The CEO speaks
We began our journey in early 2016 as a formally registered organization, but it was only in early 2017 that on ground operations started in full steam. In 2017-18, Haqdarshak accomplished a lot of things, but most importantly we were able to build a strong and committed team, which is the backbone of the work we do. We started 2017 with 18 team members and by March 2018 we were a team of 60 full team members covering research, technology, operations and training.
Our original model was training community entrepreneurs who in turn would deliver schemes to the citizens in the community for a service fee.
This year we tried a lot of models and failed at a lot of them as well. But we failed, and moved ahead quickly making important pivots based on data and feedback from the ground. This helped us narrow down our focus on women entrepreneurs in communities, which is now the cornerstone of our vision. Along with this we also piloted a direct services model with corporates, which has helped us increase our impact, scale and sustainability.
By October 2017, we were doing 500 applications a month. This compared to almost 1000 applications overall in our first six months of operations. Our work has also bought us a few recognitions and awards, support from the ecosystem and large institutions—both for operations and academic research and policy. Our focus now is clear: getting applications done for the citizens at the last mile effectively and at scale; and training community women entrepreneurs at scale who can lead the sustainable change in the long run using our platforms.
Finally, this year has been perhaps the toughest, most challenging year early on in our journey. We've had to make some tough decisions on projects, teams and models. We failed, but got up quickly. We even faced financial crunches when we didn’t have enough cashflow to pay our teams on ground in time. But, I am certain that this is also been the best year for Haqdarshak in terms of important learnings, early on in our journey. I believe that we have now built a strong foundation for our work and going forward we can rapidly scale and increase our impact to match the vision of the founders and the expectations of our supporters and the team.
I hope you all encourage and give us critical feedback on our reports and work. The suggestions and support will help us improve our work and ensure that citizens get the entitlements they are eligible for. Because, at Haqdarshak, every citizen matters!
~ Aniket Doegar, CEO and co-founder.
We are empowering women
This year we trained over 2,000 women to use the Haqdarshak technology using a smartphone. These Haqdarshaks now help their community members discover and access social welfare schemes. In the process they make themselves financially independent. Our trained women entrepreneurs earn on an average Rs.2,000-5,000 per month.
Our technology not just generated employment and income for women across India but empowered them to become community leaders as well.
We are empowering citizens
We are directly working with communities in rural India. Our team provides the last-mile support to citizens and helps them to apply for schemes. In 2017-18 we reached over 55,000 citizens across India and helped submit more than 16,000 applications.
Our direct implementation model helps CSR teams accelerate their impact with a focussed, result-oriented approach. Our aim is to reach millions of citizens with this approach. We are working with big names like JSW Foundation, and the ATE Foundation under this model.
We are empowering the economy
India is growing at a fast pace, but the real drivers of the economy—thousands of workers in factories, construction sites—are far behind when it comes to economic development. We are working with construction and factory workers to provide basic documentation and schemes related to financial inclusion. We work right at construction and factory sites, so these workers don't have to spend time and money going to various government departments and offices for applications.
This is India's new aspirational class and we are helping them fuel their dreams.
Our impact in 2017-18
Our work across India delivered benefits worth Rs9.7 crore (for submitted applications) to citizens in 2017-18. Of these Rs4.9 crore worth of benefits have already been received. These were through an array of welfare schemes and basic documentation. While we haven't really measured the value of the information we have delivered to citizens, that impact alone is huge!
To see our detailed impact report, click here.
The Haqdarshak public portal
In March 2018, we launched one of our biggest product offerings. On the Haqdarshak public platform (www.haqdarshak.com) anyone with access to the internet can answer a few questions and discover their eligible schemes. Each scheme is explained with an easy to understand video and details about the application process. Further, the citizen can book the Haqdarshak service for doorstep application support using the "Book a Haqdarshak" feature. Our Haqdarshaks then visit the citizens during the selected time slot, and charge a fee.
Revenue in 2017-18
Our revenues almost doubled this financial year. We added new clients and set ourselves ambitious targets. Our outlook for the next year's business growth is positive. We plan to scale up and expand our work in terms of impact, reach and geography. Our direct implementation model will see a considerable push in our services model—where we directly work with citizens for application support.
The people that make it happen
The wheels that run Haqdarshak, our district coordinators on the field, state leads, the tech team, the researchers, the HR and finance teams—all of them toil day and night so that we reach our goal. Our team has grown from 3 people in January 2015 to 65 currently! We are a group of eclectic individuals. Sample this: an Acumen fellow, a Chief Minister's fellow; two IITians, an ex-financial journalist; an ex-Aadhaar team member; techies; academics; social researchers; social workers; IAS aspirants, CAs.
One common thread between all: passion to make a change.
A validity to what we do
We won the DBS NUS Social Venture Challenge in October 2017, where we were selected from startups across Asia, focused on making a change.
We are also among the final cohort of Facebook's Code For Next Billion accelerator which was supported by NASSCOM.
Our co-founder and CEO Aniket Doegar was selected as an Acumen India fellow this year.