HEART 2 HEART

Mission : Possible

As October ushers the season of festivities, it also sets the tone for the `festival of philanthropy’ with Daan Utsav (Oct 2-8). Meet Brian Almeida, Co-founder, Points for People who just launched a cool idea to make the act of charity a lifestyle statement, says Ethel Da Costa

All acts of Charity begins with Self. Be good to yourself, to do good for others. A simple philosophy when put into action becomes a way of life, creating in turn more good in the world that you want to see.

With a Master’s degree in Marketing from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management, and an Advanced Management Program (AMP) – Leadership and Management from Harvard, Brian Almeida, Co-Founder, Points for People set out to do just that. A man on a mission who believes that Charity does begin at home, setting out to create the perfect, seamless, tool to encourage  a ripple effect of giving to others, even as you are giving to yourself. A personal relationship with the act of doing good. How cool!

Launching this initiative recently at The Good Force Master Class with author Amish Tripathi in Mumbai, here’s how you can do it too. Read on:

How did this idea come about? What was the defining moment/inspiration that led to the creation of `Points for People’

With over 25 years in the Loyalty and CRM business changing consumer behaviour, the thought of how I could use my experience and understanding of the Loyalty Industry to do something that will help build a better society for tomorrow. It got me going. Points for People was the manifestation of this process. As I bounced the idea with some really close friends who supported the idea, I got more and more confident that this was a sustainable idea that would be able to create an impactful change.

Who is the audience you are trying to reach out to and what is your appeal to them?

The audience for Points for People are members of programs who are high consuming individuals. The appeal is simple — while you are consuming, you can also donate. Whether you are a frequent flyer, frequent shopper, frequent guest, or are a member of credit card programs. Points for People hopes to tap into a vast pool of unutilized points that can be used for a worthy cause to improve the world we live in.

Your idea has the capability of creating a global phenomena. How do you plan to go about with this message of charity

Almost every loyalty program owner or program member I have spoken to are more than happy to be associated with this initiative. The intent is to make this a global platform for a better living. The partnership with Tata Trusts brings credibility as well as projects that are impactful.

What is your experience with the act of charity? What moves you about it? How do you plan to use this passion to get others to create more acts of charity.

Charity is an act which connects with your story, whatever the cause. I am passionate about education, sports and skill development as I believe these are powerful initiatives to move people out of their current state of being, and making a holistic society that is more concerned, caring. Society as a whole must aim to create an improved quality of life.  My passion comes from challenging others to create an impact and making it easy and painless to donate. The Points for People programme achieves these objectives as we are not attempting to change people’s lifestyles, but just reach out to their loyalty point balance and redeem these for a worthy cause.

Your opinion on Charity as a category in India? 

While charity itself has a long way to go, I believe Indians have an inherent culture of helping one another, and helping others in times of need. But we need to make it easy and remove it from an occasion of personal need. Our idea is to attempt to tap into this behaviour, to make it a painless and convenient way of giving. Donating your loyalty points is an easy way of creating the act of charity as a culture and spread the culture to a mass movement.

Define your Vision plan of Points for People 

Points for People is designed to make donation a large scale global movement, it taps into almost every consumption, be it Loyalty points, air miles, and other loyalty currencies. Tata Trusts, being a well trusted global organization, is the perfect launch partner to make this vision a reality.

Can you share your execution roll-out with our readers, so they can reach out to you/organisation 

We have currently tied up with some of the leading bank programs, employee programs and are now in the process of tying up with hotel frequent guest programs, mobile wallets, retail loyalty programs.

So, how does one donate loyalty points to you. Please elaborate the process.

The process is simple — if the program has been registered with us, members can go to their own program redemption site and select the Points for People option for redemption. They can then select the number of points they would like to redeem. People can also visit the Points for People website at www.pointsforpeople.org and the link will take them directly to the program redemption page. The program then transfers the value to the Tata Trust directly.

Ethel da Costa
Fashion & Lifestyle Journalist, Founder-CEO, Think Geek Media

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