Mirakle

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Social Entrepreneurship

Mirakle for Deaf

Mirakle for Deaf

Abhishek Bhati Research Associate Indian Institute of Management- Bangalore Bangalore – 560076 bhati.nawab@gmail.com

©ICER-BRIC International Conference

Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, 8-10th Dec 2011

Page 1 of 11

Social Entrepreneurship

Mirakle for Deaf

Mirakle for Deaf

Abstract

‘Mirakle Couriers’ is privately run, for-profit social enterprise, started by Dhruv Lakra an Oxford graduate in 2008, that employs only hearing impaired people. The company hires young deaf men and women from the underprivileged sections, trains them and puts them on a prosperous career path. The company is run like any other business venture which provides competitive salaries along with every right that a blue-or white-collar employee deserves. Today, Mirakle Couriers employs 65 hearing-impaired people who work in various departments including pick-up, delivery and back-end operations and delivery roughly 65,000 shipments in a month. The case discusses the journey of Mirakle Couriers from the stage of an idea to growing it into a profitable social business venture. The case also highlights the various problems and bottlenecks faced by social entrepreneurs and how they find innovative ideas to turn limitations into opportunities. Keywords: Social Entrepreneurship, Innovative Ideas, Problems and opportunities

©ICER-BRIC International Conference

Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, 8-10th Dec 2011

Page 2 of 11

Social Entrepreneurship

Mirakle for Deaf

Mirakle for Deaf

Background

In 2005, World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated about 278 million people all over the globe suffers from moderate to profound hearing impairment and majority of them live in the poor countries. Today, this figure would have easily crossed 300 million people mark. The poor suffer more from hearing impairment since they cannot afford the preventive and routine care to avoid hearing loss nor can afford to buy hearing aids to make their disability manageable. Not surprisingly, in developing and underdeveloped countries only 1 out 40 people can afford to buy a hearing aid this causes a heavy economic and social burden to these countries. As this population cannot effectively contribute to the nation’s growth on the contrary poor countries have to spend large sum of their sparse wealth on health and education of the disabled population. In these countries, disable people are consider as burdens to the society and there are large numbers of social stigmas1 attached to them.

Like other disabilities, hearing impaired people are often neglected from social gathering and in some cases they are not even allowed to go outside their house. It is often conveniently assumed by their parents that taking care of their child till the end of his/her life is their moral responsibility since he/she would not be able to get basic education and thus stay unemployed. India despite of been projected as emerging superpower has highest deaf populations in the world with roughly 6% of the population suffering with some kind of hearing loss out of which around 32% of them suffer from profound deafness.

One of the reasons of low education among disabled people is because government schools only forms a small fraction of total schools in India and privately run schools often lack enthusiasm

Classical texts of Hinduism often refer to disabilities and deformities, "... as something fearful, usually a punishment for misdeeds. Superstitious parents believe that because of their past sins they are cursed by deaf children this leads to spending huge sums of money into rituals and ceremonies to cure their past. 1

©ICER-BRIC International Conference

Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, 8-10th Dec 2011

Page 3 of 11

Social Entrepreneurship

Mirakle for Deaf

and resources to impart education to disabled students. In the absence of proper education...
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