Sinchan Banerjee, Alumni
2012 SM, Computer Science and Engineering
“About 35% of the world's illiterate people live in India. These people make a huge contribution to the Indian economy through their involvement in microenterprises and informal economies.”
Informal economies run by illiterate citizens in India are a massive economic force - trash bag recycling alone represents a few hundred million dollars in value. But these ad-hoc entrepreneurs cannot take advantage of today’s expensive and text-heavy solutions for connecting service providers with customers. Sinchan’s project aims to create a simple toll-free number through which entrepreneurs can advertise their services and customers can receive up-to-date audio feeds relevant to their needs. Using cellular audio as the middleman and mobile money technologies as the revenue collector will empower illiterate people in urban and rural regions to connect with more customers and expand their economic reach.
Sinchan received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from MIT and, though work with Google and Microsoft, gained experience in both integrating advertising solutions within technology and designing user interfaces for extremely large and diverse audiences. Sinchan also gained experience on the needs of Indian microenterprises through his nonprofit Diya International, an organization dedicated to the development of low-cost, human-computer interaction solutions for people with physical disabilities. He learned much about the application of technology in developing communities while building the MIT Chapter of Engineers Without Borders and during his Development Economics and Anthropology courses at MIT. Sinchan is currently pursuing his Masters in Engineering at the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at MIT.