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Bharat Inclusion Sprint — Delhi

Startups at the Bharat Inclusion Sprint Delhi (Venue: 91springboard)

To continue our conversations with entrepreneurs around Bharat-centric business models enabled by open access technologies such as the IndiaStack, we conducted our third Bharat Inclusion Sprint at 91springboard, Gurgaon on 27th July. This was in collaboration with local community partners, who helped us reach out to startups from in and around Delhi. The participants were primarily founders of early stage startups with products that would benefit significantly from adopting the IndiaStack or by reaching out more effectively to the Bharat market. 35 startups attended the event and the sectors focus was Fintech and livelihood.

The first session of the sprint featured Sanjay Jain (CIO, CIIE) sharing his insights on how India’s digital rocket can be further boosted by IndiaStack by enabling presence-less, paperless and cashless service delivery, where every user owns their data. There were several interesting conversations around the need for enabling regulations for presence-less delivery and standardizing of KYC requirements across industries. We then had Nikhil Kumar (Head, Developer Ecosystem — iSPIRT) who highlighted the upcoming features of UPI 2.0 such as Signed QR code, Overdraft (credit line on UPI) for consumers and merchants, Invoice link with payment request and many more. Recurring payment mandate is still on hold, though. While these updates enhance user experience for UPI users in general, some startups did raise the issue of UPI still not being used widely by Bharat — an interesting data point that needs more investigation.

At previous Sprints, startups had indicated their interest in sessions that showcased IndiaStack implementations. So this time, we had the first entrepreneur-led session at a Sprint — Piyush Peshwani (Co-founder, OnGrid) shared his entrepreneurial journey of building OnGrid — a digital trust platform for background verification, with an interesting use case around reimagining new employee onboarding and background verification.

The last session was conducted by Anne Johnson (Strategy Consultant, Dalberg) & Sanna Palsule (Behavioural Scientist, Dalberg) focused on designing products for the low income consumers. Most financial service providers want to investigate under-banked user’s demographics. However, the more savvy firms are also interested in how these users behave and think. With better user insights, financial service providers can improve the pull of their products instead of relying only on push based mechanisms to increase sales.

Overall, participants had several key takeaways from every session. We saw participants interacting actively with the speakers to get insights and their doubts clarified. Suggestions around having more one-on-one conversations with the speakers were received.

Post sprint, we interacted with a few startups to understand their challenges and the problems they are facing in implementing the APIs and catering to the Bharat segment — and how Bharat Inclusion Initiative can help in overcoming some of their challenges.

The Bharat Inclusion Team will be following up with startups on the basis of the feedback received. Additionally, we are creating a like-minded community of entrepreneurs, influencers and stakeholders to initiate free-flow of knowledge and support. We encourage startups and entrepreneurs in the fintech and inclusion space to stay connected and keep us updated on the support they need in building inclusive solutions for Bharat. For those of you who attended the Sprint — thank you so much for making time and do let us know how we can make the Sprints better.


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