For Money or Mankind – Part Quattro

Previously on For Money or Mankind – Suchitra Nair is an aspiring businesswoman from India, on the verge of a ground-breaking partnership with a Kenyan social entrepreneur and a German venture capitalist. Will the partnership buckle under the pressure of cultural differences, or will this be the start of a new era in global capitalism?

The following is Part 4 (final) of the short story/essay titled For Money or Mankind.

Why do I want to do this?’ Greg’s directness caught Francis off-guard, as he ponderously went about his presentation. Twenty minutes into the meeting, not much headway could be made as to the contributions expected from each of the parties involved. Clearing his throat, Francis replied “Primarily because I want to change the world, I want to contribute to the economy, empower the common man…?


“Yes those are very noble and lofty ideals. Everyone wants to be the next Nobel Peace Prize winner. But when you look at it from an investor’s point of view, what has he got to achieve?? Greg interrupted him. “This seems more like a charity effort, rather than something venture capitalists and entrepreneurs should be interested in. ? Sensing trouble, Suchitra flung Francis a lifeline “Probably not directly, but by providing services to the poor in a third world country, a venture capitalist stands to gain from the huge amount of goodwill and publicity that can come out of the initiative, which can pave the way for more lucrative investments in the future. If I remember correctly, it was Peter F. Drucker who said that entrepreneurship need not be tied in with a profit motive. What is required is an opportunity which needs to be exploited – the opportunity here is the betterment of thousands of people’s lives, as well as the sharing of knowledge and information through Expert.com. This is what we want to address. I understand in the short-term, monetary benefits might not be forthcoming, but we are confident this effort will snowball into a huge success in Africa?.


Buoyed by the support from his partner, Francis chimed in “Exactly. I would also like to quote Schumpeter when he said ‘the function of entrepreneurs is to reform or revolutionize the pattern of production’. In our case, we are changing people’s lives, through innovative practices, and opening up a supply of knowledge and information to an unexplored market. The African market is a diamond-mine waiting to be discovered, with very high projected growth rates. I would also like to point out that there is actually a short-term monetary gain as well – Expert.com has its first customer – even though we don’t directly provide it with revenue, the doors we think it will open for Expert.com are far more than we can possibly imagine. As you can see from Page 23 of Expert.com’s business plan, it aims to attain profitability within the first year of its operations.?


“We understand money and returns are important for the investor, but we still believe these are not the most vital reasons to invest. The way to succeed in the largely liberal, capitalistic landscape that exists in the world today, is to look beyond superficialities such as money – which we understand does sound Quixotic. But the fact of the matter is, it is true – even for-profit companies which have stood the test of time such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, you name it – did not start off with the aim of making a quick buck. They all wanted to improve peoples’ lives. We are doing it differently, that is all.?


Greg was taken aback by the audacity of the duo – for people not involved nor interested in business, they seemed awfully committed to the cause. “My sentiments exactly? he thought to himself and replied “Yes, you are right on all those counts. Entrepreneurship in many ways is paradoxical – on the one hand the entrepreneur must not focus solely on the financial benefits but as you said, look to change the world. On the other hand, his success is quantified by parameters such as profits, market share and brand recognition. The secret is to balance the two motives, with capital and revenues being used to fuel the desire to achieve the higher goal of betterment of mankind. However, what is also important is execution. History is dotted with revolutionaries who have failed for not following up their words with action.?

The meeting lasted another thirty minutes. The rest as they say, is history…

Three years later, Francis Odoyo became a household name in Africa, with his efforts being the inspiration of a wave of social-entrepreneurial ventures throughout the continent. Expert.com, with Suchitra Nair as CEO was raking in the moolah (and the cash) for its unique technology and was in talks with prominent dot-coms over possible buyout deals. As for Greg Hoffler, with the blooming of many spin-off companies from the seeds sown in Kenya as well as the satisfaction of truly having made a difference to the world, he was happiness personified.

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5 Responses to “For Money or Mankind – Part Quattro”

  1. Cox Says:

    Get off yo sleepy ass and start postin’ nigga. Don’t make me aks twice…

  2. arun Says:

    Chill homie. I’m doin da 411 on wad to write and will be crankin the keyboard soon.

    Peace out

  3. Yash Joshi Says:

    Very nice. And rather erudite, as a piece that quotes Schumpeter must necessarily be. (Yay for MMT5002, what?)

    A couple of minor issues, if you promise not to beat me up: “moolah” and “cash” are the same thing, methinks, and “was beginning to show signs of slowing down towards a painful death” (from Part Uno) is needlessly repetitive. And I’m not entirely sure that Greg is a German name.

    But what the heck, the piece was impressive. Will look forward to more.

    Peacing out.

  4. Sherene Says:

    Update, update! 😛

  5. pgermana Says:

    Hear free tunes at my [non-profit] site:
    instamusic.biz

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