"Each of the 1,250 projects published has been inspirational", says B Karthik (General Brand Manager, Mahindra)
The EventSpark the Rise is a stage for Indians to present their ideas and propel India on the path of progress.
The chosen sectors
The following categories were chosen to help structure submissions to Spark the Rise: Technology, Infrastructure & Transportation, Energy, Agriculture & Rural Development, and Social Entrepreneurship. “These categories were chosen after several months’ study of online and offline conversations and consultation with experts on the critical focus areas for India’s development. We believe that making progress in these sectors will catalyze India’s growth and improvements in living standards”, quotes an authority from Mahindra.
Participation and previous winners
Employees have been participating across the widespread Mahindra Group, which spans 100 countries and includes 144,000 people and apart from this, the event has seen huge participation.
Each month, 8 grants are awarded—5 to the top-voted projects, and 3 to projects selected by an expert jury. These projects stand out because their project plans are detailed, practical, and implementable—and will truly have an impact on people’s lives.
So far, 24 winners (8 each in Round 1, 2, and 3) have been recognized from about 1250 projects published on the site. People hailing from different backgrounds, ranging from a passionate innovator to an ex-IT professional running an irrigation solutions company to a set of brothers crusading for the environment took part.
An example would be entrepreneur who decided to tackle the problem of dangerous cycle rickshaw driving in Delhi. Because of the energy required to start the cycle rickshaw from a full stop, many rickshaw-wallahs weave in and out of traffic dangerously, never coming to a full halt. This causes reckless driving and many accidents. Instead of advocating better traffic policing, this entrepreneur tackled the root cause of the problem. He designed a spring mechanism that is activated when the rickshaw-wallah presses the brake. When he removes his foot from the brake, it propels the cycle forward. Presto! The disincentive to brake is removed.
"Each of the 1,250 projects published on Spark-The Rise has been inspirational thanks to their champions’ vision and determination. The ones we find most exciting build on a simple insight to create a profound change, whether large or small", says B Karthik.
Mahindra partners with TIE to provide project champions with the mentorship they need to take it to the next level. They work with VML Qais, a leading digital agency based in Singapore and India, to design, implement, and manage Spark the Rise. And Ernst and Young is their process partner.
As the first year of Spark the Rise comes to a close, new ways to improve it for next year are being discussed. The focus would be on building partnerships and creating an ecosystem of individuals and organizations working towards driving change in India.
Criteria to participate
People should implement their ideas, not just guide or shape them. Applicants must have been residents of India for at least a year prior to submission; the projects must be based in India; and project plans must be robust and implementable.