The doctoral journey builds character | ft. Dr. Subhanjan Sengupta | BIMTECH

Dr. Subhanjan Sengupta is an Assistant Professor in Strategy, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (SIE) Area and Programme Coordinator of the Fellow Programme in Management at BIMTECH.

With a research interest where entrepreneurship, sustainability, and social issues interact in general, Sengupta has been researching entrepreneurship with the lenses of social value creation, market orientation, practice of ethics, and the interconnection between social and environmental sustainability. Methodologically, he uses a qualitative research approach. At a theoretical level, he likes to explore sustainable and social entrepreneurship, context and relationality, structures and agency, and institutionalism.

He was a visiting researcher with the EDUFI Fellowship of the Finnish National Agency for Education, at the Business School, University of Eastern Finland (UEF). He is currently collaborating with the Innovation Management Research Group at UEF on issues such as ethics of care as the practice in social entrepreneurship, social sustainability in sustainability transition, and sustainable entrepreneurship as a sustainability agency.

He also engages in interdisciplinary research. He is now a collaborator in an international consortium led by the University of Sheffield and STFC (UK), researching integration of business models, policy instruments, and precision agriculture interventions, for reducing waste of fresh agricultural produce from farm to retail.

His research is published in reputed journals such as Energy Policy, Journal of Cleaner Production, Social Enterprise Journal, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Bioresource Technology, and his teaching cases are available at Ivey Publishing and Harvard Business Publishing. One of his research papers was also selected as one of the Top Four Finalists for Best Business Ethics Paper category in the Social Issues in Management Division of the Academy of Management (AOM) Annual Meeting in 2020. He was also the Winner of the Jagdish N. Sheth Best Thesis Award 2019 and Best Researcher Award 2019-20, at BIMTECH.

He is also a reviewer in multiple journals such as Business and Politics, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, Journal of Strategy and Management, Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, and International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management.

Apart from his service to society through teaching and knowledge creation through research, he has also contributed through advisory to social enterprises, commercial enterprises, and in evaluating pitch decks of entrepreneurs at ideation or early stages


WINNER of Best Researcher Award 2019-20 at BIMTECH

• Among TOP 4 FINALISTS in Best Business Ethics Paper Category of the Social Issues in Management Division in Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2020.

WINNER of Jagdish N. Sheth Best Thesis Award 2019 jointly awarded by Jagdish Sheth Foundation and BIMTECH

Accepted: Sengupta, S., Sahay, A., & Hisrich,R. (2020). The Social-Market Convergence in a Renewable Energy Social Enterprise. Journal of Cleaner Production, 122516. [ABDC ‘A’ Rank Journal, Impact Factor: 7.246, CiteScore: 10.9]

Published: Kapoor, R., Ghosh, P., Kumar, M., Sengupta, S., Gupta, A., Kumar, S. S., … & Pant, D. (2020). Valorization of agricultural waste for biogas based circular economy in India: A Research Outlook. Bioresource Technology, 123036. [Impact Factor: 7.539, CiteScore: 12.8]

Partner Meetings, Stakeholder Meetings, Field Work Visits, & Website Launch of the Indo-UK research project TRANSSITioN. Held from 20th January – 24th January 2020.

Launch of TRANSSITioN website:

• Invited on October 04, 2019, as Keynote Speaker on “Role of Social Entrepreneurship in Alternative Politics” for the launch of Manav Rachna Center for Peace and Sustainability at Manav Rachna University.

Kick-Off Meeting of Indo-UK research project TRANSSITioN held on 13th August 2019. Sponsored by STFC-GCRF, UK; led by University of Sheffield and STFC, with other UK partners, and 10 India partners, including BIMTECH.

Published: Plutshack, V., Sengupta, S., Sahay, A., & Viñuales, J. E. (2019). New and renewable energy social enterprises accessing government support: Findings from India. Energy Policy, 132, 367-378. [ABDC ‘A’ Rank Journal, Impact Factor: 5.042, CiteScore: 8.7]

Published: Subhanjan Sengupta, Arunaditya Sahay, & Margaret Osborne (2019) – Hebon Transforms Indian Jackfruit From Weed to Wonder Food. (Ivey Publishing ID: 9B19M006; Harvard Business PublishingID: W19027-PDF-ENG)

Awarded PhD in December 2018

• Invited to the Business School, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, in 2018, as an EDUFI Doctoral Fellow awarded by the Finnish National Agency for Education.

His Ph.D. research (supervised by Dr. Arunaditya Sahay) presents and analyses three cases through a qualitative lens to explore the dimensions of two major concepts in social entrepreneurship – ‘market orientation’ and ‘social value creation’ – in a rural Indian context. It contributes to a conceptual understanding of these concepts within the social entrepreneurship phenomena. In this study, social enterprises in the new and renewable energy sector of India emerge as organizations that are deeply involved with decentralized renewable energy solutions and are participative with the community and other stakeholders in their network. The entrepreneurs experience and feel what the communities go through, and interact and engage with them to develop marketable solutions that are contextualized. The solutions are socially relevant, emancipatory, and enable more outreach and penetration by social entrepreneurship interventions. The social value created is in the form of the amelioration of the socio-economic conditions of the marginalized and deprived communities as well as the trust/faith they develop in the social enterprise. The study had a social constructionist approach. Detailed data were collected on what these case social enterprises do and how they do close to the ground. It involved traveling far and wide in the rural off-grid hinterlands of five provinces of India, ethnographically living the life of the social entrepreneurs, and witnessing the value creation for rural, farming communities. Interactions during the course of the study with practitioners in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem of India had validated the relevance of the study indicating that the findings were crucial knowledge for start-up / aspiring social entrepreneurs, and for social investment firms in their consulting services.

He was invited to the Business School, University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Kuopio, from 1st January 2018 to 30th May 2018, to work as a visiting PhD researcher, with the award of the EDUFI international doctoral fellowship (erstwhile called CIMO); a grant awarded by the Finnish National Agency for Education. At UEF, Sengupta was part of the Innovation Management Research Group led by Professor Päivi Eriksson and Professor Hanna Lehtimäki. Professor Lehtimäki and Sengupta have been researching on what makes social entrepreneurs ethical, and what makes a new-age food innovation enterprise a social enterprise. He also co-developed and co-instructed a Masters level course, ‘Social Innovation and Strategy’ along with colleague, Dr. Ville-Veikko Piispanen, under the guidance of Professor Eriksson and Professor Lehtimäki. Sengupta taught and mentored post graduate students in developing an understanding of the strategies and innovation of social enterprises, and in developing case studies.

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