March 07, 2019: It is a known fact that women in our families are capable of taking care of the kin but are also proficient enough to be exemplary teachers, healers, guides, and entrepreneurs. This is being acknowledged by the communities that they live in and the society in general. In a bid to amplify this large latent resource pool of India, PayNearby, India’s leading hyperlocal FinTech network, has announced its Women Led Empowerment initiative. PayNearby has collaborated with NITI Aayog and IFMR LEAD to harness womanpower and bring it to the forefront while striving to further its visionof ‘Digital Sashaktikaran (empowerment)’. IFMR LEAD signed the MoU to become PayNearby Knowledge Partner during the IFI Summit on December 11, 2018 in Delhi when Ms. Chetna Sinha of Mann Deshiwas addressing a large gathering on Social Returns of women powered programs.

A passionate advocate of digital as well as women empowerment of India, Anand has been attempting to harness the potential of immensely talented women in the banking sector since the past 15 years, back when he was working at bank. However, because most activities in banking sector are regarded as“urgent” and “important”, he had to shelve the possibility of crowd sourcing the women talent pool and waited for the next opportunity. With his start-up PayNearby, Anand finally has a platform where he can successfully lead the charge of bringing his vision of both women and digital empowerment to reality.

Post a fruitful meeting with NITI Aayog’s Ms. Anna Roy along with IFMR LEAD’s Executive Director Ms. Sharon Buteau, the two esteemed organizations are guiding and partnering PayNearby to harness ‘Nari Shakti’ for Digital Sashaktikaran of India. In this era of smartphone-based augmented connectivity, PayNearby has embarked upon a journey to harness families to cater to the “important” but “not necessarily urgent” work of building Digital India. The program invites women members of the society to learn new technology and teach the same to the larger ecosystem. This initiative is being widely and critically appreciated as a remarkable step that will mark one of the largest channelization of women resources for economic upliftment across the globe.

Sharing an insight into this program and their underlying vision, Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder andCEO, PayNearbyremarked, “Woman force is the GDP reserve of India and we believe that the country will leapfrog in terms of productivity with proactive participation of our families. Nearby Technologies has been formed essentially on the theme of harnessing and connecting the resources nearby. The belief and vision of our team is that most of the resources are nearby and it just needs to be augmented and connected through simple to use technology.For instance, with our application BuyNearby, we can easily help our retailer-next-door to sell to the digital savvy customer segment. This will help them in getting orders from customers living in the vicinity without losing to online platforms. Ms. Sharon is very passionate about thispossibility and has signed the MOU to be our Knowledge Partner in this significant drive.It is a matter of honour to launch this program in partnership with IFMR LEAD at the world recognised university of Banasthali Vidyapith,wheremy mother pursued her education.”

On this promising event, Abhishek Pareek, CEO, Atal Incubation Centre (AIC) at Banasthali Vidyapith added, “Atal Incubation Centre at Banasthali Vidyapith is celebrating Women’s Day with the launch of a call-to-action anthem for ‘Women-Led Empowerment’. The occasion coincides with the launch of the centre’s WOMENPreneur 2019 Bootcamp which is supported by Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog. AIC is a one-of-its-kind incubation centre in India solely focusing on women-led start-ups. We are happy to partner with PayNearby and their knowledge partner IFMR LEAD to actualize this highly remarkable concept. We believe that the drive will witness one of the largest global channelization of women resources for the upliftment of economic fibre of the nation.”

Sharon Buteau, Executive Director, IFMR LEAD further added, “At IFMR LEAD, we believe in the unique leadership skills and abilities of women, with their eye for detail, creative approach to solve problems, and empathy. We understand the value of investing in programs and initiatives that enable women to harness their own potential, bring about a transformational change in their communities, and build a better India thus. We are delighted to collaborate with PayNearby as the Knowledge Partner in their endeavour and work with diverse sections of society to build an inclusive Digital India.”

Since its inception in 2016, the dedicated team of PayNearby is already serving 4 crore citizens across the country through 2.32 Lakh nearby retail kirana shops. The organization helps people with basic banking, payment, billing, and other financial and non-financial services. About 37% of AEPS (Aadhaar ATM) services across the country are being catered to by the company, harnessing the modules of India stack to serve everyone nearby. Through this initiative led on the occasion of Women’s Day, the organization strives to mobilize, enable and empower the country’s woman force to drive the goal of ‘Digital India’ ahead towards its accomplishment.