Banglanatak Dot Com: Can Art and Culture Drive Social Development at Scale?
Banglanatak dot com (BNC) is a unique example of an initiative that grew from a folk-theater-based social effort in rural Bengal to a pan-India effort, evolving different needs-based programs with the mission of fostering pro-poor growth and protecting and upholding the rights of women, children, and indigenous communities. In the last two decades of its evolution, BNC has built a unique model of community-led development riding on the cultural heritage of the places where it intervened. Over the years, BNC came to occupy a unique position, having developed a series of innovative programs during its journey and evolved to become an institution spread across multiple programs and with different capabilities. From a management perspective, BNC might be stretched across divergent objectives, but in the social sector, it appears to be an enlightening story of successfully building an institution for impact. By 2020, Amitava Bhattacharya, the founder of BNC, was grappling with the challenge of scaling up BNC and building capacity within the organization. This case gives us the opportunity to explore multiple areas in the context of social enterprises and the sector: 1. Growth drivers (social development goals) 2. Social enterprise business models 3. Scaling-up challenges 4. Organizational evolution
To examine and appreciate the role of traditional arts and handicrafts in rural India as a platform for performance-art-based services.
To sensitize the participants to social enterprise business models in the context of BNC's challenge of scaling up.
To understand BNC's life cycle as a social enterprise and examine the factors that drive its evolution.
To understand the challenges facing BNC as a social enterprise in having to integrate the social intent with business objectives.