Pandemic triggered a flurry of activities in India’s Tech for Good ecosystem

Tech-based transformations at scale remain notoriously elusive, says Nasscom Foundation

The pandemic has triggered a flurry of activities around cost-effective innovations in India’s Tech for Good ecosystem, says a report published by Nasscom Foundation in partnership with CGI on Wednesday.

The report prepared with inputs from 548 organisations, comprising 119 established companies, 124 social enterprises/startups, and 305 NGOs, found that over 90% of these respondents were already developing or have plans to develop Technology for Social Good.

On average, 30 employees (full time and part time) were involved in a company’s Tech for Good practice per year. Also, a company on average invested $36,515, in addition to its CSR contributions, on Tech for Good. Most companies (57%) engaged in long term Tech for Good projects spanning for more than a year, as per the report.

The Tech for Good activities were not only in harmony with the companies’ business strategy but they were fully aligned with it (66.38%). Also, they were more aligned with local causes (55.26%) than global causes (42.98%).

Lack of Funds (92.6%) was one of the biggest challenges for social enterprises, followed by lack of internet and mobile connectivity at the ground level (76.10%), found the study.

Education at 56.9% received the most Tech for Good focus followed by Livelihoods development at 50.43% and Big Data was being used by 87% of companies to create education-based Tech for Good.

While mobile apps (81.36%) and web apps (84.48%) ruled the tech for good development space as the most preferred technology, Artificial Intelligence (64.10%), Big Data (54.78%) and Cloud (72.65%) were also growing.

The study also exposed a significant skills gap for the NGOs across all technologies. However, a large number of NGOs pivoted fast and created new Tech for Good solutions around remote work and remote education.

Nasscom Foundation CEO Ashok Pamidi said, “India is a hotbed of innovation and it is also the world’s largest sandbox to try out innovative technologies and models. Of late, we have seen technology companies focussing on developing high-end Tech for Good that can help solve numerous of the country’s problems. Yet, Tech-based transformations at scale remain notoriously elusive as most of these innovations are piecemeal activities done in silos.”

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