Flipkart, Bigbasket, Meesho, and others celebrate the joy of giving with Daan Utsav

Corporates and startups celebrate the festival of giving from October 2 to 8 every year by supporting causes such as child health, education, food, and women’s empowerment.

Indian startups are increasingly participating in activities for social good. Observing Daan Utsav week, the festival of philanthropy, which commences on Gandhi Jayanti every year, companies like Flipkart, Ola, Bigbasket, CRED, Meesho, Snapdeal, and others are promoting daan and offering help to those in need.

Launched in 2009, and held from October 2 to October 8 every year, the week is dedicated to social causes such as donating money, time, resources, and skills. The movement seeks to drive donation from individuals and organisations

Championing social good

Today, many startups have hit the big numbers in terms of business and have become a household name for their disruptive ideas and execution. And now, they are banking on their success and looking for ways to add social value

Collaborating with non-profit organisations like GiveIndia, these startups are giving the necessary nudge to their clients through messages. In the process, customers are prompted to contribute to certain causes after using a service, thereby making ‘giving’ a natural extension of their shopping and interaction on the respective platforms. This way, GiveIndia and startups have been able to together reach and impact over 200 million people.

Atul Satija, CEO of GiveIndia, says this alliance with startups is formed to accelerate the aim of simplifying giving at scale. He adds,

“Daan Utsav week is a great platform for us to boost our mission of alleviating poverty by enabling the world to give. Not only are we supporting our partners in their giving journey by connecting them with trusted non-profits, we reach out to millions of users and contribute towards the building of an everyday philanthropy ecosystem.”

How does this work? 

Help can come in different forms. And so, giving is not simply putting in money for those working on the ground. The startups mentioned above have come ready with the areas where they wish to contribute. 

For example, Flipkart is enabling more than 160 million consumers, lakhs of sellers, and employees through its platform to contribute towards six different social causes. The list includes women empowerment, equality for the differently-abled, menstrual hygiene, animal welfare, children empowerment, and sustainability.

Similarly, Facebook-backed Meesho has launched a donation category for several causes, including child health, education and food, women's empowerment, and nature conservation. It is running fundraising campaigns to provide for disaster relief support.

Fintech startup CRED has also chipped in to use the #credmissions platform to raise funds for children’s education, mid-day meals, tree plantation initiatives, and medical support for the poor.

For a positive change

That is not all. Grocery delivery platform Bigbasket has initiated a week-long consumer donations campaign to raise rations for three non-profits in Bengaluru. It is also helping volunteers of Daan Utsav in running a campaign titled ‘Fist of Joy’ that encourages students to donate a fist of rice to the needy. 

Additionally, it has joined hands with Mumbai-based startup LetsallHelp to become their supplies and logistics partner for their online social impact platform. As part of the deal, Bigbasket is working closely in managing the procurement and delivery of donated products to beneficiaries. The company stated it would also help in marketing, corporate, and employee-related initiatives.

Premal Shah, Founder of LetallHelp.org, and Abhinay Choudhari, Co-founder of Bigbasket.

Speaking on the partnership, Abhinay Choudhari, Co-founder and Head of New Initiatives at Bigbasket, said,

“The startup is committed to bringing about social awareness and contributing to initiatives that have a positive impact on individuals and society at large. Our association with LetsallHelp is a part of this commitment, and we hope to bring about happiness in the lives of those who are underserved.”

This Daan Utsav, startups are taking philanthropy to the next level through well-organsied programmes and by pitching in where it is most needed. There are ample lessons to learn from the Indian startup ecosystem, especially where the money should be invested. Flipkart, Ola, and Bigbasket are surely leading by example.

(Edited by Megha Reddy)