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For sustainable social impact at Mangalajodi: change processes enabled by NatWest Bank India

Vineeta Dutta Roy (Department of Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Sustainability, Birla Institute of Management Technology, Greater Noida, India.)

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies

ISSN: 2045-0621

Publication date: 12 July 2022


Learning outcomes

At the macro level, the case study enables the students to appreciate the complexity emerging market economies face in achieving economic development and environmental sustainability without comprising each other. The students understand the importance of behavioural change and empowerment of communities in projects dealing with transformational social changes. Theoretically, the students learn about the change mechanisms and organisational practices market-based organisations install to drive their positive social change (PSC) projects. At the micro level, students learn about the process of setting up Mangalajodi Ecotourism Trust (MET) – that not only enthused the local community economically but also instilled it with awareness and motivation towards sustaining its ecosystem. Analytically, at macro level, it assists the students to have a lens of PSC framework to examine corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship and BoP strategies of market-based organisations to affect social change. Application/problem solving: The case study explains to the students how the PSC levers of motivation, capability and opportunity structures were applied by NatWest Bank during different phases of project execution. As management grapples with new problems, the students are encouraged to use the levers to recommend an action plan. It allows students to apply SWOT and think of competitive strategies for MET. It allows students to think of strategies that may apply for a better management of Ecotourism at Mangalajodi.

Case overview/synopsis

As part of its broader commitment to sustainable development and climate change action, the NatWest Group (formerly Royal Bank of Scotland Group) launched its Supporting Enterprise Programme in India in the year 2007. The project aimed at creating income-generating opportunities for indigenous and economically vulnerable sections of society living in critical natural ecosystems. The project was under the leadership of N. Sunil Kumar, a zealous nature lover, with over two decades of experience in business strategy and public affairs and a specialty in environmental sustainability. He headed Sustainable Banking at NatWest and was head of NatWest Foundation-India. The Mangalajodi project shared the problems many of NatWest’s other projects in India presented. Poor communities that relied solely on natural resources for their sustenance slid deeper into poverty as ecosystems degraded. Lacking alternative sources of livelihood and facing scantier resources, the communities helplessly caused additional damage to weak ecosystems when they drew on the resources even more vigorously. Poaching of migratory birds for supplemental income was a huge problem at Mangalajodi; it was not only rapidly altering the ecosystem to sustain the birds but also deteriorating and weakening its ecology as a whole. Measures to eliminate poaching were failing in the absence of alternate means of livelihoods and a strong incentive to protect the birds. MET was established under the project in 2009. A decade later, it had become a resounding success. A community-owned and run enterprise, MET was providing direct employment to over 100 poorest families at the tiny village and creating income-generating opportunities and entrepreneurial ventures for many others. Poaching was practically negligible at Mangalajodi, and the community was drawing huge admiration for its role in conserving the ecosystem. However, the progress of Mangalajodi Ecotourism was paradoxical, on the one hand; its popularity was rising but, on the other hand, it was becoming overcrowded and looked ill managed. Its rising commercial value was bringing in more land developers, builders and investors, but permanent concrete structures were also coming up quite unscrupulously. There were many challenges – how should growth of ecotourism at Mangalajodi be managed? What mechanisms and practices ensured that the community was empowered enough to participate in decisions of land use, infrastructure, energy and waste management at Mangalajodi? How should MET become more competitive and innovative to grow despite future challenges?

Complexity academic level

The case study is useful for students of Management at Under Graduate and Post Graduate Levels for understanding the following: the sustainability of fragile ecosystems; the community at the intersection of sustainable development and natural resources conservation and protection of biodiversity; knowing in detail about the planning, implementation and management of ecotourism projects; and decisions regarding community-based ecotourism projects.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 7: Management Science



Disclaimer: This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision making. The author/s may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Roy, V.D. (2022), "For sustainable social impact at Mangalajodi: change processes enabled by NatWest Bank India", Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, Vol. 12 No. 2.



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