Bill Gates met with members of iSPIRT in Bangalore in December to learn about the organization and its volunteers’ efforts to solve India’s hardest problems through the use of technology. Nandan Nilekani played host to the event and also present in the room were Sharad Sharma (iSPIRT co-founder), Nachiket More (former Board member of RBI, now senior advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)), and various senior members of BMGF.
There were three broad themes that were covered — finance, healthcare and education — each of which forms an important part of the Gates Foundation’s work in philanthropy. Product demos included the IndiaStack, a suite of technology services currently being developed around identity, payments and personal data management for all Indian citizens; three of the leading startups in the healthcare space — Practo, Logistimo, and Swasthya Slate; and EkStep, an education-focused nonprofit that focuses on facilitated learning.
Bill Gates observed that India is producing cutting-edge work and there are few countries which can boast of a digital infrastructure as sophisticated as we are producing here. With such positive encouragement from one of the most accomplished individuals in the world, the vision of transforming India at large through application of technology has received a new impetus.
Guest Post by Saurabh Panjwani, iSPIRT