Friday, July 19, 2013

Book Review: A Fistful of Rice

Even though things are a lot different at SKS Microfinance now, knowing its past would not hurt. In fact, reading this book would bring motivation to do some thing of your own and touch the strings of making a difference in the society.

The book begins with a woman (who was denied a small loan) asking 'Am I not poor too?' to Vikram Akula, then a volunteer in a NGO. It makes him think of possibilities of extending help in a scale which are beyond the reaches of small social not-for-profit organizations. It brings determination in him to build SKS.

Like any entrepreneur who builds an organization from scratch, Vikram also goes through hardships, leaving the comforts of living in US along with his parents. He rather chooses to bring a difference in villager's life in India, starting from his home state of Andhra Pradesh. His decision to not to live in US costs him his marriage too. But the determined Vikram moves on with his purpose in life.

SKS scales up, gets noticed by everyone including the likes of Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. The capital which was hard to come by in the initial days comes in leaps and bounds. And the book ends with a woman who has borrowed from SKS, asking 'Am I not doing well?'

A Fistful of Rice: My Unexpected Quest to End Poverty Through Profitability