Monday, 3 August 2015

Dhanchayat Swachch Banking

‘Dhanchayat’ is an educational film to raise awareness on the dangers of borrowing money from unorganised sources. This film has been launched under the aegis of Swachch Banking, that is HDFC Bank's CSR initiative for rural India.
As part of Swachch Banking, which aims to raise awareness about clean and convenient banking, Dhanchayat video vans will travel across East, West, South, North and Central India, covering thousands of villages across the country. Through the film, the bank will showcase to the rural population the importance of transparency in dealings as also the dignity and self-respect of the individual in the borrowing process. The vans will stop at assembly points such as haats,bazaarsmelas and village panchayats.
The first van was flagged off by Mr Aditya Puri, MD, HDFC Bank and Mr Paresh Sukthankar, Deputy MD, from the Bank’s headquarters in Mumbai.
Dhanchayat launch
The need of the hour is real financial inclusion, not merely financial access. It is a Board-mandated objective at HDFC Bank to support inclusive growth. We believe this cannot be achieved in an environment where misinformation and a lack of familiarity with organized finance is pushing people towards unorganized sources of finance. Through Dhanchayat we hope to change this.
Mr Paresh Sukthankar, Deputy Managing Director, HDFC Bank
The Bank will cover 5000 villages in phase 1 and encourage the local populace to join the organized banking sector in line with the government’s vision for financial inclusion. The vans will also have micro-ATMs with biometric facility fitted in them to enable instant e-KYC and Re-KYC using Aadhar.
Look out for these banks in your cities if you happen to be in vicinity. 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Young Innovators Challenge Award 2015

India has emerged as the hub for various innovations and is the house of world’s youngest population. Exploring the power of youth, 3M India in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), has once again launched the Young Innovators Challenge Award 2015. Now in its second year, the awards are designed to support and encourage inspiring ideas from young innovators aged 30 years (as of 30th Aug 2015) and under, from across India. The Challenge is looking for innovative ideas with a social relevance that can fall under any of the following themes as well as could be prototyped with the capability to address social good at large:
  • Productivity: Innovations that improve output or affordability
  • Sustainability: Innovations that leave a positive ecological and environmental impact
  • Disruptive: Innovations that represent breakthrough technology or help create a totally new market or way to deliver the impact

All ideas submitted must share their proof of concept that is expected to be presented in detail if selected as a finalist. 10 best ideas will be invited for a virtual pitch session on 23-24 July, based on which a reputed jury will choose 3 winning entries.

The winners would be felicitated at the 11th India Innovation Summit 2015, organized by CII in Bangalore on August 6th – 7th, 2015 and invited to present their winning projects at the event. Apart from getting acknowledged at such a prestigious platform, the winners will also receive a “Grant Prize to prototype their idea.
• 1st Prize: Rs.2,00,000
• 2nd Prize: Rs.1,00,000
• 3rd Prize: Rs.75,000

3M India & CII are committed to invest in next generation thinking to create a more sustainable society. Information on the Challenge process, eligibility, assessment criteria, timeline and online entry form is available on Offline submissions could be made to  by or before 7th July 2015, midnight IST.  Challenge site:

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

42000 dairy farmers in Banking Fold in Rajasthan

There are 42000 dairy farmers in Rajasthan under HDFC Bank’s ‘Milk-to-Money’ scheme where HDFC Bank works closely with dairy co-operative societies and farmer producer organizations to provide then with banking access through varied products and services.

As per Government of India’s financial inclusion norms and identified priority sector lending guidelines, HDFC Bank reaches out to the unbanked dairy farmers in Rajasthan, to get them in their banking fold. One of the many success stories of such inclusive banking is village Nindola near Chomu in Jaipur. HDFC Bank has worked in the village to support the dairy farmers with banking at doorstep concept through business correspondents, relationship managers, micro ATMs and other digitally enabled services, making banking convenient for its rural clients. The Bank took 240 members of Nindola Mahila Dugdh Utpadak Samiti under the ‘milk-to-money’ programme, who were hitherto dependent on money lenders as none of them could produce collaterals for bank loans. But now, this exemplary 100% women owned cooperative society of 200 women, have their accounts with the bank now and 25 of them have availed loans too. In addition to Banking Services, HDFC Bank also holds regular financial literacy trainings to keep up the awareness of their clients.

As per Mr. Michael Andrade (Head Agri- Business at HDFC Bank), dairy is considered as secondary income and HDFC Bank is committed to help increase this secondary income for their customers. An example of HDFC Banks’s efforts towards this is that they organized Milk supply chains via micro ATMs. HDFC Bank’s financial inclusion strategy is to focus on smallholder dairy farmers (with land holding <1 hectare), who are a big audience. Additionally, there is also the Kisan Credit Card scheme by the Bank that covers farmers having above 8 hectares of land holding.

Mr. Andrade also said “over two and a half lakh dairy farmers make about Rs. 200 a day with the help of this intervention.” In Rajasthan, average produce of cattle is 3-4 liters of milk vis-à-vis about 6 liters of milk being national average therefore there is huge potential to increase the same. These fairy farmers can be attached to larger dairies like NDDB, RCDF and Nestle where they can significantly increase their revenue flow from the dairy business. There is a great scope for better quality milk and its products, considering that dairy farming was revolutionizing in India, both in terms of livelihood and national health. Hence, HDFC Bank is trying to improve milk’s traceability and in turn, marketability.

A woman dairy farmer stated that with the loan she availed through the bank, she was able to earn Rs10,000 out of which Rs.4000-5000 were her expenses (including the EMI of the loan) and an equal amount her saving. She attributes this to the formal banking scope where HDFC Bank has not only rough her into the fold of baking but also meaningfully improved her livelihood.

Another insight shared by a woman dairy farmer was that now she was able to deposit and withdraw cash herself since it is very convenient since it coincides with the time of milk collection. HDFC Bank has taken steps to understand the needs of its rural customers and device solutions that are not only popular and convenient but serve the national interest of getting maximum people the benefit of access to financial services (i.e. banking).

HDFC Bank’s focused approach to serve key small and medium traditional businesses of India such as the weaving community, agriculture and dairy farmers and likewise, will go a long way to contribute towards a financially viable citizens.
-                                                                                                                                 Blog by - Manisha Jani & Indrani Sharma

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Improved Mobile Banking Technology to Drive Financial Inclusion

On 16th Dec 2014, a new milestone in banking structure of HDFC Bank was unfolded. The day saw the inauguration of 'Bank Aapki Muthi Mein' - an endeavor by the HDFC Bank to project technology adoption that offers convenience and unique experience to all its customers. The inauguration took place in our PM's very own constituency - Varanasi - that is one of the envisioned smart cities of India. 

HDFC Bank mobile banking now offers a seamless and free-of-cost experience to its customers, allowing more than 75 transactions via mobile phones of all kinds. Through the new HDFC Bank App , the user can personalize the transactions in My Menu section which offers up to 10 such favorite transactions. The app uses the same credentials as net banking and offers the same level of security of a secured session.

Most importantly, HDFC Mobile Banking also allows language choice to its users, making transactions understandable and easier for the users. Other than mobile banking, HDFC Bank is also available on two other mobile tech platforms for non hi-tech mobile users - i.e. SMS & Toll Free number. 

 HDFC Bank mobile banking is one of the first banks in India to use MEAP architecture. Their offering runs on IBM Work light platform which is rated as best mobility platform in Gartner magic quadrant. This implementation uses unique combination of Native and HTML 5. This current app thus leverages best native performance at the same time giving us reach across 10 different mobile and tablet operating systems. The HDFC Banking apps have very broad reach across the country with millions of users using hundreds of different models of phones & across all platforms ( iOS , Android, Windows, etc).

At present in India , there are over 900 Million mobile users. The mobile device  is no longer just a device to connect and communicate, but is also an enabler to bring millions into the organized banking fold. Through digital banking progress, HDFC Bank is looking to pro-actively partner in the Government of India's Digital India plan. 

The Indian banking sector today is challenged with the issue of financial inclusion. Operating cost of providing financial inclusion and charges levied on the users are important considerations towards effective financial inclusion. Technology innovation could play an important role in reducing operating cost of providing banking services, particularly in the rural and unbanked areas. HDFC Bank's recent tech advancement is a step forward towards driving the growth in financial inclusion. 

Monday, 7 January 2013

Ashoka Changemakers #socintchat Twitter Chat to Discuss Social ‘Intrapreneurship’

Ashoka Changemakers is hosting a Twitter chat on January 10, 2013 at 3PM IST on ‘Social Intrapreneurship’ .

Social intrapreneurs are becoming instigators in the race towards a new kind of economy. These changemakers are developing innovative and scalable solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems ranging from health to education to environment. But contrary to social entrepreneurs, they are innovating from within some of the world’s largest companies. Delivering game-changing innovation inside a company is never easy, but it’s even more challenging when the problems you’re tackling – such as climate change or poverty – are not always well understood or overtly connected to the business strategy.

As part of the ‘League of Intrapreneurs’ competition the Twitter chat will discuss the various aspects of social intrapreneurship. Industry experts, professionals and media organizations will be part of the chat.

Joining the conversation is easy. Just log-in to Twitter at 3PM IST on January 10, 2013.

Then: Use the #SocIntChat hashtag to make your comments visible in the stream.

During #SocIntChat, use or an application like Tweetdeck ( or thwirl ( to follow the hashtags and keep up with the conversation.

Introduce yourself and take a minute to get to know the other chatters when you join. Send your questions to @changemakers without the hashtag (to keep them out of the stream) to have them considered for the conversation.

The Alternative, Halabol and ThinkChangeIndia are our confirmed panelists.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Ashoka Changemakers Launched Global Competition for Social Intrapreneurship

Ashoka Changemakers® launched The League of Intrapreneurs: Building Better Business from the Inside Out, an online competition to find employees within multi-national corporations that are applying entrepreneurial skill sets to create positive social and environmental impact. The competition’s convening sponsor is Accenture, the global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company.

Although the concept of intrapreneurship is not new, it is now being applied to employees that are finding innovative ways to align business objectives with societal needs. This competition is supported by a unique collaboration between the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, Glaxo-Smith Kline, Standard Chartered, and Imaginals.

The League of Intrapreneurs competition seeks social intrapreneurs who are pioneering new projects that have the capacity to transform business and society. These projects can include innovations in product development, supply chain management, human capital, or business models. Successful examples of social intrapreneurship have included employee-driven models like Vodafone’s M-Pesa, a mobile banking service with more than 17 million customers in Kenya.

“Social intrapreneurs are among the most important catalysts for improving the social and environmental impact of large organizations,” said Gib Bulloch, executive director of Accenture Development Partnerships. “Fifty-plus of the largest 100 economies in the world are businesses, and just one degree of change instigated from the bottom up by a social intrapreneur can make a huge difference to communities reached by those companies.”
Participants can submit entries until December 5, 2012 at The top 15 entrants from the competition will form the inaugural class of the League of Intrapreneurs, becoming part of an elite global network of changemakers.
An expert panel of judges will select three winning entries from the League, and the community will vote to determine one additional winning entry. Winners will be announced in April 2013.


Early Entry Prizes

Entries received by October 24, 2012 will be eligible to win $1,000 and a feature story about their project on FastCo.Exist. The Early Entry Prize winner will be announced on November 7, 2012. Being an Early Entry Prize winner does not preclude you from winning the competition in any way, nor guarantee finalist status. The Early Entry Prize winner may continue to revise their entry up until the competition close. All entries will be evaluated on an equal basis at the completion of the entry period according to the Changemakers criteria.

Grand Prizes

The top 15 entrants from the competition will form the inaugural class of the League of Intrapreneurs, becoming part of an elite global network of changemakers. These entrants will also receive media and press recognition and will be featured in the publication of a globally distributed intrapreneur toolkit. Of this league, the top four winners will be profiled in Fast Company’s blog, Co.EXIST, and will receive consulting support from Accenture Development Partnerships to further their work.


About Ashoka Changemakers

Ashoka Changemakers is a community of action that connects social entrepreneurs around the globe to share ideas, inspire, and mentor each other.  Through its online collaborative competitions and open-source process, is one of the world’s most robust spaces for launching, discussing, and funding ideas to solve the world’s most pressing social problems. Changemakers builds on Ashoka's three-decade history and belief that we all have the ability to be a Changemaker.

Contact Information:
Lauren Parnell Marino

 @Asia, contact Indrani Sharma, or SMS her on +91 9560855522 

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Nokia partners with Cherie Blair Foundation for Women & MTN Nigeria to bring Business Women Service via Nokia Life to Nigeria

August 23rd, 2012 – As part of its mission to connect the next billion people to relevant information and the internet, Nokia, in partnership with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and MTN Nigeria, today announced a new Nokia Life service that will provide essential business and entrepreneurship tips to women entrepreneurs in Nigeria. The service, Business Women, will be the latest addition to the Nokia Life service portfolio.

Women entrepreneurs are faced with significant barriers to scaling up their businesses, including access to affordable resources, marketing channels and training inputs. The Business Women service aims to address this imbalance, by providing essential business and entrepreneurship tips, delivered via SMS to mobile phones with the Nokia Life service. Research conducted by the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, supported by the ExxonMobil Foundation, showed that 93% of women entrepreneurs in Nigeria were willing to use a valued-added mobile service like Business Women to address the core challenges they face in their business; and 75% of them felt that addressing these challenges would lead to a significant increase in the value of their business [“Mobile Value Added Services: A Business Growth Opportunity for Women Entrepreneurs”, May 2012].

By partnering with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women to make the Business Women service a reality, Nokia re-affirms its commitment to connect people to opportunities, including making women a larger part of the next billion people to be connected.

Cherie Blair, Founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, said partnering with Nokia on the Business Women service is a ‘welcome development’.

Giving women the chance to become financially independent and make the most of their talents is the key to higher living standards for them and their families,” said Mrs. Blair. “With the extensive reach of Business Women through Nokia Life and content tailored especially for Nigerian women entrepreneurs, this new service has the potential to empower thousands of women business owners.”

James Rutherford, Vice President of Nokia West Africa, said, “Working with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women is a key milestone on our journey to connect the next billion people to relevant information. Nokia Life is by far the world’s largest mobile information services suite helping consumers in emerging markets learn, live, and share information better. The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women invests in women entrepreneurs to build and expand their businesses, and in doing so, benefit not only themselves but also their families and communities. We are delighted to partner with the Foundation to provide Nigerian women with the best information available to help grow their businesses.’’

Leading telecommunications provider, MTN Nigeria, will provide the service free of charge for an initial period of subscription to Nigerian women. Sifiso Dabengwa, President and Chief Executive Officer, MTN Group, said, “We are confident that MTN customers will enjoy the Business Women service, which has the potential to enrich many people’s lives.”

Business Women was unveiled today in Nigeria at an event that included the participation of Cherie Blair, top female entrepreneurs, women’s associations and local students.

*Ashoka Changemakers and Cherie Blair Foundation are network partners. Visit for more social innovations and innovators from around the world.