Over the last two years, digital transformation has definitely been my favourite. Relying on constant innovation, the tech sector shines a spotlight on the spectacular digital transformation journeys being undertaken by companies of all sizes in the sector, but other industries have fallen far behind in adopting technology. Is not … The Indian non-profit sector has also rapidly caught up with him in 2020 and beyond, improving his views on leveraging technology to reach the last mile.

Recently, BW Business WorldRohit Chintapali of Nidhi Bhasin (CEO of NASSCOM Foundation) understands how the nonprofit sector has adapted in the era of digital transformation and technology. In this engaging conversation, Nidhi shed light on the tech sector’s involvement in helping nonprofits scale through investments and her CSR work. She also talked about initiatives that are increasingly working to reach the last mile to ensure that everyone in the country has access to technology to thrive and grow.


The past decade has witnessed rapid adoption of technology. But during and after the pandemic, it accelerated even more. Now it’s at every intersection. How do you support communities and the nonprofit sector?

Like the rest of the world, the nonprofit sector has also opened its doors to technology adoption. I realized that if you want to work at scale and get to the last mile, it can only be done with technology. Many understood that technology could help make the sector more cost-effective. In fact, there has been a lot of conventional thinking in this area that COVID has collapsed as more people say yes to investing in technology that was previously perceived as costly.

Technology is helping to make development more inclusive. The NASSCOM Foundation has been speaking on digital literacy and scaling in urban areas for some time. But now we’re moving into more and more rural areas because we know we need to get to the last mile of inclusive growth if we want to make an impact at scale.

India is known both internationally and domestically for its socio-economic fragmentation. How does technology address this overt problem, which is a problem for most of our society?

This is to ensure access. Let’s take the example of COVID. The education system was very stressed when the pandemic hit. While private schools became tech-savvy overnight, it was important for nonprofits to pay attention to smaller schools and avoid mass dropouts. I wouldn’t say it didn’t happen, but dropouts were controlled and limited thanks to technology. Enabling cost-effective accessibility to technology is a great way to address socioeconomic inequalities.

One statistic that comes out of COVID is that almost 70% of beneficiaries were men before the pandemic, but now it’s reversed. Today, 68% of her beneficiaries are women. During COVID, many women realized that access to something as basic as the internet via phone could make a difference for themselves and their children/family.

What are the Indian tech sector and the NASSCOM Foundation doing to close the accessibility gap?

The tech sector is very committed to this when you look at the types of investments coming from them. Whether we’re talking about capacity building for nonprofits or something else, the investment in making technology accessible is very high.

NASSCOM Foundation is actually the largest software provider to the non-profit sector. We are looking to build a more tech-enabled ecosystem for the non-profit sector. Over the past 10 years, we have donated US$1.6 billion worth of software to the non-profit sector, helping to save approximately US$1.5 billion. We are ensuring that the capabilities of the nonprofit sector are built through technology.

How does the NASSCOM Foundation work locally?

We started our journey from the city to the countryside last year. Our program is moving towards Tier 2, 3 urban and rural areas. To that end, we have recently launched Digital Literacy and e-Government Programs in ambitious regions of India, aiming to cover at least 15-16 states. The whole idea here is to make people digitally literate and have access to government schemes. If people had access to hundreds of government programs, their income would automatically increase.

Similarly, it launched a new field of ‘women entrepreneurship’, including small business owners, self-help group workers, rural farmers and artisans. We help these entrepreneurs become digitally literate by introducing them to technology, enabling them to scale and become self-sufficient.

We may still have some scaling programs in urban settings, but we are now trying to focus a lot on Tier 2, 3 urban and rural areas. We aim to impact the lives of over 100 million people.


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