The business of doing good

The business of doing good

Business, we at Mint have always believed, isn’t just about... er, business. This is reflected in some of the beats in the Mint newsroom—the business of religion, the business of entertainment, the business of sport. Now, the business of philanthropy joins that list. The problem in understanding what’s happening in this area in India is that there is little data and almost no expert on the subject. Which is why I was thrilled when former journalist, writer, philanthropist and one-time Mint columnist Rohini Nilekani wrote to me some months ago suggesting a series of articles that would take a detailed look at the subject (probably the first time this has been done in India). Nilekani is the closest India has to an expert on philanthropy (although the lady herself, with characteristic modesty, told me once that she is still seeking answers). After a brainstorming session (or two), we decided to look at the entire ecosystem of philanthropy through reported pieces by Mint’s writers, and columns by experts, opinion leaders, and practitioners. Nilekani wrote to several people explaining the rationale of the series and seeking contributory articles, and almost everyone accepted. She also guided and worked with Mint’s reporters on their pieces. The result is a series that will run over 10 weeks and that is already promising to become much more. Independently, a few days before Mint announced its series, our larger rival, The Economic Times, launched one on the same topic, which gives me reason to hope that may be, just may be, philanthropy will become a sought-after beat in more newsrooms.

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