Author - Karan Bhatia

About Karan Bhatia

He believes in the power of the pen. We imagine him in Captain Jack Sparrow-styled garb, wielding his mighty pen and leading his crew through stormy seas and amazing adventures.

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Here are my most recent posts

How social networking helps in crowdfunding

They call it social media culture, and, if you are thinking to join the crowdfunding community, you sure need to get acquainted with the social media culture and its inter-relation with online crowdfunding. The latter has been a part of our life, knowingly or unknowingly: one of the major reasons being its presence in the social networking space, including – Facebook, Twitter, Google, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, and many others – to fuel a campaign and reach out fast and far among the masses.

Did you know that there are approximately 243 million Indian internet users who connect like an extended family through social media? Today, as crowdfunding india gains momentum in the market – so much so that in 2014 crowdfunding raised $16.2 billion globally, and is all set to make it $34.4 billion in 2015 (according to 2015CF – Crowdfunding Industry Report) – arguably, the most important point to be made has to do with approval and buzz created from potential donors on social media platforms. It’s always better to choose the right platform and use them to the best of their potential. You ask how? We give you the answer:

Facebook – Promote your campaign page by sharing the url, photos, videos, and timely updates about the campaign on Facebook. Keep announcing the project/campaign status and thank your followers. This in turn helps you to get more likes, shares. Do not forget to promote the rewards. Facebook is the most browsed social site with a large base of 100 million users. You just need to use it wisely.

Twitter – Facebook should be linked with your Twitter account so that an update on Facebook gets automatically tweeted. A short and crisp message or news feed can make a big difference. India has 33 Million users. Tweets should be added as the campaign proceeds and you can always retweet your followers with a reward link. Pretty cool, eh?!

LinkedIn – Mostly used by professionals , LinkedIn has 26 million users. It is a great platform to market a campaign to raise funds. When you know your target community, it becomes even easier to choose the right social networking platform. Now, all you need to do is respond quickly and interact with every member who is linked with you through LinkedIn.

Google+ – Heard about Google ads? That’s right; Google+ helps you to build communities through Google ads, videos, and blog posts. They now have a new feature called +Post Ads where you can advertise through Google Display Network. India has second most users of Google+ after US and thus reaches a larger audience with its numerous sources and gives your campaign ample exposure.

Blogs – The real story behind a campaign needs a tad more explanation and emotion. Blogs tell a story but there are a few things that you need to keep in mind while writing them. More than 10 million Indians use blog as a medium to convey a message. The right thing is to get the purpose of the campaign clearly backed by social proof. Connect with your readers through words at an emotional level.

Tip to remember: Do stay in touch with them: one thing Ketto always tries to maintain. Every person associated with Ketto is one of us. As we say, “We believe in the power of you.”

So, the next time you start a campaign, better follow the social networking regime diligently. After all, it is an insanely simple yet effective way for improving your funder base. It is sure to find you a very large audience indeed.

5 Reasons why you must start a Crowdfunding Campaign for an entrepreneurial venture

Dreaming doesn’t cost a penny. True. But, to bring those dreams to life, you need capital.

Usually we have an idea, a product, or a service to provide to the masses, but no capital to bring them to life. I suggest, before the idea rots, try your hands on crowdfunding on India’s biggest crowdfunding platform – Ketto. It helps entrepreneurs understand how to prepare and present their proposals in a manner that attract their target audience and angel investors.

21st century advances have made life a lot easier. It’s time you fire up the enthusiasm within, and raise funds for your own venture online on our crowdfunding platform. Apart from simply raising funds for your venture, crowdfunding online has a lot more to offer in exchange.

Here are five reasons that make crowdsourcing advantageous:

For entrepreneurs:

1. Feedback before launch

Along with raising funds, Ketto gives you a chance to test your product, so that even if your offering falls flat on face in the online space, you will be able to fix the problem areas before launching it in the market. On the other hand, if your product gains attention, you know you’re on the right track! A pretty safe attempt, right?

2. Upfront cash to bootstrap your business

Paucity of capital draws entrepreneurs to alternative funding methods, out of which crowdfunding proves to be the most effective one. Fundraising for a start-up can exponentially increase productivity by providing upfront cash to bootstrap a start-up business.

3. An already-established customer base before launch

If you are in the testing phase of your venture, a reward-based crowdfunding campaign – where you give away your product as a reward to the backers – can create a customer base for your product before it is out in market.

For customers:

4. Experience the exclusive service/product unavailable in the market

A backer gets a first-hand experience of using an exclusive product/service they would love to use, even before it’s launched in the market, making it even cooler for the customer! They get perks in forms of rewards and experiences in exchange of money.

5. Early bird prices

In the initial phase of testing a product or service, a backer can bag spiffy gadgets and exclusive offers at a reduced price. Once it’s available to the market after a successful crowdfunding campaign, its price is sure to skyrocket! Isn’t it better to grab them before?

Choose success as a choice

Whether you have a fledging business or a start-up facing significant challenges in accessing capital from traditional sources, fundraising can be your saviour.

Ketto empowers you with the power to be successful. Start an entrepreneurial fundraising campaign on our website and take your venture to new heights. Because… Success is never an accident. It’s a choice.

Why the 21st Century is Ideal for NGOs

Non-profits of the 21st century are pretty lucky to have social media tools to help them raise funds. Gone are the days when fundraising was a laborious, expensive task that required marketing agencies and fat advertising budgets. Things are easier, cheaper and more do-it-yourself now. It takes less manpower, less time and significantly less money to raise funds today. And it’s all thanks to social crowdfunding websites.

How does it work? Simple. All that’s required is an online crowdfunding platform to put up information about your campaign and the tools of social media to raise more awareness about it. Going online to fundraise may be a dubious concept for some NGOs but what everyone needs to know is that crowdfunding is an effective method to raise funds and awareness. Sure, it figures at 10% of overall funds raised when compared to offline fundraising’s hefty 90%. But the fact is that crowdfunding is a fairly new phenomenon that is growing exponentially.

Using 21st-century tool scan greatly aids fundraisers in several ways:

  • The cost of fundraising is greatly reduced
  • More funds reach where they rightly should – the underprivileged
  • An organisation’s supporter base multiplies
  • This also translates to raising more awareness about the cause and the non-profit

How does the supporter-base increase? Simple. Each campaigner is advised to not only reach out to their own network via social media but is urged to ask their network to spread the word as well. This means that, firstly, if a campaigner posts about their campaign on Facebook, asking them to spread the word further, a large number of his Facebook friends will read and learn about it. Some will help spread the word, which leads to a chain reaction with each person spreading the word to their own network.

In fact, organizations are advised to have a strong online presence to help their fundraising efforts. They must have:

  • A website that is mobile-friendly
  • Tools that allow for online contributions
  • Send out periodic e-newsletters
  • Have a Facebook page

Add to these the tool of social crowdfunding online and you just cannot lose! At Ketto, organisations are not only encourages to start their own campaigns, but are advised to urge their supporters to start campaigns for their non- profit as well. So what’s the process? The form on our website needs to be filled and submitted and the word needs to be spread via social media. We send guidelines and marketing tips at every stage via email that if followed, almost guarantee a successful campaign!

How? Well, we are the ideal online crowdfunding platform in India for NGOs!ngos

Why NGOs Need Online Fundraising

NGOs need online fundraising

Online fundraising is the new kid on the block but is already proving to be a winning choice for NGOs.

In a country like ours, it is commendable that we have approximately 32 lakh non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working towards the betterment of the nation. This means that there are a significant number of Indian citizens who were spurred enough by our nation’s social and political issues to form an association that works doggedly towards resolving them.

It is unsurprising that a majority of these NGOs – approximately 59% – are located in rural areas, working towards providing the very basic fundamentals necessary for life (running water, electricity, sanitation etc.). Of course, these are not the only issues rural NGOs deal with. Issues related to women, children, education, health, the disabled, elderly, housing etc. are also focused on.

According to a survey conducted in 2012, 41% of NGOs in India work in social services towards children, women, the disabled, the elderly and others, 19% work in education and research, 5% in development and housing, 2% in health, 1% in the field of environment protection and so on.

Of course, one NGO may have more than one area of focus. Such as Smile Foundation, an NGO that works for education, healthcare and livelihood preparedness for women and children. Or the NGO Care India, whose area of focus is disaster preparedness and relief in addition to and in relation with issues faced by women and children.

Even with the effort our NGOs put into raising awareness and funds for several causes, it is an unfortunate truth that they are only able to raise Rs 41.5 crores, of which a sizeable portion gets whittled away in salaries, rent and various other operational expenses. Nearly 54% of the total funds raised are sourced from grants, while a mere 16.4% comes from donations.

To raise a significantly higher amount of funds, the traditional method of offline fundraising needs to be supplemented with online fundraising. The internet is a powerful beast and can be tamed to suit our requirements.

In fact, the most fundamental advice given to NGOs is related to creating a strong online presence. Smaller NGOs are often advised to follow the basic tenets of success – to ensure that their website is mobile-optimised, that they begin sending out periodic e-newsletters, that they begin to accept donations online, that they create a Facebook page for their NGO and that they observe the online fundraising methods and social media campaigns of larger, established NGOs.

This is because online fundraising may be young, but it is growing exponentially each year. Yes, offline fundraising does provide a substantial 90% to online fundraising’s 10%. But the latter has grown leaps and bounds in its few years of existence and continues to do so.

The online realm offers some distinct advantages over the traditional offline methods of fundraising. Online fundraising gives NGOs the promise of longevity in terms of donors. It makes sourcing newer donors and sustaining their support easier for NGOs.

With the 2012 Bain study showing that the younger demographic (under 30) has a strong inclination to give back to their community and tends to make a large first donation online, with a sustained habit of giving, online fundraising is the cool kid on the block that’s quickly beginning to rule the fundraising roost. It is a fact that online donors give more and continue to give over a longer period of time as compared to offline donors. Our advice to NGOs large and small – if you haven’t dug into the online fundraising pie yet, help yourself today! You are guaranteed some sweet, sweet fundraising dessert.

Be Safe, Not Sorry (World AIDS Day)

World Aids Day December 1 ribbon

It’s myth-busting time for a very important cause. December 1st is World AIDS Day and we couldn’t let it pass by without showing our support. Although there are Hollywood films like the ’90s Philadelphia and last year’s Dallas Buyers Club that use the medium of film (and a glittering star cast) to portray the challenges faced by the HIV/AIDS community, there are still a lot of basic misconceptions that exist. Let’s bust ’em for good.

Myth Busters

–          You don’t ‘get’ AIDS. This is not just us playing with semantics. What we mean is you get HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) which refers to the early stages of the disease. HIV develops over time into what we call AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

–          What happens is that HIV batters the immune system over the years and leaves it too weak to fight off common germs. This later stage is AIDS which is fatal.

–          HIV/AIDS cannot be passed on simply by being near an infected person.

–          You cannot get it by sharing food, sharing the same cup/spoon or other utensils, using the same clothes, bed sheets or even toilet seat as an HIV/AIDS-infected person. So go ahead and be sociable with an HIV patient. It doesn’t hurt to be friendly!

–          Saliva can carry the virus, but it’s NOT a significant amount that would infect you. So it’s okay to hug and kiss an HIV Positive person.

–          The virus enters through the blood stream, through bodily fluids.

–          Mosquito bites cannot pass on the virus, no matter how many times they bite you. (Although, if they keep biting you, we suggest you get some insect repellant!) Blood sucking insects suck blood; they don’t inject it into people. And besides, even if the insect were to have bitten an HIV positive person and bitten you after, the virus would not be able to live long enough in the insect to transmit the virus from its body to yours anyway. Booyah to that myth too!

–          If you have HIV, you will not immediately look or feel like Tom Hanks was portrayed  in the last scenes of the film Philadelphia. You may not see symptoms of HIV for years together. Or you might get a recurrent cough or other smaller symptoms and not much more. If you’re concerned or doubtful, get checked. Better safe than sorry.

–          If you find out you have HIV, know that we have better antiretroviral drugs to help improve quality of life as you deal with the disease. There is no cure, but there is better treatment.

–          If you and your partner have HIV, it doesn’t mean condoms are of no use now. There are different strains of the virus and you need to protect yourself from getting re-infected with another one. Practice safe sex. No. Matter. What.

–          Drug treatment does not nullify the effect of the virus. So if you think you don’t need to use a condom because you’re on the antiretroviral drugs, you’re wrong. You still need a condom during sex.

–          The virus can also be transmitted through oral sex if one of you has any open wounds, abrasions, cuts, or even a sore, inflamed throat.

And so it doesn’t get lost in the series of misconceptions we still have about HIV and AIDS, here is a little reminder to ourselves to be kind rather than discriminatory and judgemental of those with HIV/AIDS.

In conclusion, practice safe sex (oral, vaginal or anal), don’t share needles, and be kind!

Want to raise awareness and funds for this cause? Get started here!

Don’t Worry, Be Happy (Stress Awareness Day)

Cute image for Stress Awareness Day post

Stress is an unfortunate component of urban life. Since Stress Awareness Day happenned this month, here’s some dope on stress and how to beat it

“Off with his head!”  – Queen of Hearts, Alice in Wonderland

Don’t you wish you could ‘behead’ the stresses and irritations in your life once and for all, just like the Queen of Hearts did? Pity we don’t live in Wonderland where the most wondrous things happen. Most of our daily routine consists of humdrum responsibilities related to work and family and the stress that seems a natural byproduct of it.

Let’s Talk About Stress

“For me, the daily stresses build up and have a snowball effect. Once the stresses have rolled into a massive ball, it begins to crush me and I’m flailing to be rescued,” shares Misba Huriwala, a 26-year-old finance manager. What little stresses is she referring to? “I’m rushing to get to work on time, and then there’s traffic, and there’s no parking which makes me even later, and when I finally get to work, I get an earful from my employer, and there’s work piled up and impossible deadlines to meet and upset clients who have to be dealt with, and leaving late from work and missing friends’ birthdays which gets them angry with me… It’s just so stressful and exhausting!” she exclaims breathlessly.

So maybe stay-at-home parents have it easier, right? Wrong.  “I’m a homemaker and mother of two seven-year-olds,” shares Karina Patel. “My routine is hectic. My day begins at six a.m. and ends around midnight. I prepare meals and getting the kids ready for school. I drop and pick them up, I keep the house clean and organized. I supervise homework and help the kids with their projects, I chauffer them to and from any after-school classes or parties they might have, I handle tantrums, I handle grocery shopping, I worry about whether I’m being a good parent, whether I’m teaching the kids the right values, about their future, about finances…. I’m constantly on the brink. Add an illness or health scare, a bad injury or complaint from school about bad behavior, or a fight with my husband, or the kids being mischievous…or even just me having a bad day… and I’m having a nervous breakdown.”

Stress Awareness Day

This is precisely why there is such a need to create awareness about stress, its effects on our health, and coping methods to help deal with stress. This is why every first Wednesday of November is Stress Awareness Day. This is why April is relegated Stress Awareness Month. There’s a lot of stresses in our daily lives and we need to be more aware of the causes and effects.

The Inside Story

Stress affects us internally and quietly. It’s a dangerous fella, it is! Biologically, it creates havoc in our system. The nervous system goes hyperactive to help us cope with the stressor, pumping adrenaline and cortisol, which are only good in small doses. Beyond that, stress is just a mean old fella, causing damage in its wake – both physiological and psychological.

The pulse quickens, the heart works harder, breath is rapid, the muscles get tense. Our body basically prepares to either fight the stressor or flee from it. This is good, because it keeps us alert and able to rescue ourselves from the nasty bugger. But when the body is in stress mode often, it begins to take its toll on us.

The After Story

What can you expect from chronic stress? Well, firstly, your body isn’t going to distinguish between emotional and physical stress, or between a major and minor stressor. Any stress is stressful for our system. Whether we’re upset about an argument with a friend or whether we’re being held at gun point (shudder!), our body reacts the same.

If there are a lot of worries and responsibilities to handle, our bodies may be in constant stress mode. And the more we stress, the more difficult it is to snap out of it. vicious bugger, isn’t it?

What to Expect When You’re Expecting (Stress, That Is)

Expect to fight off a gamut of health issues. Stress makes us more susceptible to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and infertility. Stress damages every part of our system. It can cause digestive disorders like diarrhea and constipation, sleep disorders – sleeping too much or too little, weight issues – overeating or loss of appetite, and depression. It even speeds up the ageing process.

The De-stress Express

Engineering student Shreyas Devarajan eases tension by listening to music or watching a sitcom. “It gives me a breather from the huge volume of books I need to plough through,” he shares.

“I meditate or do like Garfield does and just sleep,” grins graphic designer Eshaya Mehta.

Here is what psychologists recommend to handle stress:

  • Avoid. Yup, that’s the first rule in the de-stress handbook. If a situation stresses you out, avoid it. If a person stresses you out, avoid them too! Like the plague! Run for your life, my friend, run! Indulge in things that you enjoy instead!
  • Change. If you can’t avoid the stressor, change it. If the stressor is not within your control to change, change yourself. That is, change your thought process about the stressor and focus on the positives. Start to focus on things that calm you. Remember ‘My Favourite Things’, the song from The Sound of Music? Go with it.
  • Accept. If it’s something that can’t be changed, you will just have to bite down and accept it. If a fractured foot means you will miss out on work for a few days, so be it. It won’t be the end of the world – for you or for your company.

So relax, take a deep breath and focus on things that help you rather than cause harm. Start a campaign, for instance! Doing good for others is rewarding for you too. Don’t believe it? Check this out.

Start a campaign for a good cause or support one!


A Salute to Activists (Satyameva Jayate episode on road accidents, incident of errant cop suing young biker)

Satyameva Jayate

In remembrance of Mahatma Gandhi in his birth month, this blog post highlights the social awareness and activism that continues through to today. The seeds of change that were planted years ago continue to grow and bear fruit. And, we hope, always will!

Just as the father of the nation strove for a better future for our country, we have several individuals today who strive to bring about positive change in the world.

There are television shows like Satyameva Jayate (hosted by the amazing actor-activist Aamir Khan) that aims to spread awareness, wake the social conscience and spur people into positive action. Each eye-opening episode of Satyameva Jayate is followed by a call-to-action, allowing citizens to give to a social cause and be proactively involved in change.

A recent episode, for instance, dealt with road accidents – why they occur with such alarming frequency in India, what our government is accountable for with regard to road safety, and what citizens can do to help ensure their own safety.

Episodes of the show are archived on the Satyameva Jayate website and can be accessed at any time. There are some informative videos in addition to these, including one that demonstrates the procedure for CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), something that can come in handy should you ever witness a road accident and be in a position to help. Check it out! 

There were some handy tips shared, so in support of road safety for all, we are reproducing them here. Let’s all follow these simple, fundamental rules of road safety:

–          Don’t speed

–          Follow traffic signals

–          Don’t take extra passengers onto your bike

–          Wear your helmet – as the rider or passenger

–          Don’t drink and drive

–          Wear your seatbelt – as driver or passenger

–          Don’t use your mobile phone while driving

–          If you see someone injured, help them

Aamir Khan is using his fame to do good, to bring awareness and positive change. Kudos to his noble efforts! Another individual we salute is good Samaritan Arjun Ghai, an NRI who decided to do something when he came across a camera-phone video of a traffic policeman misusing his authority while confronting a young bike-rider. The incident occurred on September 15th, 2014 in Mumbai’s Vasai area. To sum it up, a young biker was flagged down by the errant cop for allegedly breaking traffic rules. On the young man’s refusal to pay the cop, the dialogue began to get heated, with the cop beginning to lose his temper with the young man. At this point, a bystander, Ramsagar Mishra, begins to record the incident on his camera phone. More information can be had at, including a radio interview detailing the entire incident.

Arjun Ghai was so disturbed by what he saw, heard and read, that being a passive bystander was out of the question for him. He contacted Ketto with the aim of starting a campaign to raise funds for legal fees for the young biker as well as Ramsagar Mishra, both of whom are facing legal action.

Since Ketto can only help raise funds for NGOs, running a campaign to raise funds for an individual was not a possibility. However, Ketto is about helping individuals be the change. So we are happy to shed light on the incident in question via this blog post.

If you would like to help raise funds for this quest for justice and help the young biker and Ramsagar, who was brave enough to involve himself in the ruckus, Arjun requests you to call Ramsagar directly on +91982029552. You can also contact Arjun Ghai at

There you have it. Though there are faults and fissures in our country and corruption festering in our legal system, there are enough socially-responsible citizens like Aamir Khan, Ramsagar Mishra and Arjun Ghai who are willing to fight it. We are, after all, a nation that was borne from a struggle for independence; a heartening fact in the month of Gandhi Jayanti.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

You can be a social activist too!

Start a campaign for a social cause today!