Dasra – First Days

It’s my third day of work at Dasra, and I thought I’d update everyone on what I’ve been up to!

On Day 1, Dasra picked me up from my apartment in Bandra and drove me to their office in Juhu. Their office is in a residential area, so the office is filled with the sounds of everyday life. There’s a team of 5-10 year old cricket champions which practices in the open area between a few buildings. Occasionally, a stray ball hits a window – nothing’s been broken yet though.

The office is modern and inviting. The walls are painted in the Dasra colors of orange and white and are decorated with large photographs of organizations in Dasra’s portfolio. Most of the people are quite young and come from diverse professional backgrounds, from business consulting at Deloitte to social policy research and teaching. It’s an energetic place to work. People work hard and are extremely professional, while at the same time being laid back and casual. I have my own awesome desk with a brand new computer.

Day 1 consisted mostly of meetings with the various teams that make up this company to get up to speed on what everyone is currently working on. There’s a wide range of work that can suit a wide range of skills. We talked about what I wanted to learn from my time here and what kind of work I should be given to make that happen. 

On Day 2, I actually started doing work. My first project was to research impact assessment systems in the social business and nonprofit sectors in preparation for building such a system for Dasra. It was really interesting work and very much in line with my academic background as an engineering major with wide coursework in statistics and data analysis. I’ll write a separate post about everything I’ve learned in that process. The summary is that there is an emerging standard set of metrics for reporting about organizations which work to solve social problems. These metrics will allow strategic philanthropists to better choose how to allocate their resources to solve social problems. It will also create a data collecting culture that will allow tracking of various things like organizational efficiency, financial health, and social impact over time. It’s exciting to be developing this system for Dasra because my work will affect the organization long after I leave. 

More updates soon. Check out my photos! 

By the way, my coworkers are already making fun of me for being from New Jersey. 

-Sudeep De

Dasra_officeMy_desk

One thought on “Dasra – First Days

  1. Great post Sudeep! But where are the photos of you and your coworkers?! Tell us a bit more about the metrics that you are using. How easy is it for an NGO to input measuring tools into their existing programs? What are some of the challenges they face? Can you talk a bit about how say an education organization would measure success? What types of things are difficult to measure quantitatively?

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About Sudeep De

UPenn class of 2012, graduated with a BSE in systems engineering, philosophy, and mathematics. Currently working as a business technology analyst in New York City. CASI summer 2011 intern with Dasra in Mumbai researching impact assessment frameworks and the implications of applying the IRIS impact assessment framework.