Published: 26th January 2021
What's in a name you ask? This is how Chezuba, the Hyderabad-based global volunteering platform, came to be in letter and spirit
This global volunteering platform braved many odds, including COVID, to continue doing what they do. And now, the three co-founders who are at the helm of things, have even bigger plans for the portal
While backpacking through Myanmar in 2017, sharing his idea for a start-up that he acquired after working in Russia, Taiwan and Malaysia, Sukhendra Rompally came to rest at a quaint little café in the Golden Land. An appetising pastry was placed in front of him and the courteous waiter cheerfully chimed, "Chezuba!" Until then, the now 29-year-old only had validation for his idea, but at that very moment, he had the name too — the Burmese word for 'thank you', Chezuba! "It also helped matters that the domain name was available," says Sukhendra jovially.
They have an idea for a donation platform where they list the requirements of the NGO, volunteers pay and Chezuba sources the requirements from their partners. This should be up by 2022
As far as the idea goes, Chezuba serves a platform that connects eager volunteers who want to create an impact to those NGOs looking for helping hands — whether it’s in the realm of content writing, translation, IT, marketing or beyond. This happened back in 2017 and since then, they have been evolving their model to suit the needs of the changing times. "One of the first changes we made was to make volunteer application a tad tedious so as to filter out the not-so-serious applicants," says the Hyderabad-based youngster. When they noticed that volunteers from over 50 countries were using their platform, they started charging NGOs a nominal fee. And from there, it was an algorithm-based and data-driven approach.
Sukhendra | (Pic: Chezuba)
Just as they were surging full speed ahead — they even got their first corporate client as they ventured into the B2B space — the pandemic arrived. "The development sector was the worst hit but a time like this is when a platform like ours is needed the most. So, we dropped the charges for the NGOs and our 20-member team took mutually-agreed-upon cuts and we kept on doing what we do," says the IIT Dhanbad alumnus who pursued his Mechanical Engineering. He adds, "I feel like our team grew closer and became more like a family even though we were not working out of the office." Now, we hear they are opening the doors to their office in Madhapur in a phased manner.
Adela S is the Co-founder and Chief Experience Officer while and Jagan Kothacharla is the Co-founder
The big corporate project we were talking about that landed in Chezuba's kitty was from Tata Sons. The latter has a programme wherein all their employees were required to work for an NGO every six months and they wanted to outsource that to the start-up. And here is where their future lies. "Since a company is required to pledge two per cent of their average net profits to Corporate Social Responsibility, a strategy is needed here. Instead of picking a cause at random, say poverty, they need to gauge if their employees care about the same cause. That's when they work in line with their employees' causes too. Similarly, they need to be smart about the cause they pick. For example, it makes a lot of sense for Indian Oil to pick causes like climate change. This is what we are working on now," explains Sukhendra, who also features on Forbes' 30 Under 30 list. So, this is the strategy they want to help corporates with.
And for all the ways in which they are trying to help the world, all we would like to say is 'chezuba'!
The team | (Pic: Chezuba)
Want to create an impact? Check out the few ways in which you can:
- Project Proposal Writing for Gram Vikas Bahuuddeshiya Sanstha
- Brochure Designing for Arunodhaya Centre for Street and Working Children
- Social Media Accounts Setup for Society For Integrated Rural Development
- Development Research (Child Nutrition) for Agri Biotech Foundation India
For more on them check out chezuba.net