Create Marketing & Operations Strategy

The NGO needed professional help in devising a marketing and operations strategy that will help them scale.
Zorawar Singh
Senior Manager Online Revenue - MakeMy Trip
Delhi, India

At MakeMyTrip, he is responsible for the profit and loss statement for the flight line. His job is to maximize revenue for the company by controlling spending while maintaining the market share. Taking care of daily operations and long-term strategy for the growth of the company is a part of his job. With a few ProEngage projects already under Zorawar’s belt, he was an experienced ProEngager. The cause this NGO was working toward, clubbed with his love for football, was what made him choose this particular project.

Chirag Lacca
Assistant Sales Manager - Taj Hotels
Mumbai, India

Working at the Taj Wellington Mews, Chirag is responsible for comprehensive sales activities and oversees account management operations, with an emphasis on sales volume and customer growth. His responsibilities also include leading soliciting new business, and implementing sales and related business strategies. Chirag has been a football player all his life and has even played professionally. He is an avid supporter of the sport and believes that there is immense potential in the country for the sport. He attributes a lot of his personality traits and leadership skills to the sport, and this was the best project for him to kick start his journey as a ProEngager.

Khelo Football Ecosystem Development Federation
Hitesh Joshi, Project Coordinator
Mumbai, India

KFEDF is a Not for Profit Trust aimed at uplifting the sport of football in India by providing a roadmap for the children of this generation to become Professional footballers with a chance to play in Europe. Its mission is to find young Indian football players and give them opportunities to play internationally. In India, however, there is a huge opportunity & knowledge divide currently regarding Football. Mere talent is not enough to pursue football as a career. Khelo Football Ecosystem Development Federation is striving to change that and become one of the largest fenders of Football Talent.


The Project

The organization began during the pandemic and has scaled across 17 cities in India. Despite already having a team of volunteers who are either freshers or just out of college on board, the NGO found that they needed someone with experience and maturity to understand the task at hand. 

“The requirement for the job was someone who could think along the same lines as us. We were looking to expand to other cities, but were still dominantly reliant on donations. We needed to find our own income stream that would make us more self-reliant and sustainable in the long run. An outsider’s perspective to form this strategy for us was what we believed our organization required. Hence, we posted this project”, Hitesh remarked when asked. 

The Journey

Before the initial call with the NGO, the volunteers met each other online to understand why they chose this project and get a feel of one another’s work process, Zorawar recalls. Both the volunteers then scheduled a meeting with the NGO to gain clarity on what the project entails along with the expectations of the NGO from them. This took 2- 3 calls to fully grasp what needed to get done and how to really go about the project.  

For Chirag, the appeal of the project was that it was a clean slate. They were able to bounce ideas off of each other and see them materialize in real-time. The interaction the NGO offered was with different stakeholders, from diverse backgrounds of experience. This made it much easier to understand the job at hand. “This was a good way to let off some steam because of how different this work was from my office work.” He commented. 

Everyone involved had full-time jobs, at senior positions in their companies, and this hustle was mostly taken care of during off-work hours. Yet, the volunteers recalled that if they ever needed to clarify or give input, the NGO was always accommodating because they understood this was new to them. 

Hitesh, the project manager, mentioned that the team had a scheduled meeting once a week, either on a Saturday or Sunday, to get a quick update on the progress made that week. Weekly tasks were assigned to the volunteers by him on these calls and if there was any necessity, they would even meet online after work hours. 

From the very first call, the group realized that they had a certain comfort level. This was a key factor moving forward as it facilitated a smooth communication channel. The communication wasn’t very formal and always took a friendly tone. No one on the team felt that this was their first collaboration. Even if one of the Volunteers couldn’t make it to the meetings, there was coordination among them to bring each other up to speed. A WhatsApp group was created to keep everyone informed of the progress being made. 

At the end of the project, we were able to create ideas and strategies that have successfully helped the organization grow. The NGO was also very patient with the volunteers and flexible with their timelines, which was much appreciated by them 

Challenges faced

During the initial stages of the project, there was a gap between the expectations of the NGO and what the volunteers were delivering. In addition, they were unable to meet for 2 weeks. And their work tended to be ignored. “Once we realized that they are volunteers who are giving us their valuable time. I called them and explained what we really needed. Creative tasks always require people to be on the same page, and it is easy to get lost when you are throwing darts in the dark. I also brought in a joint MD of a US-based analytical company as an advisor to guide the volunteers. I did this to also keep the volunteers motivated and help them learn, as they came in from different backgrounds and our project was new turf for them. This smoothened the process a lot.” - Hitesh Joshi

From the volunteer’s side, there were no persistent hiccups. They had a wholesome experience with the NGO. They were always able to fine-tune our suggestions to implement them in the best possible way, rather than just disregarding our work, which was highly motivating. Since it was two of them working on the same project, they were able to motivate each other and didn’t pressurize one of them to deliver. Their bond along with experience and enthusiasm helped them pick up from where the other left off.  

Thousands of NonProfits have benefited using our platform

When we can't hire people, everything needs to be done on our own. This was eliminated when we had people working on the backend. Looking at their 6-month progress, our bandwidth has increased. We have been able to reach out to 10 more cities. We were free of the tasks they were responsible for, and that freed up time for us to focus on the things that mattered. 

I would definitely use ProEngage again. We get people from various backgrounds. There are people with experience and not just freshers or college students. They can use their knowledge from the jobs they have been working on. This cuts down a lot of growth time, and it can lead to exponential success. This kind of Human resources for free is very hard to come by. 

“The best part of my experience was that things were constantly moving forward. Even if we were absent for a while, the NGO never stopped working toward the goal, and this was a much-needed push to stride on and not give up. This Field of work definitely requires tremendous amounts of patience, and I have learned to be more patient from this experience. I have already recommended this program to 2 of my friends and one of them has already signed up for a project. I have also signed for my next project too. This is a great platform to actually go out there, find a problem and work towards solving it rather than just complaining, while we have time.”. - Zorawar Singh

I was made aware of an entire sector that is not brought to the spotlight and how the sports domain, which isn’t mainstream, has been neglected. During my research, I found that there are over 30 lakh schools in India, out of which only 5% are Private schools. The disproportion of sports funding to talent is humongous. I felt very privileged for all that I have and realized how much of it can be taken for granted easily. I have become a better researcher. Furthermore, I also feel that everyone should volunteer since it’s not domain-specific. You can always choose a project that picks your interest and work towards helping people who really need it.”- Chirag Lacca