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Is there such a thing as 'NGO competition'?

- Praveen Chunduru

This is tricky. You can't quite openly say that another NGO that is reaching out to lower-income students is a 'competitor'. I mean, you can view it as that but you can't publicly say it. And competition in this space becomes an important consideration because the novelty goes away once you have multiple NGOs, and teachers/students/school principals, are less receptive to you. 
So how do we here at VFK view NGO competitors?
  1. The founding team started off with one thing very clear. If someone else comes along who can do what we want to do, better than we can, then we'll join them. That way, being a non-profit venture allows us to be very flexible. The end goal is enhanced levels of knowledge for students, not to have VFK present everywhere. 
  2. We look to partner. When a new Indian startup in this space came out with a mobile app that offered organized general awareness content from around the web, we saw a benefit in being present on that platform, encourage its spread, and even offered to introduce them to the schools we're in touch with.
  3. We know our edge. It's not the videos we make, but the relationships that we build. We've been working with one school in Mumbai for nearly 3 years now, and have strong personal connect with the students. Anything new we come up with, we first pilot it with a few Fellows to get a feel for the response, before modifying it and rolling it out to all the classrooms we have a reach in. The relationship that we have with the students and teachers serves as the base for most of our ideas and allows us to quickly run iterations to arrive at the right solution. 
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