Staff Reporters
Jun 14, 2012

Case Study: How VML Qais and Mahindra 'Sparked the rise' in India

MUMBAI - Digital agency VML Qais worked with Indian conglomerate Mahindra to inspire innovation and entrepreneurship in the country with a competition entitled 'Spark the rise'.

The initiative acted as a platform for positive idea sharing
The initiative acted as a platform for positive idea sharing

The world’s seventh largest country by geographical area, the second most populous country and the world’s largest democracy, India is experiencing phenomenal economic growth. But it still faces numerous challenges including infrastructure, educational and social needs, as well as agricultural and rural development. India’s people are also renowned for their enterprising attitude, which, coupled with funding and resources, can effect significant change. Mahindra wanted to inspire the people of India to make things better. 

As part of the new brand positioning of Mahindra called ‘Rise’, created by New York-based agency StrawberryFrog, the aim was to enable innovators from all over India to take action and start projects that challenge conventional thinking by using a network of like-minded individuals to drive positive change in India. The aim was also to achieve significant reach, then deepen engagement and ultimately activation.

Launched in August 2011, the SparkTheRise website created by VML Qais made a call to action for people to share their ideas, seek help, and win grants and vote for their favourite projects. The platform sought suggestions in five categories, namely technology, infrastructure and transportation, energy, agriculture and rural development, and social entrepreneurship. Project ideas were submitted, voted upon, and the most popular and viable came to fruition. The campaign was further supported by work from agencies StrawberryFrog, BlogWorks, Hungama and Interactive Avenues.
Some 1,960 projects started in the first week, equating to 11.7 ideas per hour. In total, 6,000 ideas where submitted in season one. Key to the campaign’s success was Mahindra’s credibility as the company behind the initiative. Having achieved reach of over 87 million people, over two million people actively engaged with the initiative on the website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and project champions reached a further 1 million people on their networks to garner support. Around 32,000 people supported projects by volunteering, offering expert advice, donating equipment or offering to be funders. At the close of season one, 1,471 projects had been approved, there were 311,817 users and 354,817 votes were cast on the website and via SMS.


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