Better tomorrows are built on the back of each good deed you do today.
That’s precisely what GAIN Credit believes in – as part of our social responsibility, we remain focused on making the world a better place through affirmative action to create positive outcomes.
Today, we bring you the story of SafeZone* – the outcome of an initiative aimed at sparking innovation at GAIN Credit. An idea that brought several bright minds across the company together to create a value proposition aimed at ensuring a brighter future for all!
Assessing the Problem: Tobacco consumption in India
Even as the government continues to press for stronger measures to curb tobacco addiction by banning advertisement of tobacco on mass media, curbing sale and purchase within geographical parameters, promoting terse warnings (with graphic images) on cigarette packs and restricting the use of tobacco in designated public areas, the problem seems to be growing with each passing day with no real solution in sight.
Another particularly disturbing aspect concerns adoption of tobacco by young adults. The bedrock of the nation is getting eroded at the roots owing to addictions which are slowly ruining the health and well-being of future generations.
Despite the strict regulation preventing the sale of tobacco to underage children (<18yrs) within a 100-yard radius around educational institutions, not many sellers seem to be aware or concerned about the adverse impact of setting up shop in prohibited zones. This, in turn, lures youngsters to get hooked to these cancer-sticks due to their sheer availability and accessibility.
With strong policies and procedures in place already, the enforcement needs to be equally effective to curb tobacco abuse.
Framing the approach: Intervention through Innovation & Collaboration
To deal with similar issues affecting society, GAIN Credit’s Chennai arm, Global Analytics India Private Limited, initiated an Idea Incubator Program in January 2018 – Kreative & Innovative Development in Spare-Time (KIDS).
KIDS encourages young minds to put forward their ideas on how to make things better for everyone through innovation. This involves evaluating ideas for feasibility and practicality, which is then followed by implementation of the idea with rigor and commitment. During these workshops, the concept of SafeZone was conceived.
Led by our colleague Devaraj SP, the team – including Raja Vignesh, Sridhar Jayaraman, Prabhu Nallasamy, Balaji R, Harika C, Mythreyi K, Birlla Packiasamy, Tyagaraj K and Anbarasan S – spearheaded the creation of a web portal which enables enforcement agency officials and NGOs (Non-Government Organizations) to identify and penalize tobacco shops violating the 100-yard rule.
Here’s how it works.
Any individual could just walk up to a tobacco shop, open SafeZone in their smartphone and select the current location through GPS. By doing so, they would get the exact coordinates of educational institutions in the vicinity, with clear information on the distance between the said location and the educational institution.
With watertight knowledge on the geographical location, it can be used as an effective inspection tool to identify vendors who are violating the state’s 100-yard prohibition directive.
Evaluating the Impact: Endorsements, media coverage and much more…
Our colleague, Devaraj SP was invited to talk about SafeZone by the Cancer India Institute on the World Tobacco Day (May 31). He presented the concept at the State Level Consultation Meeting on Effective Enforcement of Tobacco Control Policies in Tamil Nadu – A Together Approach.
On the back of a strong demonstration illustrating the positive impact of SafeZone to representatives from the local police, safety and railway officials, SafeZone was ‘formally adopted’ as an implementable plan-of-action by Dr. V Shanta (Founder and Executive Chairman of the Cancer India Institute). Following her lead, Dr. Vidhubala (Senior Resident) also took up our cause to promote SafeZone as an effective means to control and limit the consumption of tobacco.
In fact, the strongest endorsement came from the media reps who had attended the event.
With coverage appearing in reputed national and domestic dailies (which enjoy a strong and loyal readership across the city and the country), our fight against tobacco abuse got a very strong helping hand – the support and encouragement of stakeholders whose opinion counts for a lot in the society.
The Conclusion is the Beginning: Igniting minds, generating ideas and empowering lives
A team of 10 strong brand ambassadors of GAIN Credit aptly demonstrated our commitment to create value propositions for a healthier, stronger and happier tomorrow for all.
This is just the beginning of our CSR Mission; as we empower lives through responsible access to credit, we’ve not lost sight of another complementary goal – to strengthen the foundation of the society we serve by leveraging KIDS, our flagship Idea Incubator Program!
*Currently undergoing field tests