Without doubt, this is an inspiring book.
I did not have a specific expectation of the book, when I started it – having known about the Grameen initiative and its activities. I started reading this book as a part of a course that I am doing (required reading). In reading the book, however, many ideas, thoughts and guiding philosophies came to the fore. It is quite revealing about how the idea of micro-credit has worked, their systems, processes, and importantly – the role of the “human” factor in a business (whether social or profit-oriented).
It is a simple read, employs simple language. It is also a smooth read – something that you do not encounter quite often, these days. There may be a good reason for this. Dr. Yunus knows exactly what he believes; perhaps that’s the reason for his articulation. He works with such a broad spectrum of people; perhaps that’s the reason for the simplicity of presentation. It is, really a story book: a story of the Grameen initiative, the genesis, the growth and the future. There are a few compelling and innovative ideas and thoughts for businesses of all sorts – the focus, undoubtedly on social businesses. Not all of them are laid out on a platter for you in a bulleted list or in a grid like a standard management help book. But without explicit mention or presentation, they come to the fore.
As I neared the end of the book, however, I felt a sense of obstinate and inflexible stand on the constitution of a social business, and the ideas for the future of social business and the new world order became slightly vague, and romantic even. For someone who invented the concept of a social business, I found this stand — of strictly separating financial and social profit — suffocating. No doubt, he provides good reason for this strict separation; to my mind, however, it is the basis of confining a mind to think further. When the description of an innovative idea (the Grameen initiative) disallows further innovation (that has a chance of making it popular and bringing more people to the idea), it seems counter-productive.
It is still a good book and it still worth reading