Tell us about Ketto
Ketto is a crowd funding raising platform and the name Ketto stands for Key- to-tomorrow. We started almost nine years back. We help individuals and non-profit organisation (NGO) to raise fund for their social causes. One of the biggest categories we have currently on the platform is individual’s raising funds for their medical treatment, patients who are unable to afford, pay their medical bills for the hospitalisation so they basically come on the platform for their requirement and needs. We also work under more than 2000 NGOs which use our platform to raise funds for their ongoing projects and programme.

Who inspired you to come up with Ketto?
Initially, the idea came from me when I was in 9 to 5 job and I reached out to Zaheer, who is my school senior and Kunal I met through an agency that was managing his work, which was similar to Ketto. The inspiration was all around the country like India. We have 1.3 billion people, so many of them are unable to afford to pay their medical bills and education. Nearly 200-300 million people are below the poverty line. Inspiration was to do something for the community and for the greater goal.

I have been involved in social work back in my college days. I understood the gravity of the situation and being an avid reader I constantly read about the challenges our country faced. I always had a strong interest to do something in finance and read a lot about it. The idea is how do you marry the concept of finance and make it available for everybody. Back in days raising funds was really hard and one had to go to the bank, equity market or to a person you knew to get funds. My thought was how to do elaborate financing using the internet and marry it together to do good.

What’s your parents and friends take on Ketto fund raising organisation?
Initially everyone was confused about what we were doing with our lives. Will a concept like this ever work in India or would people in India want to donate money online? I think over the last four years we have seen that it can work. Yes, over time, all our friends and family have become users of Ketto platform.

What was your first project and how did it happen?
Our first project I would say was successful at a certain scale. It was for Asian Champion, five times Olympian Asian speed record holder Shiva Keshavan. He didn’t have enough funds to get a sledge, trained and get necessary equipment and he basically put up a campaign in partnership with an NGO along with Ketto we saw tremendous action. We were able to raise funds and that is how he took part in Winter Olympic Games. That was one of the first early successful fund raiser we saw on the platform.

What are the challenges you love to take?
The biggest challenges were somebody would say that this won’t work. Showing them that if you have belief and work hard enough it can work, of course, showing it to the world that concept like crowd funding will work.

Who is your support system?
I would say my team members itself because spending every day 12 hours engaging with them and after them it’s our family and friends who are the additional support system.

Tell us about your current project #INThisTogether
As a team, we were looking for a popular celebrity to support this cause and we approached Virat Kohil’s team. Both Virat and Anushka Sharma were happy to come on board and launch this initiative. They wanted to come forward and do something for Covid19 relief fund raising and also contributed from their own pocket. They also got their fans, followers and supporters to contribute and help for the cause. We launched #InThisTogether campaign on 8 May 2021 and our goal was 7 crores and we ended up raising more than 11 cores in a week’s timeframe.

How can someone start a fund raising organisation and what should be their ultimate goal?
I think if they are basically looking to raise funds on the platform and put up a call, one should be very transparent and honest about why and how you are raising funds. Using your social network like Facebook, WhatsApp other email communication tools can broaden audiences as much as possible to get them to come forward to contribute and donate. Once you start getting donations, keep your donors updated on the use of funds and the impact you’re creating.

How and who all can approach Ketto?
Anybody who has a bank account and PAN card in India can approach us. They can put up a campaign for any social cause they want to support which could be for someone’s medical treatment, someone has passed away or family support, helping animals, wildlife protection and environmental protection etc. People can visit to ask for help.

– By Vinitha Venkatesha