God's Own Kitchen (The Inspiring Story of Akshaya Patra - A Social Enterprise Run by Monks and CEOs)
People often asked Madhu Pandit – Why did you leave IIT to become a monk? Had he followed the conventional path, Madhu Pandit would have been a big – shot in some large corporation. Instead, he was the ‘CEO’ of a large temple. Guided by his guru A C Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada. Propelled forward by the Divine Plan.
A chance meeting with Mohandas Pai inspired Madhu Pandit to use the spare capacity in the ISKCON kitchen. To start a mid-day meal program for 1500 children, in and around Bangalore. Today, Akshaya Patra is the world’s largest NGO-led mid-day meal program, with 27 kitchens across 11 states. Serving 1.6 million hot lunches to government schools each day.
This is the exciting story of spiritualists and capitalists coming together to launch a unique start-up. And taking it to scale. A ‘Made in India’ success story using the head, the heart, and a whole lot of soul.
Rashmi Bansal is a writer, entrepreneur and youth expert. She is the author of 7 bestselling books on entrepreneurship — Stay Hungry Stay Foolish, Connect the Dots, I Have a Dream, Poor Little Rich Slum, Follow Every Rainbow, Take Me Home and Arise, Awake — which have sold more than a million copies and been translated into 12 languages.
Rashmi is the founder of Bloody Good Book (www.bloodygoodbook.com), a platform to discover and e-publish budding authors. She is also a motivational speaker and mentor to students and young entrepreneurs.
Rashmi is an economics graduate from Sophia College, Mumbai, and an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad.
Shridhar Venkat nervously drummed his fingers on the table. Another five minutes and the meeting would begin.
He went over the key points of the presentation in his head. The team had done its job well — all targets had been achieved. In fact, surpassed. But the board members were never easy to please.
As always, the CEO would have to answer some tough questions.
"They are ready for you!" came the message.
Shridhar ascended the stairs and pushed open a heavy wooden door. Seated around a large mahogany table in business-like fashion were 12 expectant men, laptops and tablets in front of them, with Bluetooth devices perched over their ears.
"Aah, the Akshaya Patra team is here. You have an hour for your presentation. Please try not to overshoot it."
Shridhar glanced at the ‘busy executives’ in the room and could not help smiling. He was used to it, but to anyone else, what a strange sight this would be!
There were no suits and ties to be seen, just flowing orange and white robes. Sandalwood paste tilaks on every forehead. And shining, bald heads.
Indeed, these were monks of the ISKCON order. But like their Lord God Krishna, they had taken a different avatar.
Here, at the 16th annual Management Council Meeting of the Akshaya Patra foundation, they were experts in finance and marketing, operations and logistics. Demanding results from their CEO and his crack team of professionals.
For this was the Akshaya Patra Foundation. Its stakeholders — 1.6 million schoolchildren.
Its mission — that no child should go hungry. Its story — an example and inspiration.
The world of matter and the world of spirit are not separate.
They work in tandem.
What the soul feels, the mind desires. What the mind desires, the body undertakes.
"Let not the fruits of action be your motive, nor let your attachment be to inaction."
May you live a life of peace, bringing peace unto others.
He who is the Cause of all Causes is watching over you, always.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Item Code: NAS251 Author: Rashmi Bansal Cover: PAPERBACK Edition: 2017 Publisher: Westland Ltd. ISBN: 9789385724848 Language: English Size: 8.00 X 5.00 inch Pages: 264 (Throughout Color Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.32 Kg