I use the following factors to compare social business model to traditional business model to compare Ashoka and Google.
Google, as we all know is an American multinational, commercial firm that offers services that are designed to enhance productivity and work. Ashoka, on the other hand, is a social business. ‘The life purpose of the true social entrepreneur is to change the world.’ The founder of the groundbreaking organization called ‘Ashoka’ Bill Drayton once said. According to him, social entrepreneurs seek to tackle social problems to make a better world. This is the reason why he has named his groundbreaking organization as ‘Ashoka.’ It is driven from the exact name ‘Ashoka the great,’ who was the emperor of Maurya dynasty. Bill Drayton and Ashoka believe that the fact that Ashoka the great has changed his personality from merciless nature to an individual promoting peace is a framework for the motif of the organization.
Team vs. Individual
Social enterprises like Ashoka often embraces teamwork and collaboration as a key to its operational model. Ashoka believes that communication is a key to solving social problems. The firm also builds infrastructures that enable different individuals and organizations to communicate with each other. They want every and all social entrepreneurs to be informationalized about the current social issues as well as the method that others use to tackle these problems. To facilitate their ethos further, they help out and collaborate with social enterprises or organizations such as Youth Venture, Nutrients for All, Law for All and Full Economic Citizenship. In particular, youth venture shares similar aspects with Ashoka, as youth venture also seek to find young people who are eager for startups.
Since Google is a transnational firm, it often collaborates with many other firms in Silicon Valley and tries to foster the favorable business environment for employees by having regular discussion sessions. But unlike Ashoka, it does not have an explicit social program that is designed to facilitate teamwork amongst people who belong to different social sectors.
Business Objective and the Perceptions of Value
Ashoka is solely driven by social entrepreneurial motif. Ashoka’s main approach towards social change is by identifying key social entrepreneurs or potential social entrepreneurs and investing money to them. They describe these kinds of entrepreneurs as ‘changemakers’ and offer professional support to the changemakers they have identified. For instance, they offer a service called ‘Ashoka Fellows’, who works for the organization and provide ideas and initiatives to potential social entrepreneurs. Currently, more than 3000 social entrepreneurs have registered to Ashoka organization. The organization aims to enlarge this number so that they can ultimately meet its ethos as an organization that encourages every single individual to be a social entrepreneur.
Unlike Ashoka, Google’s main objective and value lie on profit maximizing. It offers goods and services that are designed to earn profits to expand their businesses. Its key value is innovation and expansion of business, all of which allows them to earn profits.
Distribution of Profits
Ashoka puts nearly all profits toward making a social impact, while still paying regular wages to its employees. On the other hand, the structure of commercial firms like Google is driven by various shareholders who has the proportion of the shares of the company. In the case of Google, 95% of the shares belong to other shareholders. Since shareholders invest their money to the Google, the bulk of Google’s profits goes toward making profits for shareholders. Moreover, Google uses its profit to expand its business and make further innovations, covering the cost of production.
Ashoka utilizes business strategies that are heavily concerned with social entrepreneurialism. Mainly, social enterprises like Ashoka adopts two strategies: Social marketing, and socially responsible investing. Social marketing specifically targets individual for the provision of social goods in the society to the hilt, while socially responsible investing is a type of investment given to other social enterprises and social entrepreneurs who would strive to make different social impacts. As mentioned, Ashoka invests heavily in potential social entrepreneurs, who strive to make social impacts.