Co-founded by Vivek Saxena, Wishonary is a collaborative community of social workers, grassroots organizations, meaningful companies, and conscious individuals, who come together to create and deliver the most effective and befitting social innovations and solutions to the last mile communities.
In a country having more per capita NGOs than hospital beds — around four NGOs for every 1,000 people in urban areas and 2.3 NGOs for every 1,000 population in rural areas — non-profits admittedly have a vital role to play in India’s development activities. With people realising the importance of social ventures and NGOs in our daily lives, the help that NGOs have extended to the Lower segment of our population is appreciated by everyone today. Many entrepreneurs and employees will seriously consider starting or working for NGOs in India. “I feel NGOs in India will play a major role in training, enabling market linkages for local and small production units”, opines Vivek Saxena, Co-founder, Wishonary.
An amalgamation of Wish and Visionary, Wishonary is a platform that enables social visionaries to solve larger societal problems by moving one step closer to creating meaning. A Social Network for Change Makers, Wishonary was started with an idea of enabling sharing across multiple stakeholders and NGOs in a social space. “The Pandemic brought in a lot of chaos, with people not knowing what to do and how the situation was going to be in the future. Many NGOs were playing their part in helping people at the bottom of the pyramid, especially migrant labourers. In our interaction with multiple NGO, we discovered that while every NGO was trying to do whatever they could, there was little resource & knowledge sharing, which made me start Wishonary”, quips Vivek.
A Passionate Social Worker
Having completed his postgraduation diploma in Social Entrepreneurship, Vivek was associated with an NGO run by his teacher that works on women and children empowerment during his 10th grade. He adds, “My experience of working with the people in the NGO made me passionate about solving social problems, and exploring how collaborations across stakeholders can unlock value and create meaningful social initiatives”. Playing a pivotal role in shaping his life, Viveks’ parents taught him the value of ethics in life and teamwork. His parents always told him about the importance of working together as a community and how problems can be solved as a team rather than trying to do things on our own. “My dad has always supported me in everything that I do and has always taught me to stay strong and face all the challenges that may come along the way”, says Vivek.
Having always wanted to start some initiative that could provide visibility to grassroots level organisations and help them raise resources, the lockdown due to the pandemic outbreak gave Vivek an insight on what he really wanted with his life. “The spread of COVID19 made me realise that we should not keep postponing our dreams and should move towards fulfilling our goals as soon as possible. The need to share and seek knowledge on various aspects related to Covid19, motivated me to craft Wishonary”, recalls Vivek.
While Vivek takes care of Sales and Marketing, Mr Varun Chandra handles the overall execution. He passion for commercialisation of technology ventures and 8 years of experience in technology and policy advocacy has played a considerable role in helping Wishonary grow. He adds, “Wishonary would have been incomplete without another pillar of our team, Sharmila Ronanki, who brought 4+ years of experience in handling operations of multiple NGOs. We are also very grateful to Mr Vijay Mahajan, CEO and Founder of BASIX, who supported us throughout our journey”.
Getting Through the Unpredictable Pandemic
The fact that Wishonary was started during the lockdown was one of the biggest challenges for Vivek. The vulnerability and unpredictability created by COVID was another challenge in itself. Vivek quips, “despite being far off from each other, We had to validate, collaborate and co-create the complete business”. Helping more than 600 NGOs in sharing their knowledge and bringing them together, Wishonary has also launched Managed Fundraising Campaigns for Waste Warriors, Kayakalpa, Head Held High Foundation, Cancer Association, and many more. With the Pandemic outbreak and the subsequent lockdown, there has been an unprecedented increase in job losses, making people unable to meet their daily needs. “Our peers in the society need to understand that all of us are an integral part of the society and equally important to the wellbeing of our overall society”, opines Vivek.
Started off with helping NGOs with crowdfunding and marketing support, Wishonary is moving towards becoming a social network for NGOs to help them with resources and people sourcing. Although generating development has been the responsibility primarily of the government, since the scope of development now includes not just economic progress but also promoting social justice, gender equity, education and the quality of life issues, non-profits both within India and abroad, especially those directing their voluntary work and funds towards India, are generally seen as partners in the country’s development in some, if not in all cases. Doing his bit of helping the society develop, Vivek concludes, “We want to be the one platform where every NGO ask and seek help and support in their endeavour to create change. We want to be the catalyst for the growth of the social sector”.