Satyan is reducing the growing gap between urban and rural India. His organization Drishtee, has become one of the largest networks of rural entrepreneurs in the country, acting as the last mile both into and out of the village.
Satyan started out by creating a network of service kiosks to address the digital divide in rural India. Run by kiosk entrepreneurs, Satyan was able to help rural populations access a range of information and e-governance schemes which previously remained far out of their reach. Seeing the opportunity to leverage such a local network to service other local needs, Satyan now offers value propositions to identified rural entrepreneurs in four areas: 1) Education, 2) Kirana enterprises, 3) Financial services, microfinance, and 4) health. Drishtee uses its connection to banks, healthcare providers and others to establish flourishing rural enterprises that become the basis for economic and social sustainability in the village.
Central to his model is his belief in the power of rural entrepreneurs to boost a rural economy. Drishtee’s evolution and Satyan’s insights have been aided greatly by information percolating up from the entrepreneurs that Drishtee supports, who are best placed to gauge shifting consumer demands and needs on the ground. Turning these entrepreneurs into role models for the community, Satyan has been building a vision of the community as a blend of social, financial and cultural sustainability.
In the last thirteen years, Satyan has impacted over 5000 villages through the different services he offers. The kiosk model was highly successful, and is now being replicated by the Government of India through the Common Service Centre (CSC) model. At the international level, through a partnership with International Development Research Centre (IDRC), he has been able to showcase his model in Rwanda and Sudan.
Drishtee is now identifying and implementing its integrated approach in 500 villages over the next 6 years. This is expected to result in training nearly 0.40 Million villagers, generating approximately 12,500 new jobs, mostly for women and increasing the income of these villages by nearly 10 % every year for the next 5 years. For Satyan, this is a giant step forward towards building an empowered rural India, where local communities take pride in their heritage, and display leadership and will towards solving their own problems.
*This profile was updated in February 2014. Read on for the ELECTION profile