I met Naveen in Upaya’s 2017 cohort and was impressed by his focused social impact business model. Coming from Hindi heart belt’s most revered city, Varanasi, Naveen is a true son of the soil. His deep understanding of manual cycle rickshaw drivers’ woes and his genuine efforts at improving their lives overwhelmed me. Through his venture SMV Wheels Pvt Ltd, he helps cycle rickshaw drivers transition to electric rickshaws thus not only impacting the environment but also generating sustainable livelihoods for them. In this process they gain ownership of their e-rickshaws.
For my project economyforall I interviewed Naveen on the sidelines of Upaya’s accelerator program. I shot this video in IIM, Bangalore. In this video, Naveen vividly describes the struggles of cycle rickshaw drivers and how he took unto himself to improve their plight by upgrading 300 drivers to electric rickshaw in last 9 months alone.