Grameen Foundation India (GFI) recently launched the challenge for augmented reality-based solutions to advance financial literacy and inclusion. The challenge invites technology startups working on cutting edge augmented reality/virtual reality technologies and encourages them to come up with innovative solutions to address the challenges in advancing digital and financial inclusion of low-income people, particularly women.
The virtual launch event “Technology for Growth and Inclusion” saw engaging discussions on the scope and use of AR/VR technology in the financial inclusion space.
Welcoming the participants, Prabhat Labh, CEO, GFI said, “Technology can play a crucial role in inclusive growth and development and Grameen is focused on bringing scalable solutions to impact the excluded populations.” “The challenge is an opportunity for entities working in the Augmented Reality and Machine Learning space to design a mobile application for delivering financial literacy,” he added.
The inaugural session had a welcome address by Shivangi Jain, Associate Vice President, Startup India, an initiative of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. Highlighting India’s achievement in the financial inclusion space through the epoch making PMJDY scheme, she said, “India has achieved a lot in this space. However, there were still millions of unbanked people in the country and Grameen’s initiative to support tech startups to work in this space is remarkable.” She encouraged the tech startups to take advantage of various schemes of Startup India.
Speaking at the inaugural, Gaurav Chakraverty, Chief Operating Officer spoke about the utilization of cutting-edge solutions for the communities. The inaugural session was followed by a panel discussion featuring: Ambarish Mitra, CEO Blippar; Nataraj Kuntagod, Principal Director R&D, Accenture; Pankaj Mishra, Co-founder Factor Daily; Pradeep Khanna, President VR/AR Association; Sasidhar Thumuluri, CEO Basix Sub-K; and Sucharita Eashwar, Founder, Catalyst for Women Entrepreneurship (CWE). The panelists discussed the imperative to focus on the users and their needs and building technology solutions that were aligned to the local context and acted as an enabler.
Dipika Prasad, representing Last Mile Money, IDEO introduced the concept of human-centered design and explained how this can help in creating solutions that are desirable, feasible and viable.
The mobile applications developed under the AR challenge will receive financial assistance from Grameen and will be deployed by the Business Correspondent Agent Networks to deliver financial literacy to their customers. This launch event was organized by Grameen Foundation India in partnership with Business Correspondent Federation of India (BCFI), Blippar, Global Mindset, IDEO, Last Mile Money, 10,000 Startups and VR/AR Association. See application details on Startup India website (bit.ly/3irSu0p) or Tech4Inclusion website (t4g.grameenfoundation.in).
Notes for editors
About the AR Challenge: As part of the call five organisations will be shortlisted with whom the GFI will work on prototyping their ideas with the help of a human-centred design agency and finally select a winner for the grand prize. The winning team will receive a cash award to fully develop their application, which will then be implemented by the BC partners that are partnering with GFI.
GFI is looking to explore the usage of new-age technologies for training and learning delivery to assist users to learn about the different concepts of financial products and services.
About Grameen Foundation India
Grameen Foundation India is a leading social impact organization, working on financial inclusion, agriculture-based livelihoods and health and nutrition initiatives with the mission to enable the poor, especially women to overcome poverty and hunger. Inspired by the work of Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus, Grameen provides works in partnership with leading development organizations in India to ideate, innovate and scale breakthrough solutions that reach underserved populations, particularly women. Under its BEADS (Business Correspondent Network Experiments and Demonstrating Scale) project, Grameen aims to drive productivity, efficiency and profitability of business correspondent networks with the ultimate goal to drive financial inclusion and empowerment of at least 250,000 low-income communities, particularly women. As part of this project, Grameen is exploring how financial literacy can be more fun and engaging by using Augmented Reality technology.