Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

Our Organization

Haqdarshak Empowerment Solutions Pvt Ltd

What is the name of your solution?

Yojana Card

Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

A QR code enabled card to ease access of government welfare programs and financial services for marginalised citizens.

Film your elevator pitch.

What specific problem are you solving?

Nearly 1.3 billion people live on less than $3.10 a day, the World Bank's median poverty line, and 21%, or more than 250 million people, survive on less than $2 a day. To effectively fight poverty and support the poor, the majority of government welfare programs are targeted at those living below the poverty line. More than 800 million Indian citizens are eligible for some form of welfare programs including social security, direct cash benefits and documentation services with a Government budget of US$210 billion annually. 

There are over 13000 social welfare programs run by the national, state, and local governments in India. However, there is no single place to learn about what programs citizens/micro-businesses are eligible for and what steps they would need to take to avail their entitlements. This results in low application rates for welfare programs and large amounts of allocated money left unspent. For example, the Indian government allocated over $400M in post-secondary scholarships for scheduled caste students — just over 50% of these funds were utilised.

Moreover, the application process for different programs remains non-standardized and often complex for citizens to follow. Application processes for government schemes are often long, costly, bureaucratic and complex, disproportionately affecting the marginalised and vulnerable members of society. The effort, money, and time lost in getting the application submitted is often a significant opportunity cost, especially for citizens relying on daily wages or those who do not have the means to visit various government bodies multiple times due to health, distance or just limited means. 

Citizens such as rural citizens, daily wage earners, marginal farmers, unorganized workers and micro-businesses - lack awareness of Government programs, often excluding them from the social security net. A lack of information about eligibility and high transaction costs also make citizens unable to access the social security services they are entitled to. 

As a result, there is massive under utilization of welfare funds in India. As the government announces additional programs aimed to support entrepreneurship & micro, small and medium entreprises and to tackle climate change, these same issues of information gap and limited last mile support continue to hamper the effective implementation of such programs.

What is your solution?

We are trying to solve for information gap and access of the government welfare programs to the last mile citizens through our tech-enabled intervention. Our tech platform aims to reduce information gaps by digitizing information on programs in simple vernacular language and makes it available to intended beneficiaries through the Yojana Cards and an agent-led model. We use a two-pronged approach by creating awareness about the programs citizens are eligible for and by training rural entrepreneurs in using our app and providing application support for the citizens.

Our solution is based on two major components. First one is the Haqdarshak app. This app is available in both PC and Mobile formats. It contains a digitized repository of 7000+ Central and State Government welfare programs and services in 11 languages of India. It contains an eligibility engine which is able to display a list of all the programs that the citizen is eligible for in response to the data collected by the field agent. It can also be used to display eligibility for a single or multiple programs. When the citizen chooses the program/document that he/she wants to apply for, the field agent can track the status of document availability, payment, and progress of the application until the benefits are received. The agent can upload documents in the app to be verified by our resources and send SMS notifications to the citizens about their application status. The app can be used in an offline mode also for use in rural areas with limited internet connectivity. In the offline mode, the app collects and stores citizen data on the device and displays the eligible programs. When the device finds an internet connection the data is synced with the central database. The platform also contains a monitoring dashboard that displays the progress of each field agent in terms of citizens screened, applications opened, applications submitted and benefits received.

We have recently launched the Yojana card, which is a physical card that the citizens can carry which stores the citizen’s profile information and can be used to quickly identify any new welfare services that they are eligible for. The card will also be linked to a financial institution through which the citizens will be able to receive banking services such as savings, investments, loans etc. The account opened through the card can be used to route direct-benefit-transfers from welfare services. This card is aimed to increase financial inclusion of the unbanked population and also provide access to funds through welfare services.

The platform is built on open source technologies such as PHP, Python for backend,  Angular, Vue, Quasar, HTML/CSS for front end and MySQL for our database. The front end app is a hybrid Angular Android app which supports 12 languages and works offline. We host the platform on AWS and have started re-engineering components towards a more service oriented architecture leveraging cloud native capabilities. We also have a whatsapp-based chatbot designed & developed on a conversational-AI platform. 

Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Our target population include all those marginalised and vulnerable citizens as well as micro, small and nano enterprises which are eligible for any government welfare programs including financial services but find it difficult to access these welfare programs due to information asymmetry, complicated, bureaucratic and costly application processes and high opportunity cost. 

In India, near 810 million citizens are eligible for free foodgrains under Government of India’s National Food Security Act. These citizens are from poor and poorest of the poor households and are eligible to get enrolled into differrent government welfare programs for their social and financial upliftment. 

Similarly, members of marginalised communities such as LGBRQIA+, sex workers, homeless require support in documentation and enrolment. 

India has around 63 million micro and small entrepreneurs. Government of India has various credit linkages programs for these entrepreneurs. However, incomplete formalisation is one of the biggest issues for getting access to these credit linkage programs. 

Government of India has Citizen Service Centers (CSCs) which help citizens and entrepreneurs to get access to the government programs. However, CSCs do not help intended beneficiaries in identifying which programs they eligible for or in the application process. Hence the uptick in these government programs is not as per expectations. In FY 2022 budget, government of India expected to save ~$10 billion as this was an unspent amount allocated for government welfare programs. Thus, due to information asymmetry and imperfect delivery mechanism, the intended beneficiaries are under served.

In our solution, our agent network will screen citizens and entrepreneurs to check their eligibility for various government programs using our app and store this information in Yojana Card by scanning the QR code on the Yojana Card. Then they will hand over this Yojana Cards to the intended beneficiaries. Thus, we will be solving for the information gap about the government programs. In next step, our agent network will help citizens and entrepreneurs to  get access for the government programs they are eligible for by filling up the application forms, submitting the applications at concern government departments and ensuring the program benefits are delivered to them. 

We are also planning to partner with financial service providers so that the Yojana Cards can be used to provide financial services such as bank account, enrolment into insurances, access to credits etc. 

Thus, the Yojana Card will make access to government programs and financial services easier for marginalised citizens and entrepreneurs. 

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Haqdarshak Empowerment Solutions Pvt Ltd was incorporated in 2016 and since then we have been able to provide access to government programs to more than 27 million Indian citizens. We are currently operationally present in 24 states across India including challenging states such as Jammu and Kashmir. 

We have trained more than 35,000 agents on field and at any point we have more than 7000 agents actively working on the field. We select our agents from the communities we serve.

This gives us unique insights into communities such as their requirements in terms of government programs, demographic details, penetration of financial services, financial well being of these communities, etc. 

Our emmense experince working with local stakeholders such as local government officers, Women’s self help groups, farmers producer groups, etc gives us understanding of communities. 

We also liaise with the government at different levels to understand the programs, budgets allocated for these programs and their updated status. We also understand targets allocated to different government departments so that we can plan with these departments to get maximum citizens enrol into the government programs. 

Our team members including our founder and CEO Aniket Doegar, are from Social sector backgrounds and have previosuly worked with communities. In fact, while working with marginalised communities our founder observed that though there are a large number of governmnet welfare programs available, citizens are not getting access to these programs due to information gap and tedious application process. From there the idea Haqdarshak was conceived. 

We have experinced that citizens once linked with any government welfare programs, generally look to get benefits of other programs available to them. Hence, we thought of launching Yojana Card, through which citizens can get information about government programs anytime after they are first enrolled in any program. The Yojana Card is designed considering repeat requirements of citizens of government welfare programs.

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Other

In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Pune, Maharashtra, India

In what country is your solution team headquartered?

  • India

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model that is rolled out in one or more communities

How many people does your solution currently serve?

Haqdarshak Empowerment Solutions Pvt Ltd launched the Yojana Card as a new product in FY2022 and since then we have distributed these Yojana Cards to 12,000 citizens. In FY2024, we are planning to distribute Yojana Cards to 500,000 citizens.

Why are you applying to Solve?

As a startup leveraging technology for scale, we are primarily looking at tech support especially in terms of mentorship from expert organizations and individuals from the Solve community. We are open to run volunteer and consulting opportunities for individuals who may want to provide their expertise towards Tech4Good. Further we would like to partner with organizations in the Solve community for market access and increasing our reach among farmers, unorganized workers and low-income communities 

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Business Model (e.g. product-market fit, strategy & development)
  • Financial (e.g. accounting practices, pitching to investors)
  • Monitoring & Evaluation (e.g. collecting/using data, measuring impact)
  • Product / Service Distribution (e.g. delivery, logistics, expanding client base)
  • Public Relations (e.g. branding/marketing strategy, social and global media)
  • Technology (e.g. software or hardware, web development/design)

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Aniket Doegar, Founder and CEO

More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

The Yojana Card platform brings together Identity providers, banks and banking agent networks, governments and other last-mile delivery providers onto a single platform to service the end beneficiary

  • The platform brings stakeholders involved in welfare delivery together to meet the citizens’ needs

  • Our agents with the support from partner networks and identity providers resolve issues in identity documentation- a key to any welfare application

  • Government systems integrations will help end to end digital delivery of welfare programs

  • Financial Institutions bring financial inclusion solutions such as basic banking services

  • Our agents provide reach and scale by taking on screening & welfare delivery services as added livelihood opportunities

Platform Components:

The Yojana Card platform will focus on five key components to bring welfare information & services, identity documentation services and financial services together delivered through an agent using our agent management system to enable agent lifecycle management & service tracking;

  1. Screening citizens to identify their eligibility from a DB of 7000 schemes in local languages

  2. Citizen registry in form of CRM & services for Identity documentation

  3. Bank integrations to enable bank account opening and seeding bank a/c for channeling cash transfers in welfare programs

  4. Government system integrations for end to end digital delivery of welfare programs and documentation

  5. Agent management system to manage assisted service delivery through agents networks

The Yojana Card can also be used to implement Private welfare programs as program details can be mapped Online our system and our unique eligibility engine can run eligibility Services agaianst these program details. Thus, any private organization can use Yojana Card to implement their welfare programs

What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

For next year that is FY 24, our target is to dustribute at least 500,000 Yojana Cards to citizens in India. In next five years we are aiming to reach to at least 10 million citizens of India thus enabling citizens to avail government welfare programs and get financial services at their doorstep.

At operational level, we will be training agents on the field who would be screening the citizens for , and saving their Data on the Yojana Cards and then delivering thsese Yojana Cards to the citizens. We are aiming to work in every state in India.

We aim to achieve these impacts through partnerships with ecosystem stakeholders such corporate social responsibility teams of corporates, philanthophies, Foundations, financial institutes such as banks, NBFC, payments banks, etc. 

For funding we are looking at innovative blended finance instruments such as returnable grants, development impact bonds, etc.  

Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 1. No Poverty
  • 3. Good Health and Well-being
  • 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 10. Reduced Inequalities

How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

SDG 1: No Poverty

Indiacators to measure progress:

1. Proportion of population covered by social protection floors/systems, by sex, distinguishing children, unemployed persons, older persons, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, newborns, work-injury victims and the poor and the vulnerable

2. Proportion of population living in households with access to basic services


SDG 3: Good health and well being

Indicators to measure progress:

1. Coverage of essential health services including health insurances 


SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth

Indicators to measure progress:

Our agents on the field will be able to earn a decent earning by linking citizens to government welfare programs and 90% of these agents will be women. Though the indicator is not in the SDG framework, we will track our agent earnings as it gives an additional source of income.


SDG 10: Reduced inequalities

Indicators for progress

In India, there are programs of affirmative action to give equal representation for members of marginalised castes. For us, the indicator to track reducing inequalities would number of citizens enabled to get benefits of the affirmative action programs

What is your theory of change?

Our theory of change as an organization is documented in our impact report of 2022. We are attaching the link of impact report. Please refer to page numbers 13, 14 and 15 for our theory of change for citizens, our agents, and institutions. 

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

Our platform is built on open source technologies such as PHP, Python for backend,  Angular, Vue, Quasar, HTML/CSS for front end and MySQL for our database. The front end app is a hybrid Angular Android app which supports 12 languages and works offline. We host the platform on AWS and have started re-engineering components towards a more service oriented architecture leveraging cloud native capabilities. We also have a whatsapp-based chatbot designed & developed on a conversational-AI platform.

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new application of an existing technology

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Audiovisual Media
  • Software and Mobile Applications

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • India

In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • India
Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models

How many people work on your solution team?

We are 213 full time staff and 243 contractual staff. In addition to that we have 3000+ agents.

How long have you been working on your solution?

We are working on the Yojana Card solution for past 18 months.

What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

We have 50-50 gender ratio with women in key leadership roles. 4 of our 5 CXOs are women. Our delivery lead and resarch lead are women too. 

As a Team, with a working culture across different locations, verticals and levels, we have taken steps towards inclusivity in the work culture.

Zero Tolerance towards bias as under the Code of Conduct as given in the Offer letter -  We are committed to providing an environment that is free from harassment, discrimination and intimidation. The Company is committed to adoption of fair employment practices such that Opportunities and growth are based only on merit and performance. The company has a zero tolerance towards bias arising out of one’s gender, caste, creed, religion, language or race.

Gender Harassment Policy

o   We have constituted the Gender Harassment Policy based on the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace: This Policy covers all those employed on regular, temporary, ad-hoc or daily wage basis, either directly or indirectly working for the Organization. Our policy is not Gender-specific i.e.  enhancing the scope of the policy to all genders who can be the ‘aggrieved’

o   We have constituted the ICC (Internal Complaints Committee) under the our Sexual Harassment Policy for the purpose of preventing, prohibiting and redressing sexual harassment of any employee irrespective of gender.

o   Awareness sessions on Prevention on Sexual Harassment are conducted annually for all employees, with particular attention to the new joinees.

Ø  IGC (Internal Grievance Committee) - We have constituted the IGC to handle any (non sexual related) grievance or issues raised by any employee (irrespective of gender, caste, creed, religion, language or race, position in the company) based on fair and objective redressal process.

Ø  HQ Code of Conduct – it is a list / Charter of standards and values, that would be uniformly applicable to all working members of Haqdarshak, irrespective of designation, gender, vertical, location or any differing nature of employment in the organization. It helps to understand and then to act in ways that are NOT incorrect and conflicting to the interest of those associated with, and the Organization at large.

Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

We are a for profit social sector organization registered under Government of India’s Companies Act 2013. Currently, we are in a B2B2C model where most of our projects are financed by Corporates through corporate social responsibility, Philanthropic organizations, etc who want to make an impact in the society and improve the well being of citizens through welfare linkages. However we are also transitioning towards a B2C model where we would be able to directly earn revenue through the citizens in exchange of welfare linkages.

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Organizations (B2B)

What is your plan for becoming financially sustainable?

In next financial year our major source of revenue will be financing from the corporates through their corporate social responsibility, impact organizations, philanthropies, etc. However, we will also pivoting towards B2C in which our agents will directly charge from citizens for welfare program access. 

We also apply for various grants which help us in designing our product and services and improve our technology.

We have been generating revenue for the past 3 years and have grown at an average rate of 40% YoY in the top line. Revenue for FY 2019-20 was USD 799k in FY 2020-21 it increased to USD 1.06 million, USD 1.5 million in FY 2021-22 and upto USD 3.5 million in FY 2022-23. With the Yojana card platform we believe that 20-30% of our revenue share to come through B2C payments in the coming years.


We also have equity funding from various impact investment funds such as Acumen, Beyond Capital, 3i Partners, Upaya Social Ventures, etc. We have raised a seed round and pre series A1 rounds till date. We will be planning to raise our next round in FY24-25.


Share some examples of how your plan to achieve financial sustainability has been successful so far.

Tata Power Limited is one of our important partners. We have linked more than 150k citizens with government welfare programs in partnership with Tata Power Limited. For the same Tata Power financed USD 200k. 

We won a grant of USD 155k from Convergence Finance in March 2023 for designing linkage program for farmers. 

In our equity seed round, we raised USD 1 million from Acumen, Upaya Social ventures, 3i partners and Beyond Capital. Our Pre-Series A1 Round was closed in April 2023 which included our existing investors and also added new investors such as Innovating Justice Fund and Village Capital. 

Solution Team

 
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