“Sending SMS alerts is not m-governance”

In conversation, Pravin Rajpal, CEO, Handygo Technologies Pvt Ltd

samirsachdeva

Samir Sachdeva | August 24, 2012




Established in 2000, Handygo is a leading wireless solution provider of mobile entertainment, mobile governance and value added services (VAS). It offers services in rural education and healthcare. Its solutions are spread across platforms like IVR, SMS and WAP. Pravin Rajpal, CEO, Handygo Technologies Pvt Ltd, spoke to Samir Sachdeva about various initiatives of the company. Edited excerpts:

How will you define Handygo?
I will define Handygo as an organisation working for the betterment of consumer by providing information.

What kind of services do you offer?
Currently, we are offering services in areas of health, education and entertainment.

Tell us about the social networking platform which you have established.
We have a product called Ping Me, which is a social platform on ‘voice’. The idea was to connect uneducated masses to a bigger group.

How ‘Behtar Zindagi’ came into being?
Four years ago, we wanted to do something for the rural population as there were no services for them. We did a survey to understand their needs and paying capacity and decided to offer informational services, like mandi rates, future crops, pesticides, etc at a call rate of 50 paise per minute. We also provided information on various government schemes like scholarships for girl child or free laptops to students. That’s how Behtar Zindagi portal was built.

Is it pan-India?
From the very first day, it was pan-India and in 18 regional languages.

How is this initiative different from the already existing ones?
The interactive voice response (IVR) solution is bridging the illiteracy gap. It is removing language barriers too. If you don’t know Hindi or English and if you just know Marathi, even then you can call on this number and can get the information required.

Do you have a call centre to handle it at back end?
Soon we will have a call centre in place which will initially provide consultation services for the farmers. Later it will take shape of a B2B exchange where we will connect buyers and sellers.

What are your initiatives in areas like health and education?
In area of health we have a product called Health and U and in area of education we have Mobi Shiksha. In health we are focusing on women and child health. We have tied up with 40 doctors and 20 hospitals across the country for facilitating these services. A person can connect to the doctor, who will advise him based on the symptoms.

In Mobi Shiksha our first focus is to teach rural people commonly used English words which will help them in their profession. We also help students with career counselling by connecting them with experts.

How has been the response of the subscribers?
In case of our initiatives of Mobi Shiksha, Health & U and Ehsaas, on an average we receive 1,200-1,500 calls a month which is increasing monthly at the rate of 15-20 percent.

Who all are your key partners?
We have tied up with Indian Meteorological Department for weather update. Our other partners include Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, NETFISH, CABI, CARE, EKO India financial services private limited and Dhanuka Agritech Limited. Overall we have more than 100 tie-ups including those with hospitals.

Are you into content digitisation too?
We are soon launching an e-book platform. We are trying to bring not only national content but regional content as well there. We are planning to create digital libraries for schools. We also want to bring NCERT and ICSE books on our platform.

The government of India has been talking about m-governance? What’s your take on that?
The government is only sending SMS alerts to the citizen which is using it as a broadcasting tool. It is not using mobiles in delivery of services. We are in touch with the health, education and IT departments of various states, so that our services can reach to maximum people.

Comments

 

Other News

Taming turbulence in Indian aviation

The booming Indian aviation industry, among the fastest growing sectors in the world, is projected to be valued at $40 billion by 2027. But, despite robust demand for air travel across the country, more than 50 airlines have closed down in the last decade in India and most private airlines have closed with

PM Modi leaves for G7 Summit in Italy

In his first foreign visit after taking oath of office for the third time, prime minister Narendra Modi Thursday evening left for Italy to participate in the G7 Outreach Summit. “At the invitation of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, I am travelling to Apulia region in Italy to participat

Some market talk, some gossip – learnings over tea at RBI

A Fly on the RBI Wall: An Insider’s View of the Central Bank By Alpana Killawala Rupa Publications, 248 pages, Rs 595  

Coalition politics not expected to impact India’s foreign policy

Prime minister Narendra Modi has strived incessantly to bring laurels and much needed recognition for the nation since May 2014 when he was sworn in as the head of state. The poser which can be deliberated upon is this: What will be the consequential impact of the new era of coalition politics which confro

New govt`s first decision pushes for farmer welfare

The BJP-led NDA government has started its term with its first decision relating to farmer welfare. Narendra Modi took charge of office as prime minister of India for the third time on Monday, a day after he and his colleagues were sworn in by the president of India. In his fi

Narendra Modi takes oath for third term

Narendra Modi made history Sunday evening as he was sworn in by president Droupadi Murmu for a third successive term. Modi thus becomes the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to have comptered two full terms and beginning a third consecutive term. In the swearing-in c

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Linkedin Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter