Melissa Bica, Phil Eukel, and Lauren Farwell worked together as an interdisciplinary action research team for seven weeks in Kolkata, India this past summer with social enterprises Anudip and iMerit. Their projects focused on social documentation and information technology (IT) training. Anudip is a nonprofit organization that provides market aligned skills training (M.A.S.T) in IT to women and youth in rural and impoverished regions of India. Its sister organization iMerit employs Anudip graduates to carry out business processing projects for global clients. Anudip and iMerit’s rapid scaling require increased marketing and social media to attract more clients and garner more funding. iMerit exhibited a need for specific technical training to upskill its current employees to work on more advanced, web-based projects. The team’s goal was to meet these needs by providing Anudip and iMerit with social documentation through media that they can utilize in their marketing as well as a training manual to facilitate trainers in the upskilling of iMerit employees.


Action Research



Each fellow produced a different deliverable based upon their specific action research plan. Phil produced two promotional videos, a shorter two-minute video profiling an iMerit employee from Metiabruz and a longer ten-minute video, Believing in the People, giving a broader look at Anudip and iMerit and their social impact. Lauren created an online archive of photographs taken during the field experience in visits to rural centers and in interviews that the social enterprises can use for marketing in the future. She also wrote two articles highlighting the business model and stories of transformation as a result of the impact of the two enterprises. Lauren will also create a storyboard of “A Day in the Life of an iMerit Employee” to encourage Anudip students to pursue a career at iMerit. Melissa created a website detailing the work that she completed during her time in Kolkata. Included on the website are downloadable versions of all the slide sets she created, documentation of the schedule and activities from each session, ideas for continuing this training in the future, and further resources to be used for HTML/CSS training.



Their Research Results


HTML/XML Training Guide

by Melissa Bica


This guide was created for training HTML and XML to beginners. It is based off of the four weeks of training that I conducted in July 2013 at Metiabruz. I trained two separate small groups of women, about 4-6 per group, twice a week for one hour. My training covered many basics of HTML and a few basics of CSS, and by the end the women were able to create their own HTML webpages with text, pictures, hyperlinks, and formatting.



iMerit Profile

by Phillip Eukel


iMerit is a technology services social business that empowers women and marginalized communities through sustainable livelihood opportunities. This is Musarral Jahan's story.


Believing in the People

by Phillip Eukel


Believing in the People is a short film documentary by Phillip Eukel that attempts to show how sister social enterprises Anudip and iMerit create social change in the rural areas around Kolkata.


Employees and Entrepreneurs

by Lauren Farwell


These reflections document Lauren's experience and research with iMerit.


A Woman's World

by Lauren Farwell


These reflections document Lauren's experience and research with iMerit.


Meet The Students:

Read their reflections on entrepreneurship to meet social needs in India


phil-icon lauren-icon melissa-icon

Phillip Eukel
Communications '14




Lauren Farwell
Political Science '14



Melissa Bica
Computer Science and Engineering '14








While all three fellows worked in some capacity for Anudip and iMerit, each fellow had drastically different research plans. Phil used video to document the social impact Anudip and iMerit had on the communities they worked in. Lauren analyzed the synthesized business model Anudip and iMerit have created while mixing in emphatic and enlightening photos of the women and youth in the centers. Melissa worked within Anudip’s education framework helping teach the women about HTML and CSS bolstering their skills and providing iMerit with a new resource.



The Hosting Social Enterprises:


anudip_logo_big iMerit__Logo (2)


Anudip and iMerit are two social enterprises that provide value for rural women and youth in India by providing information technology training and employment for technical BPO work, respectively. In its own words, Anudip serves its customers by “developing livelihood opportunities through knowledge.” Anudip created its own training regimen, M.A.S.T. (market aligned skills training), to train women and youth in skills such as English, workplace readiness, and basic IT. Through this education, Anudip empowers women and change the perceptions of women in the community. Anudip’s final goal is not the number of women and youth trained, but the livelihoods they create in the community through their education. iMerit is a “global smartsourcing” enterprise which provides services such as digital publishing and data management for clients like Google and Microsoft. iMerit creates value both for poor and marginalized people in need of jobs, for those trained through Anudip, as well as for clients in need of these sorts of services.