Aparna Banerjee

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2008
Project Sukanya


This profile was prepared when Aparna Banerjee was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2008.
The New Idea
Sukanya, the social enterprise set up by Aparna, is best described as an end-to-end social value chain, created and managed by disadvantaged women. A micro-retail chain, it rests on an intelligent supply chain management and distribution framework/network, robust back-end operations and third party logistics that enable poor populations to compete with and be part of the retail boom in India and globally, in a sustainable way.

The supply chain network aims to help an enterprise, in this case microenterprise, understand and operate its business profitably. For example, it allows the aggregation of sale point data about consumption and available products, feeding that data into an MIS (including sample testing) that enables them to spot production and consumption opportunities across regional markets, which in turn allows women's entrepreneur groups to scale up production in one Indian state and move products to another where demand is growing. The profits filter back down the chain.

Technology-enabled real-time planning and execution thus ensures high responsiveness to the market. Aparna’s range of services include transportation, storage, warehousing and inventory management that benefits the productivity and efficiency of the entire supply chain. On a larger scale, Aparna is removing an important bottleneck in the country’s efforts to alleviate poverty and boost the economy and conditions of rural producers and the urban unorganized sector. By bringing marginalized women producers as a whole into the competitive branded retail arena, Aparna is enabling them to be equal contributors to the country’s GDP and lay claim to their rights both socially and economically.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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