Meet the SHEROES - Karon Shaiva
Karon Shaiva, the Chief Impact Officer and MD of Idobro talk to us about her professional life and goals for the company today. Let’s listen to the story of this social change maker.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and brought up in Mumbai and have been involved in social activities since my childhood thanks to the Church and SUPW programme in school. Volunteering continued through my adult life. I have also lived in Africa, USA and Japan. This has given me a very multicultural and cosmopolitan outlook to societal issues. When I began to feel that I wanted to do more, I decided to take up social entrepreneurship even though I did not have any formal background or in-depth knowledge of the sector.... I have always believed in transferable skills (I have worked across 7 industries (IT to Diamonds) and have qualifications in Technology, Marketing, Finance, Quality, and Training & Development). I married my professional experience with my personal passion to create Idobro.
Since when have you been the Chief Impact Officer at Idobro?
What are the core services you provide at Idobro?
Idobro offers an end-to-end model to scale and sustain social initiatives (depending on their stage of maturity and mandate) through 3 verticals:
1. Communication & Advocacy to create awareness
2. Events & Outreach for stakeholder engagement and capacity building
3. Research & Strategies for implementation of requisite interventions
Idobro also helps our woman, social and green (WSG) enterprise network offer a broad range of products (conference kits, handicrafts, home décor, apparel, accessories, food, etc) and services (waste management, recycling, ecology solutions, and more).
What are the biggest challenges in your role and in this field?
Building an eco-system model where everyone collectively benefits is not the easiest to explain. People are more used to grants, subsidies and cross-subsidization.
Also, when we say we provide market-based solutions – it is seen at as a commercial approach. ‘Market’ signifies transaction and money so unless the impact you create is significant, you have a tough time establishing yours credentials as a social enterprise.
Last but not the least, just like any enterprise, allocating a budget for creating awareness, engaging with stakeholders or undertaking research and capacity building is the last priority for the organisation. More so in the social sector where programs are always short on funds. Hence getting paid for our services leave alone making it sustainable is a huge challenge.
What is a typical work day like for you?
My days are filled with meetings and calls. I also attend training programs, events and visit exhibitions to keep in touch. I believe I learn the most this way – firsthand! It is also a sure way to discover new people in the field. This leaves me with little time to do desk work. Luckily, I am a night owl and like to work late. I may work till 2 am or then wake up at 2 am to work till 5 am, returning to bed after I’m done.
Can you share some thoughts with our readers?
We believe that everyone is trying to do good but we work in silos. The more we can partner and reduce the knowledge gap between the corporate and social sector, academia and government, the better we will be able to leverage our individual strengths and resources. After all, we have just one world and each one of us has a responsibility and a role to play to preserve this earth.
Idobro works to design and implement projects that typically involve multiple stakeholders. This sets the ground to build trust and capacity – key factors for successful partnerships. We have recently started our RISE Infinity Foundation that will strengthen local communities through positive action driven by the shared values of Responsible, Inclusive, Sustainable and Eco-friendly (RISE). Idobro has also designed the RISE Framework to help Corporates and Enterprises to design strategies for socio-environomic impact (social, environment and economic).
Where do you see yourself professionally in the next five years?
There is so much to be done! I guess that’s the beauty of entrepreneurship..... It’s not about personal and professional.... Moreover people are only just realising the critical implications of an interconnected world. Philanthropy has its place but sustainability is universal. We want to take our model for collaboration, global. Our Vision is to be the distinctive resource and driver of a shared world that is Responsible, Inclusive, Sustainable, Eco-friendly.
To learn more please visit www.idobro.com or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.