Here are some high level points from his talk last night. My own observations are preceded by initials, while comments he said are left alone. I kept them in this order as this was the original chronology of how they developed:
- (VG) Power of one man: it is impossible to not be in awe when you listen to what he has done.
- (VG) Amazing brand image: While they may not be concerned with profit, there is no question that Grameen is very focused on building and maintining a strong brand identity that in itself is opening doors and creating opportunities.
- Low tech + high tech: much of what Grameen does is marry high tech with existing/traditional products. The prime example is Grameen Danone which uses a dietary staple of Bangladeshi children to transmit nutrition.
- “I wondered what I was doing” – his question when he realized he does not own a single share in any of his companies. (VG) This unyielding desire to create is found in any successful entrepreneur. For them money is only one part of what drives them.
- “Human beings have multiple dimensions as should businesses”
- “You don’t need fancy packaging in a social business because you are making something you need”
- “Why should people pay for something they will throw away” — his response to make the the packaging to Danon Yogurt not only bio-degradable (currently happening) but edible and nutritious as well! (Danon is working on it).
- Poverty museums — one day we will take our children to these to show them what the world was like when people still existed in poverty
- “Technology is like water it takes the shape of whatever you put it in” — it is not the technology that is critical but it is being use for