Dealing with Black Swan Events: An Interview with Vijay Mahajan, Founder and CEO, Basix

Strategic Change: Briefings in Entrepreneurial Finance no. 25 (5):625–639, 2016

18 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2015 Last revised: 28 Sep 2016

Arvind Ashta

CEREN EA 7477 Burgundy School of Business - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté

Date Written: December 26, 2014

Abstract

Social innovations create social change or disruptions in society. These disruptions can be both positive and negative. Social perceptions on the benefits as well as the costs of change may influence society's reaction to the social innovation. A change in social perception may trigger Black Swan events. These events are low probability but with high magnitude and cannot be anticipated. Such events may spell disasters for some social innovators. Their image may suddenly turn from positive to negative. How do inspirational social leaders deal with such Black Swan events? We have an example of such a Black Swan event in microfinance in Andhra Pradesh where an Ordonnance wiped out an industry, including players who had sought to keep a clean image. Vijay Mahajan, founder of Basix, provides a very personal, even emotional response of how he is dealing with the aftermath of the change.When strong emotions come out, prose is not sufficient and he uses poetry.

Keywords: Black Swan, risk, microfinance, leadership, behavior, personal management, crisis management

JEL Classification: D81, M12, M13, M14, M54

Suggested Citation

Ashta, Arvind, Dealing with Black Swan Events: An Interview with Vijay Mahajan, Founder and CEO, Basix (December 26, 2014). Strategic Change: Briefings in Entrepreneurial Finance no. 25 (5):625–639, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2578357 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2578357

Arvind Ashta (Contact Author)

CEREN EA 7477 Burgundy School of Business - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté ( email )

29 rue Sambin
21000 Dijon
France

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