What are you leading?
I am the cofounder of a social impact organization – Haqdarshak. Haqdarshak’s mission is to ensure that the benefits of varied government and private schemes reach the people they are intended to help across India. Our goal is to empower citizens, both rural and urban, by providing easy access to schemes as well as eligibility information, and reliable support to assist in getting the benefit for the same.
We do this by blending a technology platform which all the information and access to these schemes; with the in-person guidance and support needed through our community of ‘Haqdarshaks’ who work with citizens to inform and give them access to their rights to government schemes in India.
My role as the CEO is to overall lead the team, which is now 75 members strong spreading across 10 states of India. My key deliverables are fundraising, strategy, hiring and operations. I also work on the overall partnerships and network development model within Haqdarshak to scale our services pan India.
How did your experiences as a fellow inspire or prepare you for what you’re doing now?
The 2 years as a Teach For India fellow really provided me with key leadership skills at an early stage of my career. I had just finished my under graduate degree when I joined the fellowship in 2010. Till date those two years have been the most challenging as well as rewarding for me as a professional. Working under extremely difficult conditions in terms of the status quo of student learning levels, parent’s engagement and school infrastructure helped me dive deep and understand problem-solving techniques first hand. Being in the classroom and community has made me develop my style of working into an action based approach where I know that the way to start developing a solution to a problem is to first engage and empathize with the community in person and then start applying set practices and models.
At Haqdarshak our plan is to reach out to 1 million families by 2020 through a network of 10000 active ‘haqdarshak’ entrepreneurs across rural India. I want to work on building a pan India team that will have three key functions- ground up schemes research, product development and network training. We want to also build up our public portals for citizens especially in urban areas to also map the schemes they are eligible for and provide them last mile help and support in getting the benefits.