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Digital Swaraj: A Gandhian Concept for AtmaNirbhar Bharat

For fintech entrepreneur Anup Pai, the lockdown couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. He had just completed the successful handover of his start-up to the acquirer company and was contemplating the future, when India and the rest of the world shut down, giving him exactly the ambience he required to slow down and look ahead. 

And, the three months of contemplation fructified in the form of eSamudaay, an enabler of digital solutioning for local and hyper-local businesses. Boot-strapped by Pai himself, the venture aims to provide digital solutions to every individual who has entrepreneurial aspirations – be it in cities or in towns and villages. 

“In fact, I went back to my hometown of Udupi (400 kms from Bangalore) to test the theories around which the idea was built. Amongst the first to try out the solutions were the merchants in and around the temple square in the town,” recalls Anup Pai, who cut his teeth in core banking during a stint with ANZ, while handling their digitization efforts. 

And what made him take up this concept? Quite simply, Anup Pai felt that only the top half of the digital pyramid was actually benefiting from the internet revolution. His effort is to create new circles of influence around smaller communities that fosters micro-entrepreneurship, creates jobs in towns and villages and ensures democratization of the internet. 

He argues that ever since the lockdown began in March, it has dawned on people that they need to go back to the basics, creating small and sustainable communities at the local and even the hyper-local level. “The idea was part of our thoughts on giving back to society, but that does not mean we are not interested in making some money,” Anup Pai reiterates suggesting that eSamudaay was more of a social entrepreneurship with profitability. 

His early experience with iCreate (now Fintellix), a product company that he started up in 2006 as a means to simplify regulatory reporting by structuring data, gives Anup Pai the advantage in his latest venture. “It gave me a strong handle on digitization as well as micro-finance, which is now helping me with my dreams of spreading the concept of Digital Swaraj,” he says. 

You can watch the entire conversation between Anup Pai and CXOToday editor Raj Narayan by clicking on the link here. We appreciate it if you could hit the Like button and leave your thoughts in the comments section of our YouTube channel. 

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