There are more than 3 million NGOs in India and all of them have their hands full. NGO’s have always been in need of volunteers and there hasn’t been a single successful massive platform which provides for this need. Troopp is one such effort wherein they try to bring the NGOs and people looking to volunteer together. It is an online portal that claims to have better technical capability than any other system in this field. To know more about Troopp’s story, Jubin Mehta from YourStory.in caught up with the founder, Rishabh Khandelwal.What is the concept behind Troopp?
Troopp.com is India's first entirely 'online micro-volunteering platform'. It is an online portal where skilled people can render their expertise to the 3.3 million non-profits across the country at any time. This robust social network system has been designed and engineered over a period of 6 months. No other system currently in India can match the technical capability of our system. As an online volunteering platform it is completely free of cost for the non-profits and the users.
How did you settle upon this name Troopp? Any special significance?
We are all social by nature and always want to associate with groups. We started thinking how can team-work be harnessed for doing good things. Because of our busy schedules we all have little time so, the contribution one can make becomes micro. So hence it became essential that these contributions be joined together to make something tangible and substantial. We have all seen the power of crowd-sourcing – Wikipedia. So we wanted to create a space that people are familiar with and drive them to put their online time to do something of great value and at the same time get recognized for it and also add value to their lives and profiles. Hence the idea of forming an army or we call a Troopp(Group) for doing good deeds online!
How did the idea for Troopp come about?Many nonprofits and social benefit organizations worldwide serve the needs of a huge part of the population and create positive social change. We believe that these organizations could have even greater impact through the appropriate use of technology. We strongly believe that technology is a powerful enabler for social change. Hence we were motivated to build this social goodness platform. Lack of latest technology in the non-profit sector in the country was what surprised us. People still using old models and outdated technologies cannot reach their full potential and end up enumerable man hours doing things manually and less efficiently. What we felt was there is a need for a network that binds them to do good together; a network where everyone should be and can be contributors. Wikipedia is a huge inspiration for us. It’s fascinating to see the power of the masses into action. That’s what we have made! It is also simple math - in India 88 million people have internet accessibility. If this crowd invests 10 minutes a day in doing social good it can result in a substantial development and make a significant impact.
When was Troopp started?
November 2010: Inception of the idea. 5th June 2011: Launched the all new look Troopp.com with an attractive and easy to understand UI and graphic design. 16th June 2011: The entire portal was up and running and all registrations were opened.
Tell us something about your background and the team at Troopp.
I graduated from IIT Kanpur in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering. After which I joined a firm in Bangalore. I started Troopp along with Sakshi Jain. She completed her MSc from I-WHO (Nottingham), England in 2009. Her last assignment was with Cubiks, India as an Associate Consultant and now she is full time involved with Troopp. We have a team of 22 technical and non-technical interns.
Tell us about the NGO’s and people you’re working with.
We started getting support and guidance from Give India and Teach for India. One of our advisors is Mr. Naren Bakshi. Mr. Naren Bakshi is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor/mentor and seasoned Silicon Valley veteran who brings 40+ years of experience to his role as an advisor of Troopp.com. With the help of our team of interns and our 3 marketing managers, we have more than 25 NGOs with us in less than a week.
Can you explain how Troopp works?
From the view point of a Non-profit/NGO:
They can register and login. They’d be the only ones who get the privileges to add jobs and tasks and manage them. Also at the same time they can interact with people and corporates and convey their cause in the most effective manner. You can benefit from our unique peer-peer marketplace and receive donations in kind.
From the view point of a User:
Once they register and login, they can pick up tasks that they would want to help the non-profits with. Choose their skills and interests and explore the various opportunities. They can look for onsite volunteering/job opportunities in the jobs sections. They can find organizations closest to their house and start interacting. Also while they do all this, the users can go on adding to their 'GDP' (Good deeds profile) and this adds value not only to online life but also to their professional and personal lives.What is innovative about your initiative? What are your market differentiators?
We are trying to create a thriving eco-system that promotes doing good for society in a very simple and neat manner. The potential of such an online volunteering platform is explored and used by the United Nations (UNV) itself. However, we have carefully analyzed the lacunae in the UNV system and we have come up with a more robust and consolidated model. Firstly, our concept offers an engagement model both for the users as well as for the non-profits which ensures a long term sustainability. We are trying to help everyone with their most important needs and requirements as we strongly believe that a system can only sustain if everyone is getting something out of it. Secondly, we have developed a mobile platform for the same so that volunteers and non-profits can connect at anytime and from anywhere. And thirdly, we are thriving on a very powerful technology which is enabling us to become stronger day by day.
What do you expect from the readers of YourStory.in?
Troopp is a place where everyone can contribute in small ways to create a big impact. We would urge the readers to join the network and start doing the micro-tasks in their free time. It doesn't get easier than this. Each one of us wants to do something but some of us don't find the right opportunities matching our skills and interests. This is the barrier that we are now trying to break. So please come ahead and start the good doing. Spread the word about how Troopp can help the Non-profits and help them to join and gain maximum benefit from Troopp.com
Jubin Mehta | YourStory.in
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