How Can Corporations Develop and Tailor Management Practices to Inclusive Business?

The formulation of an inclusive business strategy is providing the farmers with our products, services and technologies that are able to answer 3 basic things to farmers which is
A. Yield is Improved
b. More income
c. Improve life better
This proven basis as a partnership pattern that keeps the company existing until almost 3 decades.

The management practices are contributing the significant success for our Inclusive business. For the company, some practices is being formulated to improve farmers live on our IB trough

• High quality seed, where the company has presented hundred varieties ranging from leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, to tomatoes, chili and fruits such as melons and watermelons. The product produced must be able to answer the main challenges of farmers in the form of high yields, pest resistance and characteristics in the form of storeability, size and other physical characteristics.

• Good Agriculture practice, this is a practical formulation offered by companies with proven practice activities that are easily applied by small farmers in Indonesia with limited land holding, financial and other resources.

• Knowledge Transfer, a process carried out with planning, discipline and dedicated, with repeated and measurable activities to accompany farmers day to day. For this reason, the company deploy hundreds field agronomists throughout Indonesia to help farmers.

A2: Our upcoming report contains case studies from 17 companies illustrating how each of the 10 practices identified in our typology are bringing business value to the inclusive business. I find the example of Medtronic in terms of the adoption of innovative technology very interesting and I’m sure Prateek can share more.

What we mean by the adoption of innovative technology is the identification and integration of innovative technologies and management techniques into inclusive business processes. Many companies have integrated innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and big data analytics throughout their value chain to improve operational systems of the company to enhance the quality of products and services. Some have created totally new business models around them. Technologies offer opportunities to generate value through collection of operational data with low human intervention, enhanced connectivity through communication networks and transforming the data into knowledge and actionable directives. They can be also used to make internal processes such as administration, finance or talent management more efficient. Those companies which have taken the lead in digital technologies are improving their profit margins three times more rapidly than average and are more productive and innovative than less-digitized companies.

Inclusive business models can themselves be considered as an important form of social innovation and they can also benefit from innovative technologies in their operations. Digital technologies can make reaching BoP populations easier and improve data collection and analysis. Medtronic has successfully used technology to deliver adequate services to remote communities.


Thanks for your insights, Prateek. While these practices apply at some level to all innovation, in your experience are there ones that are particularly important for inclusive business innovations?

A2: Medtronic Shruti Program has gone through various stages of development. There are numerous examples of how some of these management practices have helped us overcome the barriers to growth. For any Inclusive business, social impact is as important as the financial aspect of it, if not more. This is what really makes it different from the regular conventional businesses. Even though an inclusive business enjoys a lot of benefits being a part of a big multinational, it must shield itself from the various processes that it sometimes needs to adhere to. However, a lot of times, these processes start to slow down the whole system. That’s why it is critical to employ such management practices right from initiation.

At Shruti Program, we have always tried to adapt nimble approaches to cut down on a lot of irrelevant processes to ensure the innovation reaches the market sooner. Similarly, while hiring talent, we look to attract people who associate themselves with the mission of the company and the program. Most of all, it is the mission of Medtronic Labs and Shruti Program to improve and impact lives that drives us to deliver and achieve more.

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Hi Zahid, thank you! Great question, as Prateek and Lauren rightly mentioned, most of the 10 management practices identified are also being implemented for non IB but what we found is that they are being implemented differently. We also found some are unique to IB, for instance corporate advocacy which is about identifying material issues to the IB on which the company is willing to speak out, engage and influence others including peers, policymakers, consumers, suppliers, employees, to help foster a better IB ecosystem and encourage faster or deeper change.

Consumers’ expectations towards companies to act socially responsibly and take a stance on social issues have grown. A recent study showed that almost two thirds of consumers make purchasing decisions based on a company’s stand on social issues. It also showed that 60 percent of consumers want to see companies’ values and stances more transparently, and 53 percent believe that companies can do more than governments to solve social issues. Through corporate advocacy, companies can show they are ready to act on issues that are important for them, instead of only stating them in their strategies.

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In your case, Firmansyah - it sounds like the foundation for everything was a senior leadership that identified a clear social impact purpose and then worked to embed that in the business - including in management systems, practices, incentives and the other internal factors that @Nazila_Vali has highlighted.

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Hi Nazila - that’s very interesting. It feels like there is a strong link to the embedding purpose conversation with have been having at Business Fights Poverty - the idea that to be authentic, purpose needs to permeate across the business, including internal management practices.


Yes. Innovations for Inclusive businesses are supposed to be low-cost with shorter turnaround times right from ideation to prototyping to production. This can only be achieved if there is a more efficient system in place. At times, the processes of bigger multinationals do not support this cycle. Hence, the need of such practices to ensure buy-in from the management, etc.


Hi Naz, your point on corporate advocacy is really relevant. It also helps to build trust and public private partnerships which in our case have been fundamental to scaling our inclusive business. This includes both programme funding and activities we may not have been able to deploy as a company alone.

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The case study for East West Seed Indonesia that we produced with @firman0992 and his team exemplifies best the adoption of a comprehensive IB risk management approach that reviews risks in a holistic manner. Firmansyah and his team work with smallholder farmers across Indonesia facing multiple risks, such as natural disasters or a lack of access to technology and information. The company has established proactive, robust risk management practices that help to mitigate the risk of decreased productivity and lost profits for the company, lost income for the farmers and decreased supply of vegetables in the community. EWINDO’s integrated risk management approach includes preventive, reactive and curative actions. It spreads across different layers of the organization, from the strategic level to implementation in the field. I think this is again a great illustration of how an IB tackle and adapt the issue of risk management to the BoP market.

Our third question for today is as follows. Please feel free to build on your previous answers and share more insights around all success factors contributing to scaling your inclusive business ventures!

Q3: To what extend championing these practices represent an important competitive advantage to your inclusive business?

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Hi Prateek, I agree. The support of management, is critical as is the talent that drives innovation for the BoP within the large corporate environment.


Absolutely. Aligning vision, company values, strategy, goals and purpose are key drivers of long-term performance of the IB.

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Thanks Nazali and Zahid,… Focus to improve farmers life, would directly impact to country poverty. This is commitment from Top to Frontliner Field Team

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A3. For East West Seed Indonesia, the intervention trough good quality seed, GAP (good Agriculture Practice) and Knowledge transfer are the process to be executed. This should be championing from whole employees, mostly the front liner – field agronomist while rest are committed to support. We surely believed, championing this would creating success. In the other hand, the success of company’s business is largely determined by the success of farmers to get better results, increased income so that they are more prosperous.

For this reason, all the best efforts made by the company in presenting products, services and technology must be able to answer farmers’ needs. For this reason, before breeders from the R&D division begin creating new varieties, together with the commercial team, they first carry out field research to come and hear all the hopes of the farmers.

Therefore, to ensure the existence of the company in line with the need of farmers, it is realized by presenting the company value
• Farmer’s best friend - Close to farmers to guide and encourage them to be successful farmers, solve all problems together by visiting and serving them unconditionally.
• Strive for excellence - Ability to deliver the outstanding outcome through innovation and robust operational excellent by performing discipline, hard work, creativity and teamwork under professionalism and integrity.
This makes management practices always competitive and able to continue to present products, services and technology for vegetable farmers in Indonesia.

Absolutely Zahid. If your purpose doesn’t drive your overall business strategy your inclusive business is at risk.

A3: A large extent. We’re a global team deploying inclusive business in over 45 countries. We operate on the belief that no one model fits all so without well managed operations we couldn’t reach the last mile communities in need our of services the most. Innovation underpins our competitive advantage across, products, business and services delivery and of course to do this we need the right talent, from on ground business developers to strategic thinkers and everyone in between. To keep us on the right track we need the right governance and management that is flexible enough to empower the team to deliver performance.

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Crepes &Waffles’s example for the practice of employee well-being in the report is very concrete. Crepes & Waffles is the number 1 restaurant chain in Colombia with more than 162 outlets in Latin America and Spain.

Several studies demonstrated that when organizations focus as much on well-being as they do on productivity, it results in a simultaneous boost in both the output and health levels of workers. In our research, we found that IB integrated employee well-being not only as a moral imperative but also as a strategy to boost productivity and ensure the success of their initiatives. For the past 10 years, Crepes and Waffles has implemented “Arts Academy”, a platform supporting the development of all its personnel, from administrative to C-suite. The platform uses art and methodologies based on the cultivation of integral consciousness and learning to generate processes that transform the relationship of the individuals with themselves, with each other and with the social and natural environment. This is intended to invigorate the sense of community among Crepes’ staff through a process of profound individual transformation and social change.

The benefits from focusing on employee wellbeing are significant. Crepes has the lowest rotation rate in the industry (12 percent in 2018 compared with an average of 35 percent in the industry) – staff members stay an average of 11 years.

That is so true. It is at the heart of an Inclusive business to connect positively to the local consumers. This drives trust and adaptability.


It’s a very logical correlation for us, but it’s so powerful to be able to demonstrate with numbers how proactively promoting your employee well-being and treating it as a strategic issue enhance productivity.