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Defying the Odds in the media

CASI’s latest publication, Defying the Odds: The Rise of Dalit Entrepreneurs, is a collection of short biographies of 21 Dalit entrepreneurs who have overcome unimaginable obstacles to achieve immense success. Their inspiring stories combine “grit,ambition, drive, and hustle-and some luck.” Read an excerpt of the book which was shared on Yahoo India here.

The book was recently highlighted in an article for SAS Frontiers, the magazine of the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. Read the article here.

For a new paradigm of social justice

Two of Defying the Odd‘s authors, D. Shyam Babu and Chandra Bhan Prasad have written an article about the CASI Dalit entrepreneurship project and survey of 1,000 Dalit entrepreneurs in The Hindu. They argue for a nayi soch (new thinking) on social justice in India which would facilitate Dalit participation in the economy in a more meaningful way, as “job givers” in addition to being “job takers.” Read their argument for entrepreneurship here.

Adam Smith v. Manu: Look who’s winning

SA Aiyer recently wrote a review of Defying the Odds for his Times of India blog, “Swaminomics.” He describes Defying the Odds as “the most heartwarming book of 2014.” Read his pointed analysis of how Dalit entrepreneurs spoil the hero/villian narrative in the review here.

Order your copy of the book on Flipkart or get the Kindle version (international).

Umesh Chaudhary

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Latest on CASI publications

Defying the Odds book coverToday FT‘s Amy Kazmin reviewed CASI’s latest publication Defying the Odds: The Rise of Dalit Entrepreneurs. She writes:

“the book offers fascinating, bottom-up insights into the gritty workings of India’s economy, and its twisting, bumpy roads to potential upward mobility.”

Read the full review here.

The Kindle edition of Defying the Odds is now available in the US on Be sure to get your copy! You can read more about the book on our website.

Also, don’t miss CASI Director Devesh Kapur’s latest op-eds. In an article for Business Standard, he discusses the trade-off between competence and loyalty in government bureaucracy and argues that the Modi government should take a risk by bringing in new talent. Read the story here.

Kapur also writes about the need to build stronger state institutions which are better at promoting public good in an article for The Economic Times published today. Read the story here.


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Western anti-capitalists take too much for granted

Dr. Devesh Kapur, Director of CASI
Dr. Devesh Kapur

In a recent opinion article in Financial Times, “Western anti-capitalists take too much for granted”, CASI Director Devesh Kapur argues that capitalism’s discontents should look to India for an example of the empancipatory power of capitalist economic growth.BpX2xiFCYAA3VDI

The article comes after the launch of CASI’s newest publication, Defying the Odds: The Rise of Dalit Entrepreneurs, written by Kapur with D. Shyam Babu and Chandra Bhan Prasad, CASI research affiliates and former CASI Visiting Scholars.The book project was made possible through a multi-year research grant on Dalit Entrepreneurship from the John Templeton Foundation. The book was launched this month and is available in India through Random House India. Read More.

Order your copy through Flipkart and or Amazon.

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Random House India Launches CASI’s Dalit Entrepreneur Book in Delhi

Defying the Odds book coverOn July 19 at the India Habitat Centre in Delhi, Random House India will launch the book, Defying the Odds: The Rise of the Dalit Entrepreneurs with authors – Devesh Kapur, CASI Director, and D. Shyam Babu and Chandra Bhan Prasad, who are both CASI research affiliates and former CASI Visiting Scholars. A panel discussion with the authors will include T. N. Ninan, Chairman, Business Standard, Rajiv Lall, Executive Chairman, IDFC, Milind Kamble, Chairman, Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI), and moderated by Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President, Centre for Policy Research.

This book project was funded by a multi-year grant awarded to CASI from the John Templeton Foundation.

Defying the Odds is about the new Dalit identity. It profiles the phenomenal rise of twenty-one Dalit entrepreneurs, the few who through a combination of grit, ambition, drive and hustle—and some luck—have managed to break through social, economic and practical barriers. It illustrates instances where adversity compensated for disadvantage, where working their way up from the bottom instilled in Dalit entrepreneurs a much greater resilience as well as a willingness to seize opportunities in sectors and locations eschewed by more privileged business groups.

Traditional Dalit narratives are marked by struggle for identity, rights, equality and for inclusion. These inspiring stories capture both the difficulty of their circumstances as well as their extraordinary steadfastness, while bringing to light the possibilities of entrepreneurship as a tool of social empowerment.

The book project was made possible by a multi-year research grant on Dalit Entrepreneurship CASI was awarded from the John Templeton Foundation.

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