A social entrepreneurship initiative, Mrida (Sanskrit for ‘Soil’) seeks to facilitate sustainable and scalable, holistic development at the Bottom of the Pyramid.
Mrida works in remote rural areas, using agriculture, energy access, skill development, health and related interventions as entry points/development triggers. As a systems integrator and a catalyst, it then uses these triggers to facilitate community engagement, livelihoods, women’s empowerment, education and so on, leading to all round development.
Building on the Corporate background and experience of the promoters, the objective is to bring the same discipline and the financial rigor of the business world into the development sector, showcasing business led social impact that is sustainable as well as scalable. Mrida then, is in the business of development.
Through its Earthspired Brand, Mrida builds market linkages for small and marginal farmers - providing a range of health and wellness related products to the end user, while fulfilling a social and environmental cause, and creating a business for itself. Earthspired is today taught as a Case Study at INSEAD, under the topic ‘Building a Brand for Social Impact’.
Mrida’s state-of-the-art, Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), ISO and Halal certified processing unit in Gujarat makes extracts of plants and herbs, provides value addition, sustainable livelihood and income enhancement opportunities for farmers and village folk, responsibly sourced quality products for B2B customers, and a business opportunity for the Group.
Mrida partners with Corporate entities to develop and implement customized, integrated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. The focus is again on a ‘business approach’ – treating CSR funds as ‘investments’, with quantified impact assessment and ROI calculations being an integral part of any intervention. Mrida’s CSR partners over the years have included Mahindra & Mahindra, IL&FS, Reliance Foundation, Rio Tinto, INOX Air Products Ltd., and Hero Motors Group Companies among others.
The Group comprises the business entity Mrida Greens & Development (Pvt.) Ltd. engaged in processing, value addition and creating market linkages, and a Section 8 Entity – Mrida Heart ‘n Soil Foundation focused on CSR initiatives and holistic development. The Group entities and their respective activities complement and supplement each other to evolve self-sustaining virtuous circles of holistic development, using scalable business models that create social, environmental and economic impact.
Since inception, Mrida has been able to successfully showcase proof of concept and demonstrate impact for over 20,000 individuals across 42 villages in 9 States of India.