#Inspiringstories@Awfis is an initiative by Awfis Editorial Team to showcase the brilliant business ideas and the journey of our startup member community.
Neeraj Gutgutia believes in doing what is right, whether at work, or in his personal life.
It was in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, while working with Prashant Kishore, a political strategist, that he realised the many limitations people face when asked to cast their vote. Even the most responsible among his friends faced hurdles and obstacles that prevented them from being a responsible citizen.
The reasons varied from the mundane like unable to take time off from work, the distance and being unwell, to the more serious issues like lack of a voter id card, being registered in a different city, or worse, finding out that someone has already voted in their name.
An entrepreneur by heart, Neeraj gave much thought to the problem, and eventually came to the conclusion that the physical voting booth was central to the issue. Instead of bringing the voter to the booth, why not bring the booth, albeit, a virtual one, to the voter?
This was the idea and the foundation upon which Right2Vote came into existence.
With his experience of 14 years in a corporate set-up with leading corporates like Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, Hiranandani Group, Neeraj, a Chartered Accountant and MBA from IIM Indore by qualification, decided to take this plunge. He, along with his 12-member team had already forayed into banking authentication, security and transactions, and realised that the best practises from banking industry can easily be replicated on to Right2Vote, which is today the world’s first mobile verified voting platform.
Interestingly, this platform need not be limited to political elections, and can also be deployed by large corporates to help come to decisions which involve the whole company. Top management, which doesn’t always know ground reality, can unknowingly take flawed decisions that are rarely countered by juniors. With this platform, corporate decision-making gets simplified. This platform can also be used for professional body election, college election, housing society election among others.
Neeraj asks, “If everything has moved to the mobile today – shopping, banking, bill payment – then why not voting?” Fair thought, we say.
Right2Vote is a B2B2C company where people pay to hold their election on this platform and for the required election management. Voters have to pay nothing, and instead, they get the ease and convenience of voting from wherever they are.
Customers can save up to 90% of their cost, time and effort, while enjoying greater voter participation, 10x better verification and 10x better security. The payment procedure is simple. Billing is on a PAAS (Platform As A Service) model, where customers pay as per features used and the number of people invited to vote.
To give an example, a high-end poll with Aadhar-based verification and high-end encryption, the platform costs just Rs 10 per voter. Now compare that to Rs 1000 plus per voter in booth-based voting!
When asked about the viability of the service, Neeraj is confident that the idea will pick up. “It is not a question of whether it will happen or not. It is only a matter of when.” Mobile voting is the future and when customers see advantages like a 90% fall in voter drop-out rate, 90% saving in cost, time and effort, as well as greater security, they are bound to see the merit in shifting from a traditional booth-based voting model to the mobile app.
Neeraj and his team hope to help conduct the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on this platform. When he crunched the number for us, this is what we saw: $5 billion, 2 months and the physical effort of over 1 crore people go into a successful Lok Sabha election. With this platform, the team guarantees to bring it down to less than 1/10th the cost, 1/30th the time and 1/1,00,00,000 the human effort.
Talking about his vision Neeraj said, “Our vision is to ‘Make Democracy Real’. Right now, a substantial percentage of the population is denied its voting right due to booth-based voting and then voters are blamed for not voting. By providing voters the facility to cast their vote from a secure mobile device, the accessibility problem will end.”
Right2Vote is an essential service that is strongly rooted in an existing need. Neeraj’s heart is in the right place, and his and his team’s experience and passion to make voting through smartphones a reality will see them achieve success very soon.
We at Awfis think Right2Vote is solving a real world problem with an innovative approach and it is awesome to have such inspiring ideas brewing within our Pro-working centres. We wish Right2Vote luck in their journey.