Thursday, April 2, 2015

Special Day for SanJose Solutions

Today is a special day because on this day Lord Jesus set the perfect example of humility washing the feet of his disciples. Jesus also gave the mandate "Love one another as I have loved you". Here was a man, who at the consummation of a life which amazed his contemporaries, as reports the Gospel of Mark, gives perhaps his most important teaching and commandment. This is why today is called Maundy Thursday because of Jesus mandate to love one another. Born in a manger and having no place to lay his head, he showed the way of compassion,  mercy and love. Jesus said of his mission
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
and he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor,
proclaim freedom to the captives, 
and recovery of sight to the blind
Jesus clearly saw and identified himself with the poor both through his words and actions. It was last May end that I started SanJose Solutions with the aim of serving the Church and Society with quality technology solutions. It has been and continues to be an incredible journey with ups and downs, both of which have blessed and helped us. Through it all we have experienced the sure hand of Providence in a special way during these past months. Many of the things we have hoped and prayed for have become a reality and other things which we didn't plan or expect but have received in abundance more than we could imagine.

There is no doubt that we at SanJose Solutions draw great strength from Christ's life in our mission to serve the poor, working along with other Mifos partners, towards our dream of universal financial inclusion. Mother Teresa of Calcutta said "when I see the poor, I see in them the face of Christ". Jesus said whatsoever you do to the least of my people you do so to me. This is what makes our work for us more than any regular job. It becomes for a mission that is close to our hearts.

However, it is not enough to dream - we must also apply. I had attended a Social Entrepreneurship Course at Bala Vikasa in Warangal, Andhra Pradesh last year during which I also conducted a session on technology for Social Entrepreneurs. It was amazing discovering the power of Entrepreneurship. It is interesting how industry and social work can benefit from each other. The recent episode of NDTV Dialgues last Sunday featured an expert panel including Nobel Laureate Prof. Mohammad Yunus talking about Financial Inclusion for the Poor in India. It is heartening to see several positive thoughts about how we can enable the dreams of millions of people across the country through Microfinance and how business practices and knowledge can be utilized to carve a new economy where there is inclusive growth of all sections of society and the gap between the rich and poor can be reduced. Our vision is to build a sustainable Social Enterprise which can continue providing the services we have started out with to many more organizations and for a long time to come. Today we have seen organizations which have done this and we know we have the tools and the means to make this a reality.

Today is also a special day for me because it is my birthday. SanJose Solutions for me personally has been an amazing journey finding great satisfaction in fulfilling my dreams and my heart's desires. During last year's Social Entrepreneurship course I learned that the major source of India's GDP is Entrepreneurs. Prof. Yunus said during the programme that human beings are born to create, to invent. We have been looking at the corporate sector to provide jobs, but human beings can create their own jobs, we are born entrepreneurs. We at SanJose Solutions dream and don't stop at that. We build bridges between our present and our dreams, and we move forward towards realizing them and the dreams of others. For me especially the latter has been a strong motivator in my work and mission. My dream is to build wealth, but not really for myself but for many poor across the world. My dream is for many people of today to have sufficient to ease their suffering and provide for their old age. It is for children who have talent but lack education, facilities and opportunities can find a way to realize and enable the dreams of others too. My dream is to continue this virtuous cycle of making a difference through technology and transform my country, and the world.

I returned from the U.A.E last month after meeting members of the Mifos community from across the world. Over 80 people from more than 20 countries came together and it was my first summit in Sharjah, the confluence of East and West. We had a series of sessions on technical, financial, business and management topics and a lot of meetings and community interactions and not to mention fun as well. I was invited as a guest speaker to conduct a couple of technical sessions. The first was a session on Mifos X Messenger, an application to send automated SMS to a client even numbers on Indias notoriously hard to send Do-not-disturb lists. The second session was targeted at partners who need a quick was to demo Mifos X or setup a production instance of it on a linux server. The summit concluded with a hackathon which was the first time it was scheduled as part of a summit and I'd say it proved to be something a lot of technologists enjoyed and hope to see continue and increase in future summits.

It is with great faith and confidence that we look at the future seeing the promised land where the least fortunate have future and a hope. We believe that together we can shape a new world. In the midst of suffering and an unjust world, we believe in making the kingdom of God, a heaven on earth. Though this is not our final destination, we know we are here for a reason to do a work, a mission with the time that we have. We know that we are both human and also spiritual created by God Almighty and called to be holy. We offer to the Lord our gifts seeking his blessing, knowing that only through his grace and strength does everything good come. And we look forward to continuing to run this race and fight this good fight and leave no stone unturned in marching forward on our mission. And may the Lord Almighty bless us and see us to our journey's end.