh Borooah

    Dear Mr. Mahindra,

    With my rural origins, Mahindra&Mahindra has been an integral part in my life. I present for your review, our social entrepreneurship venture to raise employability of less privileged youth.

    Rabindranath Tagore, one of India’s foremost thinkers in education,
    had said that if the student has not learnt, the teacher has not taught. Despite the availability of professional qualifications
    in teaching and training, higher education and professional training in India
    has been dominated by people known for subject knowledge, respected for their
    experience, not necessarily with expertise in transferring learning to others.

    As a result, only 10% of our graduates are directly employable. This is despite the fact that the total number of students in higher education represents 6% of the relevant age group (18-23 years). 

    We, at Iksvaku Research have been working since November 2010 to raise employability skills in rural youth. In our pilot programmes in Bangalore and Davangere, we have managed to raise year-on-year average salary levels from an average of Rs.1.2 lakh per annum in 2010 to Rs.2.2 lakh per annum in 2011. 

    With the initial proof of concept, we are now empowering local organisations to carry the initiative forward as social entrepreneurship ventures. We are keen to explore possibilities of synergy with you for exponential growth.

    With regards,

    Yours sincerely,

    Sangeeta and Monujesh
    Iksvaku Research
    sangeeta or monujesh@iksvaku.biz.ly

  • Mjrydsfast

    If I could move any one group or individual to change, it would be to avoid group-think and act on conscious meme’s. That and listen to more blues. Peace, Love and Buddy Guy for all.

  • Sohan Tiwade

    Ideas are the new power of the 21st Century. The movement you’ve initiated is quite commendable and noble in purpose. 


    Dear Mahindra..

    All automobile sectors are equally focusing on the after market services.   We had given our Scorpio for servicing at your Service Station at Hubli.  It was an utter disappointment.   Even after spending almost half a lakh of rupees, the noise and rattling noise of the vehicle was not attended to.  Such incidents will give a great setback for our new sales opportunities.

    I sincerely feel that your perceptions have still not been percolated down to the last rung of mechanics, who
    holds a screw driver…and  fully well screw the happiness of your most valued customers !!

  • in name pepl serch religion

    With conectivity, mobile and internet what have we changed?All those middle eastern uprising and what happende?  still with arms, london still burning with connectivity… From your windows and the news you get about your companies performance you could be delighted.. Change happens not with tweeting or following some one on internet. A bigger mass had gathered in india before independence with no so called connect… Its the cause that is of prestine importance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Manoj-Mittal/100001112162992 Manoj Mittal

    sir your company works from earth to sky but i think you dont know what is the impact of your auto sector three wheelar  on road they are compleate mess up all the urban roads what is the need of three wheelar in computor age or space age why are you prmot the three wheelar why no the four wheelar

  • A.V.Sundararajan

    Dear Mr.Mahindra,

    Congratulations. May God bless you to keep achieving.

    I am willing to contribute to your initiative in three different fields. They will contribute immensely to the society. One of them will directly contribute to your two wheeler industry. It is just difficult to elaborate all of them in this space.

    Please contact me at     sundararajan.av@gmail.com   and I shall share my ideas with you.

  • Ravi Ranjan Pandey

    I think that our sociecty must reward such people who are of simple living and are doing their jobs sincerely. This will definitely drag the attention of other people too.
    Otherwise in present scenario people are running behind fashion, without thinking its ultimate result. What’s fashion? It’s a form of ugliness, demanding the change after a certain interval.
    But this type of reward ceremony will have a deep impact over the youngster’s and will force them to think atleast once that the way they are going is how much right? 

  • Dayakar Rao S.

    Beheaviour based on belief. The world is suffering from Belief . Relief from Belief is Reality. Belief is no longer a Belief if it is “Real”. No Belief no Cheating, any Belief for that matter.

    ‘Science’ is the subject study of  ”Reality”. So, medical treatment of today is ‘inferior’ to tomorrow’s. Sports personnel and daily exercising too are with ailments. Reality is the Need of Human. Reality is undeniable, anything deniable can not be Reality. Belief is deniable.

    Every person need to be construted, personally. ’Reality’ about Human, constructs.

    We don’t need ‘curruption’ correction with after effect. Construction of personnel brings, ‘Curruption’ Correction, with before effect, is needed. Currption is every where, to be noted.

    Reality brings meaning for ‘Life’. Anything we ‘do’, ‘have’, and ‘use’, are with a ”purpose”. But “Purpose” of a human (yourself)?

    I will let you know “What the ‘Reality’ is”, if anyone wants. 

    Need is world wide.

    Dayakar Rao S. 9/6 Thirumalai Square, Korattur, Chennai. 600 076. Mob. 9940268604. Mail id. dayakarrao_hum@yahoo.co.in

  • Rajkumar Chhabra

    i did not find any comment worth liking….no one understood the meaning of this effort…mostly people are praising..My Suggestions1)……corporates are giving crores to politicians…why only a few crores they do not spend for opening new schools and colleges….in rural areas…..let them open it..let them name it on their forefathers.. 2.) Why not to change school books..what we read rarely helps us in our future..? how many of us remember what we read in our schools…lessons??…we must include articles..of communal harmony…and misdeeds of corruption…..a young guy who is 10 -11 years is growing…he must learn to be honest..otherwise if his or her father is corrupt…..he too will live in the same environment…..change must come from home. He must hate corruption from that age…..3.) We have slums……why not to convert these slums into three story apartments of one bedroom..and then upper  4 floors to big offices. put condition that those who live in that apartment will get job in that office..benefits…..no transportation…..fuel and energy saving….less traffic jams…people.have to travel less more energy for work……4)..Every monsoon all our roads are  inundated in water….our roads are flat mostly….it should be convex…bulging out..so that all rain water comes to the corners and from there in to the pipes or nalaa’s,this way our roads will be.safe for driving and its longevity will be more..i ve few more ideas too…raj kumar chhabra 09849271800

  • Heera Lal

    To make your this idea into reality. Please find a project designed for it. I have send that to anand.mahindra mahindra.com and balwani.roma@mahindra.com 
    link to  http://in.mg50.mail.yahoo.com/dc/launch?.gx=1&.rand=6aa3qfbog5a3a
    I hope you like it and response to be a part of it.

  • Akshaysaxena21

    Nothing substantial can be achieved if we remain a country of midget leaders and fake identities.About 100 years back every year about 1500kms of railway track was laid and commissioned with all track components and rolling stock shipped from Burlington.There were no mobiles,no heavy loaders,no big power machines and no big management software like MS project and Primevera.We did’nt have at that time the IIMs and IIts but still the country was capable of producing such huge infrastructure in time.
    Indian corporate world as on date is run by packaged management sans leadership.These guys can sell automobiles ,branded shirts,electronic equipments and tooth brushes.However the Indian corporate management gurus fail when it comes to creating infrastructure.
    At a time when China is displaying ability of laying and running railways from Hong Kong to Lhasa,Indian infrastructure projects fail one after the other.The result costly energy and transportation which ultimately boils down to costlier Indian products.Corporates try to compensate for the high cost by reducing the quality or level of post delivery service.(Not to forget the need of twisted tax cuts and subsidies)This again makes deep cut in the consumer faith on the Indian products.
    Instead of still continuing to be toddlers and being part of the babblers and cry babies the time has come when the Indian corporate involves itself headlong into big boys games of infrastructure building.Dear Mr Mahindra hope you shall rise above the midget kings and think of some hydroelectricity project or heavy density goods route.It will be a great CV if you say that your company has commissioned five 10,000MWatts projects in three years or laid and commissioned heavy haul route of 5000 Kms.

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  • Manohar Shriram Parchure

    Indian agricuture is in crisis. Our food security depends heavily on imported inputs. Our soils are degrading year afer year because we are doing everything to destroy the bacterial flora thus killing the health of the soil. Paticularly in the rainfed area which covers more than 60 % of the cultivable land, I suggest that organic farming should be adopted as mainstream agriculture in this area to improve our productivity based on locally available resources. That will make our production sustainable. For this purpose we must discard the NPK  theory of plant nutrition. The current nutrition theory is the biggest fraud played on the farmers of the world.
    Manohar Parchure.

  • S.kumar

    think of yourself at the place of (about whom you’re talking) and then make a comment.. 
    Things changes when the situation arises..

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