CEO, eGov Foundation

We exist to improve the quality of life of ordinary citizens across all 4400+ towns & cities in India. The nation is at the cusp of a new revolution, where digital technology is not so much about “digitising and automating” as it is about humans: improving quality of life, removing barriers, and creating trust between all stakeholders in the community. We see ourselves as thinker-doers, catalysing an ecosystem of citizens, governments, and enterprises to come together and improve the quality of life for every citizen in cities and towns across India.

In 2015, Hon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “I dream of a Digital India where ICT-enabled citizen-government interface is incorruptible.” eGov’s open digital platform – DIGIT – and the services built on it have already seen great impact in several states, across service areas such as water connections, trade licenses, obtaining certificates, building plan approvals, payment of municipal taxes, resolution of civic complaints, etc. Over the past 17 years, we have worked with city and state governments to deliver timely, transparent and efficient local services to the citizens.

Ultimately technology is only an enabler; to have a sustainable impact at scale, we need to tap into the collective energy of the ecosystem (Samaaj-Sarkaar-Bazaar) to enact enabling policies, understand local needs, and build local capacity to solve local problems. We work with all actors in the ecosystem to catalyse this collective energy. We partner with state governments to achieve platform-enabled governance transformation over a period of 3 to 4 years. With the central government, we collaborate to understand what policies and governance structure can enable urban solutions to be built at scale and in a sustainable manner. We also play a convening role, bringing in both non-profits and commercial entities that can leverage the platform and contribute to citizen-focused improvements.

In 2003, we started by working in the trenches of wards and ULBs of Karnataka to understand problems on the ground, and how Digital Platforms can help in making cities better. Over the last 17 years, we have worked with 14 states in more than 1000 ULBs across India to enable local capacity to solve problems. We do still have a long way to go: I dream of a day when a 16-year old girl from a remote town in India is able to ensure the needs of her community are met, through an app on her phone. I believe that day is not too far away.