Testimonials of our Impact
Arghyam partnered with Catalyst Management Services (CMS), who measured and evaluated the outcomes of the project. The survey has been designed quite elegantly; it’s a neat, tight set of questions focusing on usage. I was impressed with the way in which the FIs, young girls, were able to strike a rapport almost immediately with the respondents. At times when people didn’t understand the question, they were good at explaining the question to the respondent without leading them towards the answer. It’s a difficult yet important job really, going from house to house in the hot sun, asking the same questions over and over again, but they did it cheerfully and enthusiastically.
- Radhika Viswanathan
We wanted to write to thank you for being such wonderful hosts during our short stay in Delhi, but more importantly for putting on such an excellent event today. The attendance alone was an incredible feat, and the active and passionate engagement of literally dozens of individuals learning about CEI for the first time was inspiring. Suparna and Vijay found the perfect balance of guiding conversation while leaving most of the talking for our participants to do -- this is a fantastic precedent to set as we build demand-driven networks.
- Molly Jamieson Eberhardt
It was a great learning experience for me where I learnt in a Good work environment. The organization made sure we were comfortable and well cared for in terms of our stay, which made working easier. The flexibility of working from home is a great concept which the organization is having. The best part of our internship was our Reporting Officer who helped me understand the work, plan it properly and we worked well as sounding boards to bounce of ideas which gave us a lot of clarity when it came to the processes and analyses part of the project.
- Isha Dash
The multi-staged recruitment process was extensive in the sense that it gave CMS a good understanding of how I could contribute to their endeavors and fit in the organizational structure. As a potential employee, it also gave me a good overview of how methodical CMS is in going about its job and the rigor I would be expected off at work. The three interviews that I had seemed to focus on particular aspects of me as an individual and a professional which in effect allowed me to look back at myself and reflect on my strengths and weaknesses.
- Lucien Chan
Originally envisioned as a research, consulting and capacity building firm for providing high quality management services to diverse organisations, CMS primarily engaged in market research, feasibility studies, and training in both business and social sectors. However, it became quickly evident to the founding members that to have significant impact, in addition to services, two other streams of work are critical:
- Have an own lab to test theories (to practice)
- Invest in range of individuals (leaders) and organisations in transforming them
To tend to the first one, Catalyst Development Initiatives (CDI) a not-for-profit society that serves as an incubation vehicle for development ideas, was established in 2002. Ideas, capital (in terms of time and money) and incubation services were led by CMS through its three nominated Directors in CDI, which eventually incubated three key organisations – Bangalore Juvenile Diabetic Support Group Society, Swasti Health Catalyst, Vrutti Livelihood Resource Centre and Fuzhio Health and Business Services Pvt. Limited. Further incubations did not need a platform, so Vrutti once incubated, found a home in CDI (with a name change).
For investing in people, ideas, organisations, CMS used the revenues from services to cross subsidise its efforts. This part of the work has been largely pro-bono. These relationships provided CMS an opportunity to focus on results, in areas of mutual interest, while providing a significant learning experience for the staff.
All three – solutions, own incubation and investments were providing core learning (which improves the depth of knowledge of the sectors) while feeding into each other in terms of work. This also helped diversify CMS in a range of sectors – starting initially in livelihoods and health to Disaster Risk Reduction, Migration, Governance, WASH, climate change among others.
CMS was set up as a Private Limited Company. Its objective remains charitable and its actions aligned with its objectives. Over time, CMS has evolved both in terms of internal structures as well as kinds of areas of work.