GVK EMRI: Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emergency Medical Response

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Year Completed



EMRI was the first not-for-profit public private partnership (PPP) arrangement in the healthcare sector in India. From its modest beginnings of providing emergency response services with 15 ambulances in single city of India, EMRI grew its operations across 8 states - with 1,550 ambulances serving 366 million people - all free of cost. The business model survived some of India’s most daunting challenges, such as its cultural and language diversities and difficulties of partnering with the government. Within a short span of three and a half years, EMRI became a star success, lauded by the public and politicians alike.

The company faced a major crisis when its Chairman resigned and was arrested for fraud. The CEO took over the reins of the organisation and adeptly managed the crisis – he kept the operations going; managed employee morale; continued to receive government support; handled bad press; salvaged EMRI’s reputation and obtained a new private sponsor. Shortly after, EMRI was taken over by GVK Power and Infrastructure Limited.

With a new sponsor and changing business environment, the CEO had to determine his organisation’s growth strategy – should he continue to expand EMRI's operations across India? Or should he deepen EMRI’s footprint by offering other services in states where it already has presence? Is the current business model scalable and will the quality of service be compromised with rapid expansion? From where will he get the funds to support such growth? How can he modify the PPP model and yet preserve the ethos and values EMRI was built upon?


innovative emerging market entrepreneurship, social enterprise models, Public-Private Partnerships, PPP, Business and Government, Innovation, Healthcare, Emergency Medical Response, Leadership, Crisis Management


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics | Organizational Behavior and Theory | Strategic Management Policy

Data Source

Field Research



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Temporal Coverage


Education Level

Executive Education; Postgraduate; Undergraduate


Singapore Management University

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