ABOUT US

Who are we?

Vision

Why do we do what we do?

OUR VISION

Every person is able to lead their life with dignity and pride while respecting others in the society.

All our efforts revolve around and indispensable guiding light i.e. our vision. It underlines our motive as a social enterprise and serves as the benchmark for assessing our approach. Our approach to meet the vision includes:

– To generate meaningful understanding of community

– To inspire their social inclusion

– To bring better services to lives of people

– To create income opportunities for the unskilled

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Our Story

We literally started on the streets!

Our Story

It was in 2007, that Irfan Alam with the objective of poverty alleviation of rickshaw pullers, started mobilising them and providing value added services such as water, new paper etc on the rickshaws. Advertising was placed on rickshaws for additional income for the rickshaw-pullers. The model soon became a phenomenon and started getting adopted across number of states in India. This was just a beginning, as the socio-economic empowerment of the rickshaw pullers was carried out through a number of initiatives ranging from financial inclusion to health services. The initiative was to systematize the working of Rickshaw and Cart pullers by bringing them under one roof and modernize the sector with small, innovative and meaningful changes helping the rickshaw and cart pullers to increase their earnings. We have not only facilitated the upward mobility of the lives of thousands of Rickshaw and cart Pullers but also pioneered the innovation in rickshaw design changes. Our efforts have brought about significant value additions to Govt. policies laid down for the unorganized working communities. Since then Sammaan has been working with marginalized sections of the society with thrust on sustainable livelihoods, community mobilization and participatory management. In 2010 we integrated health services in our corpus by launching Mobile Medical Unit with the support of State Health Society, Govt. of Bihar under NRHM. We diversified health services in 2013 by catering 38 districts and 06 Medical Colleges of Bihar through 44 Advance Life Support Ambulances and 50 Mortuary Vans.

Core Team

We are an enthusiastic bunch of people.

  • Irfan Alam
    Irfan AlamChairperson
    Irfan is an internationally acclaimed entrepreneur. A Fulbright, Ford and TED fellow, Irfan is CNBC Young Turk and CNN Young Indian Leader award winner. He has been widely covered by the Economist, Fortune etc. for entrepreneurship and social innovation at the BoP. Irfan, at present, serves as the Founder and Chairman of Sammaan Foundation, a non-profit Indian company, which organizes the rickshaw-pulling sector. His rickshaw/cart cooperative model has been widely acclaimed and adopted by several state governments in India. He also helped Sammaan to become one of the leading and most economical emergency ambulance service providers in the country. Sammaan also started first of its kind Mortuary Van service in partnership with Government of Bihar, which runs across the Bihar state through a 24 X 7 call center to carry dead bodies.
    Being a social entrepreneur Irfan has been globally recognized as expert on social entrepreneurship and turning corporate social responsibilities into lucrative socially relevant business opportunities. His journey of social entrepreneurship has recently been chosen as case by springer publication, New York for a book on social entrepreneurship and Kerala Government has introduced a chapter on Irfan’s life in 12th standard English text book. Irfan graduated from Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University in Master of Public Administration on Fulbright scholarship and he was also Edward S. Mason fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. Currently Irfan is member Advisory council, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. Irfan also served as the founding chair of CII Yi Patna chapter and Indo American Chamber of Commerce, Patna Chapter. He is also Chairing CII Bihar (ER) sub committee on “Startups & Innovation”. He has been mentoring number of students from IITs/IIMs and Ivy Leagues.
    • Saurabh Agarwal
      Saurabh AgarwalExecutive Director

      Saurabh is an entrepreneur and a management consultant with extensive experience in strategy formulation and government process re-engineering. He has worked on public policy consultancy with PwC and Deloitte. He has led complex projects involving multiple stakeholders in India, Saudi Arabia, Nepal and Vietnam. He has founded a social enterprise in past and been part of international start-up incubators including Harvard Innovation Lab and UnLtd. He has taken entrepreneurship and startup classes at Harvard University and MIT. He was also a recipient of Entrepreneurship Fellowship by Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has also worked extensively in program management for better government service delivery. He has also won prizes at several business plan competitions across the country including the ones organized by IIMs and IITs. He is an M.P.A from Harvard Kennedy School and an M.B.A. from IIT Kharagpur.

      Recognition

      Some humbling moments!

      Best NGO Award by ABP News & CSR Congress (2014)

      Sammaan Case presented at the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University (2014)

      Sammaan case included book titled “Social Marketing in India” by Sameer Deshpandey & Nancy Lee (2012)

      Winner World Bank Innovation Award (2007)

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