Rwitwika Bhattacharya, Shantanu Agarwal, 32, 38
Co-founders, Swaniti-Ank Aha!
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The seven-year-old research and data analysis organisation was asked by the government in 2018 to identify gaps in the direct benefits transfer (DBT) scheme in the Northeast. The first problem it noticed was with the system of measuring how many people were eligible for DBT. The team realised that only 50% of the intended beneficiaries received the DBT amount in their accounts. The problem, Bhattacharya says, was not the budget, which was lying unused, but that the social welfare and finance ministries weren’t talking to each other in terms of the numbers on the ground; this was because the data available was old. The state government did not have the technology and the resources to collect data. The team helped the government identify the right number of beneficiaries. Conceptualised by Bhattacharya (in pic) and Agarwal while they were both at Harvard, Swaniti-Ank Aha! works with policymakers and elected representatives to deliver development solutions across the country with the help of their platform. The startup collects and analyses data to improve public service delivery.