Nitin Rao

The Spark Group: Igniting Possibilities

The Spark GroupI came across, by chance, what promises to be a very interesting venture.

A group of Indian youngsters are launching a social venture called The Spark Group. They have been educated at Ivy League universities such as MIT Sloan and Yale. Ayan Sarkar and Priya Naik – two of the founders – have worked with Nobel Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus in Dhaka.The Spark Group is an idea incubator working at the grassroots level in India. Using insights from academic research, the Spark Group develops promising ideas into commercially viable business ventures that deliver valuable services to poor communities. The Spark Group is funded, in part, by the IFMR Trust and is supported by The Boston Pledge.

The projects include Spark Accreditation – in which for a fee, any school can receive a letter-grade evaluation of its quality. Another project is Spark Guru – a teacher assessment service where trained teachers would be sent to identified schools and enhance the learning capabilities of children. Also in the pipeline are initiatives in the space of technology solutions for microfinance and education investment.

The venture is just starting off. In the meanwhile, the team in the process of studying success stories from India. The Spark Group Blog is an interesting capsule of their progress and of education in different parts of India.

Given an impressive team of management and advisors, one hopes that a new breed of organisations like The Spark Group can finally bring sustainable solutions to issues like quality education in India.