Friday, July 10, 2020
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Every cloud has a silver lining

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We had decided to make Toffee Ride – a learning app for primary school kids and spent around two years developing the product. We here stand for – Abitha, Asfar, Prasanth, Sanoj, and Sreenu – the core team at ToffeeRide. We decided to implement through Corporate CSR activity as well as government schools.

In few government/aided schools in our neighbourhood, we found that teachers were cooperative and gave us great support to introduce Toffee Ride to the children. The teachers were willing to take most of the sessions, provided they were given some initial training. We were amazed by the efforts undertaken by our government in supporting the education system. The schools had modern amenities like smart boards (for displaying audio-visual content) which we could leverage to deploy our solution too. The offline capability developed for our program helped resolve the issue of slow internet connections at schools. The students liked the sessions, and we received genuine appreciation from them. Now, that things looked favorable, we thought that approaching the corporates who had offered to support us would be a piece of cake.

However, this was not the case. We soon realized that the corporates had many internal procedures to be completed before the program could take off. Also, most of them had little to spare from the CSR budget allocation for the current year. Even though it seemed like a setback, we thought to implement it next year and focus on other priorities.

Within a few days, we came across the Cognizant Outreach team. The team conducted free sessions for students, organizing programs for language development, and supporting the school in whatever ways possible. They readily volunteered to make use of our product to conduct classroom sessions. We then got a chance to meet the Outreach team – senior employees of Cognizant Technology Solutions, Kochi. They ensure at least one session for every class for all the schools they cover.

We realised that this could become a promising opportunity for Toffee Ride to influence the lives of more than 2000 kids in around 20 schools. We were looking to be an implementation partner of CSR initiatives of corporates in the education space and earn some revenues in that process. We may have to wait a bit longer before that becomes a reality. But then, this experience was an eyeopener for the entire team.

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