Anushka Jain is a Bangalore, India-based entrepreneur who noticed an existing gap between NGOs and the donations they receive. Jain realized years ago that many people have clothes they would love to donate to those in need but struggle to find the appropriate means to do so; whether that’s finding the physical location, adhering to donation guidelines, or not having the actual time to get the goods to a donation center. So she started up Share At Door Step, a convenient service that comes straight to your door to pick up your gentle used goods and facilitates their donation to an NGO or charity. Today Jain’s efforts are benefitting thousands of underprivileged children and adults and is doing good on the ground for the environment too.
Jain’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
When I was a kid, my mom used to donate clothes on my birthday. I used to wonder why we would do this just once a year. I thought that perhaps my mother did not have the time to donate clothes more often or perhaps she did not feel like it. Eventually, I figured out that the real reason was that there was no easy way to donate unwanted goods where we lived. I realized that this is because there is a gap between donors and NGOs – but not only a gap – as donors were not aware of the requirements of NGOs, had trust issues with the NGOs, or were too busy to drive to the NGO. To fill this gap I started, Share At Door Step.
Success is the ability to do what you love every day. My biggest accomplishment however is my journey of building a company from scratch which now supports over one hundred charities across nine cities in India. We have facilitated enough clothing donations from households to save an incredible 74,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering our atmosphere and supporting 1,000,000 underprivileged children and adults.
Our vision is to build a platform that rewards everyone and anyone who does good or believes in doing good. We plan to achieve this by making available our “share points” to partner organizations (NGO partners, crowdfunding platforms, volunteering portals) through our rewards plugins and not keeping them limited to our platform. Through this, we would be able to create a community of socially responsible people across the world.
Our biggest challenge today is to catch up with the rapid growth of our business and to keep supply and demand in balance. We are automating a lot of processes and making it fully technologically driven. We tried a similar model to Uber’s ‘Surge Pricing’ for the peak times of the day, customized user experience (inspired by amazon) and have outsourced various non-core processes – like logistics and NGO auditing etc. What we now have is a mix of all the strategies that worked out really well for us. All this has helped us in scaling up quickly and efficiently. Whenever I face a big challenge and feel afraid, I think back to being afraid of swimming when I was a child and I hear the words my father used to say to me. He would tell me to trust myself, to have faith in my abilities and just to take the plunge. I have pretty much applied that to what I am doing now.
My biggest role model is my mother – because she always motivated me to be the best version of myself and stand up for myself in any situation.