We hope to become a national player: Akanksha Hazari
3 min read
. Updated: 25 Apr 2013, 12:18 AM IST
The founder and chief executive
of m.Paani talks about plans to empower the underserved with the help of cellphones
Mumbai-based Akanksha Hazari, founder and chief executive officer of m.Paani, aspires to empower the underserved and help build a better India with the help of cellphones. She is currently running two pilots in Mumbai—one in Sewri and the other in Dharavi, one of the world’s largest slums—with the help of an NGO and a “large Indian telecom services provider". Hazari, 30, led the Cambridge University team that won the $1 million Hult Prize in 2011—funded by Swedish billionaire Bertil Hult and supported by the Hult International Business School—for m.Paani and was honoured by former US president Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative. In an interview, Hazari spoke about m.Paani and what’s next in her social entrepreneurship journey. Edited excerpts:
What is m.Paani all about?
M.Paani, conceived in 2012, designs and implements mobile-based loyalty programmes for underserved communities by connecting their spends to important loyalty points which they can collect, share and ultimately redeem for life-changing development rewards in areas such as education, healthcare, safe water, energy. We are a Mumbai-based social enterprise and launched our first pilot in Mumbai itself in January. Our aim is to roll out full-fledged services in Mumbai by the end of 2013 and begin a rural pilot somewhere in Maharashtra by early 2014.