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BSH Entrepreneurship Expedition

BSH Entrepreneurship Expedition

Reading time for this article: 3 minutes

We’re all made of stories. And the stories we create, define us.Today we like to share a special story with you.

It is the story of BSH Talentify member Stefan Langer who participated in the Entrepreneurship Expedition to New Delhi, the place where “Katha” was founded 31 years ago.

What sounds like a first name represents much more than that. Katha is an Indian Non-Governmental Organization, that helps children living in poverty learn how to read and provides them with quality education. With great success!

Katha’s programs currently reach over 80,000 underpriviliged children across more than 85 schools and 120 slum communities in Delhi each year. With its concept of story-based-learning, Katha created an innovative, proven education model. Knowledge, traditions, and wisdom packed into little stories make learning a fun, creative experience for children.


Stefan, please tell us more about the BSH Talentify program and how it is connected to your expedition to India?
Talentify is the corporate talent program of BSH. It aims at developing self-responsible talents from BSH so that they can contribute to shaping the future of BSH. This encompasses fostering an agile, entrepreneurial and purpose- driven mindset.

The Entrepreneurship Expedition was designed as a part of Talentify. It offered eight corporate talent program members the opportunity to support NGOs in India, thus exposing them to a challenging entrepreneurial task which contributes to their personal growth.

How did the collaboration with Katha come about?
Collaborating with Katha India was an immediate fit!

The Organization has an inspiring vision of bringing the joy of reading to even the most underprivileged communities in India. A mission, which we at BSH can immediately relate to with our purpose of improving quality of life across the globe. At the same time, we saw a great opportunity in contributing with the knowledge we have available at BSH.

Tell us more about your tasks. How did you support the Organization?
Katha’s current business model – and therefore its support for the local communities – is vulnerable due to its dependence on major corporate donors. Accordingly, our assignment was to improve the sustainability of Katha. We had eight days (and nights) to come up with very concrete proposals which are ready to use and substantially contribute to Katha’s sustainability. Therefore, we teamed up with the team from Katha to understand the current issues and to develop options. In the end, we delivered hands-on solutions to boost the awareness of Katha (e.g. social media), to strengthen existing sources of revenue (e.g. e-commerce) and to explore new sources of revenue (e.g. research grants).

What are your personal learnings from the Entrepreneurship Expedition in India?
To our entire team, this expedition was full of learnings which we can directly apply back home at BSH. It was clear to see that digitalization is a total game changer. In Delhi, where five years ago everything was packed with tuk-tuks, now Uber has taken over. While this might not be surprising, it is striking to see that all of our results for Katha are strongly based on leveraging digitalization. To me, this clearly shows that embracing digitalization can help us in taking a leapfrog ahead in what and how we deliver to our consumers.

In terms of working together, it was fascinating to experience the power of trust, diversity, and empowerment. With a clear purpose defined and under huge time pressure, we focused purely on getting things done. This meant, trusting in each other, that everybody will deliver, leveraging the diversity of our personalities, backgrounds, and passions and empowering our partners within Katha to take up and stand in for the results we worked out together.

What fascinates you most about your expedition?
Despite all potential challenges, one thing was never in question at Katha: the purpose of why we do things. This purpose – bringing the joy of reading and education to the poor – is something that you could feel at each and every spot in the organization. And being able to contribute to this was a very special experience. Having this feeling of a clear purpose and contribution is a strong driver, which we can leverage as well within BSH when improving the quality of people’s lives.

Would you like to learn more about Katha?
Follow the links and enjoy browsing.


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