Ishita Anand Curated

The Founder and CEO of BitGiving

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This profile has been added by users(CURATED) : Users who follow Ishita Anand have come together to curate all possible video, text and audio interview to showcase Ishita Anand's journey, experiences, achievements, advice, opinion in one place to inspire upcoming entrepreneurs. All content is sourced via different platforms and have been given due credit.

  • What message do you want to give to all SHEROES out there?

    Believe in what you stand for and take the leap. Everything else figures itself.

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  • What tips would you give to someone running a crowd-funding campaign?

    First and foremost – do your research. Understand how crowdfunding works, look at other projects and campaigns and reach out to campaigners or experts to understand the realities. Secondly, be realistic – both with your campaign funding goal and your campaign duration. Make budgets, access your networks/partners and plan your campaign accordingly. Thirdly, be persistent – a typical campaign will have it’s active and lull periods, know when to push harder and get the momentum back And lastly, have fun – let your audience know how passionate you are, it always helps.

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  • What are the challenges start-ups and individuals face while running crowd-funding programs? How can they be overcome?

    There are two major challenges that any start-up, organization or individual faces while running a crowdfunding campaign in India: -First, Being Objective about their campaign. Most campaigners have a brilliant story and product, however like the concept of crowd-funding is fairly new and they do not understand how to position it. It’s important to understand your audience and build a strong narrative supported by video and interesting rewards. Most campaigners are currently struggling with where to start for this. The best way to overcome this challenge is to research – look at similar campaigns, both successful and unsuccessful campaigns and see what worked for them. And once you put your campaign together, take feedback from your friends and partners before going ahead with it. -The second challenge is that most of the campaigners believe that just putting up a campaign on a crowd-funding platform is enough. Like any other campaign, there is persistent outreach required for a crowd-funding campaign. Tapping into personal networks, sending out e-mailers, engaging your audience on social media and looking at partnerships for outreach are all important to make the campaign successful. The best way to overcome this is to plan – start getting together lists of your potential contributors and reaching out to them much before the campaign. Have your social media and partnerships in place so that you can keep the momentum going for the entire duration and most importantly, engage – the contributors not only give money to the product but also to you. It’s important to be approachable and build a relationship with them in order to gain their trust.

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  • Tell us more about what you do.

    I co-founded BitGiving.com in 2013 – a Social Crowd-funding platform which focuses on fundraising online for Individuals and Organisations. Starting off in a market like India, where the concept and industry around crowd-funding are still in its nascent stages, we decided to put a lot of focus on empowering campaigns through a platform which is technically evolved.

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  • Tell us more about what you do.

    I co-founded BitGiving.com in 2013 – a Social Crowd-funding platform which focuses on fundraising online for Individuals and Organisations. Starting off in a market like India, where the concept and industry around crowd-funding are still in its nascent stages, we decided to put a lot of focus on empowering campaigns through a platform which is technically evolved. In just 6 months, we seem to have created a lot of interest in the market, particularly in the social sector and have curated campaigns from all over the country. It’s been brilliant as a proof of concept for us and now my focus is on making the ecosystem stronger by capacity building sessions with organisations& individuals interested in crowdfunding and getting partners on board to help the campaigners manage a better outreach.

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  • What message do you want to give to all SHEROES out there?

    Believe in what you stand for and take the leap. Everything else figures itself.

    View Source:

  • What tips would you give to someone running a crowd-funding campaign?

    First and foremost – do your research. Understand how crowdfunding works, look at other projects and campaigns and reach out to campaigners or experts to understand the realities. Secondly, be realistic – both with your campaign funding goal and your campaign duration. Make budgets, access your networks/partners and plan your campaign accordingly. Thirdly, be persistent – a typical campaign will have it’s active and lull periods, know when to push harder and get the momentum back And lastly, have fun – let your audience know how passionate you are, it always helps.

    View Source:

  • What are the challenges start-ups and individuals face while running crowd-funding programs? How can they be overcome?

    There are two major challenges that any start-up, organization or individual faces while running a crowdfunding campaign in India: -First, Being Objective about their campaign. Most campaigners have a brilliant story and product, however like the concept of crowd-funding is fairly new and they do not understand how to position it. It’s important to understand your audience and build a strong narrative supported by video and interesting rewards. Most campaigners are currently struggling with where to start for this. The best way to overcome this challenge is to research – look at similar campaigns, both successful and unsuccessful campaigns and see what worked for them. And once you put your campaign together, take feedback from your friends and partners before going ahead with it. -The second challenge is that most of the campaigners believe that just putting up a campaign on a crowd-funding platform is enough. Like any other campaign, there is persistent outreach required for a crowd-funding campaign. Tapping into personal networks, sending out e-mailers, engaging your audience on social media and looking at partnerships for outreach are all important to make the campaign successful. The best way to overcome this is to plan – start getting together lists of your potential contributors and reaching out to them much before the campaign. Have your social media and partnerships in place so that you can keep the momentum going for the entire duration and most importantly, engage – the contributors not only give money to the product but also to you. It’s important to be approachable and build a relationship with them in order to gain their trust.

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  • What is your success mantra?

    There is no success mantra and there is no one way that you can define success - every time you hit a milestone, you have another waiting - that’s what being an entrepreneur is all about.

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  • Do you manage your finances on your own and do you feel that women should be financially independent?

    Yes, I do manage my finances on my own and am completely aware of all the financial aspects. One of the most important things for any woman is being financially independent - taking financial independence away is the first step in tipping the scale against gender equality. It is a prevalent problem not just here but across the world.

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  • What advice do you have for our young women entrepreneurs who have just started up?

    Firstly, the moment you are an entrepreneur just engenders yourself. Secondly, entrepreneurship is something you can never be prepared for. Disruption doesn’t come with a rule book and one needs to be calm and prepared for any situations which come your way. Lastly, choose your mentors and take inputs from everybody but the final decision needs to be yours. "You are the best judge to know what is good for your company."

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  • What are the obstacles that you faced in your journey?

    Back when I decided to start BitGiving; the concept of crowdfunding was unheard in India and to sensitize people to raise funds online and gain their trust in our new idea of fundraising was one of the major challenges we had as a business. Further, being an entrepreneur was also not as acceptable as it is now but I was lucky to have the support of my family and friends in my decision.

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  • What do you have to say about the competition in this particular segment and how 'BitGiving' is different from others?

    I think competition in any industry is a good sign. It means that the industry is growing and that there are more brains at work to solve the problem. A lot of us started around the same time and have been working hard to solve the problem in our own ways and now there are so many new entrepreneurs coming up in this particular sector and bringing in their own perspective. It keeps the excitement alive and the industry is only growing faster! One of the biggest differentiators of BitGiving is that it is a technology platform built by people who love building products. We were always a tech solution first company which is why we’ve seen people who have used the platform, wanting to keep coming back because they have seen the value of the technology and how seamless the fundraising process is. We spent a great deal of the last four and a half years building tech that is proprietary and helps first-time fundraisers raise money with ease.

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  • Tell us about your business of 'BitGiving'?

    I embarked on my entrepreneurial journey at the age of 22 and started out as the Design Head for the ‘DU Beat’, a student newsletter for Delhi University. Given that it was a small team which was behind the newsletter, I pretty much gained the experience one would have at a startup. That experience stayed with me. I met my co-founder, Fahad Moti Khan, and worked with his company Technology9Labs as a product head for a year. In 2013, we started exploring the idea of a crowdfunding platform. After 6 crazy months, we launched BitGiving. BitGiving was built out of the need of Not-For-Profits who in 2013, felt the need of a platform where they could build a community of donors and believers and raise funds for targeted projects - something that the new age philanthropists were more comfortable with. In the first few years, we saw the power of the platform that we had created. We did a very successful campaign for the Nepal earthquake and managed to build 2000 transitional houses for families in Nepal. There was a lot of urgency in that campaign and people on social media reacted accordingly. It was a transparent platform where the younger generation, in particular, knew where and how the money was being utilized and they loved contributing to the cause. Over the years, the BitGiving community has defined how they want to use the platform. We’ve had big campaigns like the one to save Friendicoes and smaller campaigns, fronted by an individual to make an impact in their own way.

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