BSI research seminar: Shining the spotlight on Indian social entrepreneurs

BSI research seminar: Shining the spotlight on Indian social entrepreneurs
BSI research seminar: Shining the spotlight on Indian social entrepreneurs

Principal speaker

Dr Kaushik Murali

Other speakers

Poornima (Sankar) Kushik Dr Dhara Shah Professor Michelle Barker

The two-part seminar opens with Dr Kaushik Murali discussing the learning journey of entrepreneurs from Sankara Eye Foundation, India. Founded by Drs RV and Radha Ramani with an initial corpus of 5 rupees, today it is among the largest community eye care provider in India. Dr Kaushik will also outline Young Indians' role in promoting Youth Social Entrepreneurship. Poornima Murali will share how performing arts has influenced her entrepreneurship journey, including her not-for-profit terracotta jewellery venture "Surya for life" which supports children with Ocular cancer treated at Sankara Eye Care Institutions.

Next, Dhara and Michelle will share some insights into their research on Indian women entrepreneurs which is funded by an International Education and Training Partnership grant from Study Queensland (Dept. Trade and Investment). Creation of networks to support production, creativity and personal skills has been identified as a requirement for entrepreneurial growth, however, due to a lack of formalised training, women entrepreneurs rely heavily on relational networks to manage lack of knowledge and rarely shared decision-making processes. Drawing on the theory of self-determination, the study aims to identify how networks manifest in different entrepreneurial ecosystems, and their role in Indian women's entrepreneurial journey. The interview study of 35 Indian women entrepreneurs found women were highly motivated and passionate to work on their businesses. Many women faced challenges, including not being taken seriously in their joint family household after marriage, or within the work environment. Further, they expressed how they felt they "had to work doubly hard to prove themselves", compared to their male counterparts.

Dr Kaushik Murali is the President Medical Administration, Quality and Education at Sankara Eye Foundation India ( responsible for the delivery of medical care and educational programmes across 10 hospitals in the organisation, and the National Chair for Entrepreneurship, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) - Young Indians (YI)

Poornima (Sankar) Kaushik is a social entrepreneur who graduated in Commerce from the PSGR Krishnammal College for Women and achieved a Postgraduate Diploma in Advertising and Communication (PSG Institute of Management). An exponent of the Vazhuvoor style of Bharatanatyam, Poornima has achieved excellence and finesse in this fine art and is the recipient of the prestigious "Bharatha Ratna" title from the Ministry of culture, Government of Sri Lanka.

Dr Dhara Shah is a Lecturer and Deputy Director of Engagement in the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation. Dhara has worked as a cross-cultural consultant organising and delivering training for expatriates and their families, and providing cultural diversity programs for organisations, including Australian universities, local government agencies, and international clients such as BHP Billiton and Santos.

Michelle Barker is a Professor in the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation. Michelle's professional background includes Deputy Director, Queensland, Australian International Development Assistance Bureau (now AusAID), and a cross-cultural Social Worker with international students, immigrants and refugees.

Event categories

RSVP on or before Wednesday 30 October 2019 , by email , or by phone 3735 4705 , or via

Event contact details

Session 1

Session 2