Progress and Discoveries

I can’t believe that it’s been two months since we said goodbye to our Rachaita team and Ahmedabad. Of course, we knew that there would be challenges that come with working on a project thousands of miles away from our clients but there have been some big wins as well.

One of our favorite experiences while being back in the US working was connecting with Karin, a member of the Gates Foundation that helps facilitate grants around the world including some with SEWA. It was helpful to sit down and revisit how SEWA runs, how SEWA’s groups are divided (you can see from the Banyan tree is it quite a complex organization), and what information companies need to achieve grants from large development foundations.

SEWA Banyan Tree

Image from: http://www.sewa.org/Sister_Organization.asp

A big discovery was when we found out about a Construction School that is (or was) right in Ahmedabad! After 10 days on-site, we hadn’t heard about this school. What’s wonderful about this is that after some research, I have found research papers that people have created on women in Ahmedabad before and after their construction training. This is new avenue into understanding the Construction industry in India and helped validate some of our assumptions and thinking around how businesses could work in this industry.

Karin was also wonderful at really focusing our group on the actual task at hand: how we produce something this is valuable to our Rachaita team? Meaning, how do we NOT produce something that gets thrown on a desk and never looked at again. It was helpful to think that we don’t have to create a groundbreaking solution or a 30-page business plan. If we can make any small change in their business practices that is a big win for our team as a whole.

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