A New Voice on the Team

By: Allison Gross

Being part of Dasra Social Impact has been a gift for Voice 4 Girls for a number
of reasons. In the two, 1-week sessions I have participated in, they gave
insights into everything from organization mission statement and business model
design to entrepreneur’s style of presenting the business whether you have 30
seconds or 30 minutes. All of these activities could not have been more timely:
they taught me various frameworks for business strategy and operations, and
gave me the opportunity to understand how other successful, more established
organizations model themselves.

At the end of these intensive weeks, I come back to the team with pages of
notes and ideas to share, always trying my hardest to pass along the inspiration
and excitement felt from getting great feedback from the experienced, uniquely
knowledgeable individuals I was surrounded by. This is where the Dasra
relationship has helped us out yet again, by making us eligible for a full-time
corporate volunteer, complementary of the Vodafone Foundation’s World of
Difference program.

Vodafone’s World of Difference program allows a select group of employees
to leave the office and go work in the field for six weeks alongside a social
organization that is doing great work yet lacking human resources. Two days
after I met Sumit Nangia at a launch event for this wonderful partnership between
Vodafone and Dasra, he was flying into Hyderabad ready to jump into action.

Not only is Sumit the first male on the Voice 4 Girls team, he also comes from
an Engineering and troubleshooting background: quite different from our team of
women with experiences more towards the management and liberal arts arena.
What he brings to the team is this same fresh perspective that I previously could
only experience from leaving my organization and going to a conference.

In the process of acclimating him to our work and our processes, he has
challenged us to explain ‘why’, not just ‘what’ or ‘how’. In addition to providing
feedback and fresh insights on core projects, he is also taking the lead on
developing further connections with CSR initiatives and helping us re-work our
marketing and partnership strategies.

Still, above these more concrete contributions, hearing him recall the impact and
connection that he felt from going out into the schools and speaking with the girls
was truly a great reminder to me about ultimately who we are all working for, and
what brought us to start our organization in the first place.

We are all thrilled to have Sumit on our team!

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