For many established entrepreneurs, establishing a purpose and passion beyond business is a fulfilling way to truly make a mark. Ravi Machani, an EO member in Bangalore, India, is one entrepreneur who has done so admirably. In fact, the work he does outside of his original business helped him earn the 2019 EO Global Citizen of the Year.
In 2010, Ravi founded IndiVillage, the first information technology (IT) and information technology enabled services (ITeS) company in India to become certified as a B Corporation. With its innovative model for empowering rural women and youth, IndiVillage introduces balance to India’s ecosystem—where cities tend to grow exponentially while rural villages have few economic opportunities.
“We brought together the best of all worlds: Conscious customers invested in uplifting the underprivileged, a low-cost and motivated rural workforce, and passionate leaders in urban communities who nurture and grow global opportunities,” Ravi explained in a 2018 interview published on Inc.
Ravi also devotes time to Bangalore’s early-stage entrepreneurs through EO CARES, a program designed to catalyze the local startup ecosystem by identifying high potential startups and providing them mentoring, valuable industry connects, rapid revenue opportunities and investments.
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The program’s name reflects its focus on five pillars for startup success: Customer, Achievement, Recognition, Education and Social. It provides participants with opportunities to shadow a CEO, connect with mentors and exchange ideas with EO members. Plus, through partnerships with India’s leading startup enablers, the program gives younger organizations in India an additional advantage.
“EO CARES is designed to address learning, networking, growth and scalability for startups. The program forges strategic collaborations between startups and established entrepreneurs,” explains Ravi.
“Many startup incubators and accelerators are funded by large multinational corporations who induct startups that align only with their own agendas. Our startups, by contrast, just need to meet minimum required criteria in order to gain equal access, equal exposure, no external equity participation and no tying down with stakes in their startup journey.”
Ravi further explains, “EO CARES is not sector-specific. The program is a fair and all-encompassing launchpad for the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
When asked about the most surprising aspect of EO CARES, he points to the long-term relationships developed with graduates. “Most accelerator events and programs are short-lived, whereas the relationships built at EO CARES last for years. This was an unexpected win! There is no mention of continuity as a lasting benefit of the program in any other model being run out there.”
Ravi Machani is a prolific entrepreneur and engaged EO member. He is currently focused on real estate development with the Machani Group and auto components manufacturing with Stumpp, Schuele & Somappa. An active parent, a skilled entrepreneur, a music enthusiast, and a perfectionist, Ravi Machani believes in the strength of Indian design and Indian businesses.