Why I Founded Maanch

AvatarDarshita Gillies
February 14, 2019

Throughout my career I have had the privilege of working closely with the United Nations and Intergovernmental Organisations, Religious Institutions, Governments, MNCs, Not-For-Profits and family offices. Through all these experiences, one thing has become very clear to me: Planetary crisis is not the real challenge; how we bring 7 billion people together to solve the crisis is our challenge. And my answer to this is Maanch.

1 : 1 : 100

I was born in Mumbai into the lowest social class, and my life journey is an embodiment of the transition “from the bottom 1%, to the top 1%, for the whole 100%”. My formative years were influenced by the poverty my family and community lived in, relying on the humanity of the intricate web of India’s social system to feed our family and support my education. A key turning point was attending a Catholic Convent School where I received a solid education and learnt English, leading me to train and qualify as a Chartered Accountant. I remember very clearly the night before my final exam studying by candlelight after our electricity had been disconnected, and my determination at this point in my life to create a better future for myself and my family.  

This determination has seen me through a diverse career, working for Standard Chartered in Asia; training as a professional life and leadership coach and facilitator, coaching over 500 business leaders globally; and discovering my passion for ‘emerging technologies’ in one of the first cohorts of Saïd Business School’s Diplomas in Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies. The phenomenal minds I have met along this journey, and the inspirational leaders who are driving the agenda for global sustainable development, led me to start questioning “What is it that I really want to do? What is my life’s purpose?”.

Technology as a force for good

With this experience in finance, strategy, leadership and personal development, for me, technology was the missing link to enable big scale change. Using the knowledge I gained on blockchain at Saïd, I started to consider what would be possible if we could leverage technology to track finance, measure sustainability, and the impact finance has on the sustainability of a community or a system, on one platform as a tool to measure change.

From my own experience sitting on the boards of not-for-profits, I knew this platform would have to meet the needs of Charities and NGOs, enabling easy access to long-term funding and decreasing fundraising overheads. I also knew that Funders want an intuitive online experience that enables high-impact, strategic giving with very clear long-term impact projections and reporting which are accessible and not created at huge expense to the charity. And lastly, a universal framework that could allow projects from different sectors and geographies to be objectively measured, from a Receiver standpoint to understand their wider global impact, and from a Funder standpoint to quickly understand which project most aligned with their personal values and motivations for giving.

Maanch – a Platform and Community for Global Changemakers

Maanch is the manifestation of these ideas, beliefs and my personal aim of creating a fairer future for all.

Using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets and indicators, our technology computes each project information to clearly show its impact on the SDGs and Five Pillars. It is a tool for collaboration for global changemakers, from individuals in remote villages in India or Africa, to global leaders on a national or supranational level. My ambition is that we can leverage this technology to accelerate global sustainable development through influencing the flow of funds by providing data and insights on impact.

I am incredibly proud of the work that my team and I have put into creating Maanch and the offering we are bringing to the market. We are at the beginning of a long and promising journey, working collectively with a global community to achieve the SDGs and realise the 2030 Agenda.

Onboarding with Maanch

Please get in touch to learn more about Maanch, discuss collaboration or to start on-boarding on the platform here .

Other Blog


The Plastic Pollution Crisis

It was International Plastic Bag Free Day on 3rd July and we’ve taken this opportunity […]

Read More July 9, 2019

What are the top philanthropy trends in 2019?

We take a look at emerging trends in how philanthropy is evolving and the macro and micro effects of critical social and environmental challenges we are facing at a planetary level.

Read More June 10, 2019

Our Year 1 Journey: Highlights and Learnings

Maanch turned one in April and as a team we took this opportunity to reflect on some of the milestones we have achieved as a business over the last year.

Read More June 6, 2019