We are Socents

The Social Entrepreneurs

Socents is dedicated towards creating innovative solutions to society's most persistent social problems. We continuously pursue major social issues and try to incorporate ideas for a comprehensive change.

Rather than leaving societal needs to the government or business sectors, we at Socents find what is not working and solve the problem by spreading the solution and persuading societies to take new leaps.

At Socents, we beleive in the practical implementation of the solution which in turn change the lives of people and make them self-sufficient through a commercially viable proposition.

We also invite people and businesses who wish to act as the change agents of the society, siezing opportunities others miss and improving systems for betterment of society.

Village men
A tea-shop in an Indian village.
Need for Social Entrepreneurship in India:

The Indian rural market with its vast size and demand base offers great opportunities. Led by the rising purchasing power, changing consumption patterns, increased access to information and communication technology and improving infrastructure, the rural retail market is estimated to cross US$ 60.43 billion by 2015, according to a study by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and YES Bank.

According India Retail Report 2009— by Images FR Research, "India's rural markets offer a sea of opportunity for the retail sector. The urban-retail split in consumer spending stands at 9:11, with rural India accounting for 55 per cent of private retail consumption." With most of the retail markets getting saturated in tier-I and tier-II cities, the next phase of growth is likely to be seen in the rural markets. Naturally all the MNCs are eying the rural India to keep their profits soaring up.

MNCs spend a large amount on their packaging, marketing & advertising their brands thereby increasing brand visibility. Further a lot of money is spent on creating a supply chain to promote the company’s products only. These factors make it very difficult for the local products to compete in the market place.

When it comes to products made by Rural Self-help groups, their marketing becomes even more difficult. Though these products are of a good quality and low price, their product placement, packaging and marketing suffer due to lack of technical advice and marketing support. This results in very low sales of these products even in the rural markets making products financially non-viable and eventually forcing these SHGs to shut their operations.

These factors in long run can have a negative impact on the rural economy. If local brands are not promoted they will eventually die creating a monopoly of the MNCs over market and destroying the local culture, taste & flavors.

Current Situation:

On the other hand, in the selling of FMCG products through kiraana shops is a very good livelihood option. Survey conducted by our team in the villages of Lucknow and Barabanki districts indicated a minimum daily sale of Rs.700 at the kirana shops in the villages with the population of 2000. With retailer’s average margin being 20%, these shops are able to generate a profit over Rs. 140 per day. With growth in this sector, this income is also set to increase.

However for many MNCs, the distribution network exists only till the Talukh level. So the kirana shop keeper stocking these products in the village has to go to Talukh for procurement. This involves high cost in the procurement forcing the shopkeeper to sell products above MRP, and transferring the cost burden to the end users (customers). Many a time even spurious products also find their way in these kirana stores making vulnerable customers pay for sub-standard products.

Also such models are not suitable for marginalized section such as Persons with Disability (PWD) or Women as procuring goods and carrying it back to the villages is a strenuous process. Thus this model keeps many people out of its ambit.

Survey by team Socents

"Saudaagar is a Process Innovation which identified social problems, government policies & market forces from its eco-system and innovatively combined them to create a social enterprise. Saudaagar uses modern trade parlance of retail trade as tool to interconnect villages and transform Persons With Disability into entrepreneurs thereby creating source of dignified livelihood within their villages hitherto absent."

Click to learn more about Saudaagar.