Roshni Rides

Roshni Rides is a transportation network solution that connects refugees with opportunities such as healthcare, education, and employment.

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Roshni Rides

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Start-Up (a pilot that has just started operating)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $10k - $50k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 100 - 250

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • Pakistan

Headquarters location: City

Orangi Town, Pakistan

Location(s) of impact

Pakistan: Orangi Town, Baldia Town, Lyari


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Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Roshni Rides is solving the issue of rural development. Without proper transportation infrastructure, access to key resources are extremely limited or unavailable. With Roshni Rides, we aim to connect our customers with healthcare, employment, and education. Investing in transportation creates immeasurable ripple effects that impact economic, social, and educational well being. With Roshni Rides we believe that literacy rates, employment rates, and doctors visits will all go up.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Roshni Rides is a transportation network solution that provides accessible, affordable and reliable public transportation for urbanized refugees that live in informal settlements. We are utilizing the existing infrastructure of rickshaws and drivers to create a formalized A to B shuttle service. By introducing ride sharing, we are able to drive down costs making a more affordable cost for our customers. Customers will purchase a preloaded Roshni card, similar to a metro card, to use our service. Our Roshni Cards will guarantee that refugees will pay a fixed price rather than having to face price fluctuations. Some of the most innovative and value adding aspects of our solution are the route optimization and mapping partners we use, and our schedule system based on demand, fleet size, and number of pick-up locations. This solution will help create a simple user experience while also setting up the infrastructure for major technological leaps in the future.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

Thus dar, we have run a 2-month pilot program in Orangi Town, Pakistan. In that time, we established 5 Roshni Resource stops. We hired 3 drivers, increasing their salaries by 27%. We serviced over 130 unique riders, decreasing their commuting cost by an average of 53%. On a social level, people can go to school, work, or the market for a lower price, resulting in more savings over time. Additionally, access to healthcare is now an accessible option, and those health effects are immeasurable. From an environmental point of view, we are contributing to decreasing traffic on the road. The more people use our service, the more carpooling happens. This means less emissions for the environment and less traffic on the road.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Roshni Rides is currently being supported via a grant that we received from the Hult Prize. As a social enterprise, our goal is to eventually be self sustaining and be able to operate with solely our revenues. As of now, we will be getting 70% of our annual budget from the grant, and 30% from revenue. In year 2, that number will drastically change, to 10% from grant and 90% from revenue. In year 3, it will become 5% from grant and 95% from revenue. By year 4, we project that we will be able to be self reliant and sustaining with our revenue. If more funding is required, we have a network of VC's that have already reached out to invest in us. Additionally, we launched a crowdfunding campaign for our pilot program and have proven we can raise capital quickly.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Our idea in innovative because we take some concepts from others, but tailoring it to impoverished communities in a very targeted manner. We are using aggregation at stops similar to buses, utilizing existing vehicles like Uber, and creating a secure payment system tailored to cash-heavy economies as most of there areas are. There are other transportation services in the area like Uber and Careem, but the way we differentiate ourselves is our target market and how we operate.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

Roshni Rides was founded by 4 Pakistani-Americans who were in the pursuit of winning seed money through the Hult Prize Competition. As 4 Supply Chain majors who attended the Rutgers Business School, the Roshni Rides team is interested giving back to our community. When we saw the Hult Prize challenge to help refugee and other impoverished communities, it spoke to us in a very personal way. As sons and daughters of immigrants, this cause hit home for us. We knew we had to compete and help make a difference in our communities back home and around the world.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

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One of our Roshni Drivers taking school kids on a safe and reliable ride

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Chris Vousvouras

Definitely an innovative initiative, however, I have a hard time to understand how you link the project to rural development? Looking very much forward to see this initiative grow!