About the Startup 

Blink Research and Services Pvt Ltd (BRS) is an organization working for such children. The vision of the organization is to empower families and communities to enhance the learning curve of children with specific learning difficulties (SLD) through multi-sensorial learning and assistive technology. 

BRS focuses on raising awareness on SLD, early identification, sensitization and providing remedial education.  The organization has developed a screening tool which helps in easy and early identification of children with SLD by involving parents and school teachers.   

Currently, the BRS is working on building a learning platform called Different Learners App ( DL App) which offers a plethora of SLD related content in vernacular languages. The remedial intervention utilizes VAKT (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic and Tactile) approaches that enable multi-sensorial brain stimulation, thereby helping children to learn and adapt easily. Available in multiple languages and in game format, the app will include immersive learning options under the guidance of special educators. It is envisaged that this platform will help improve their reading and writing performance over a period of time. 

About the Founder 

The organization was founded in the year 2015 by Mr Arun Fernandez. Arun Fernandez is a social entrepreneur and Director of the company. BRS is an initiative that works towards making a positive difference in the lives of children suffering from Dyslexia.  Being a dyslexic himself, Arun started BRS to support such children as he understood firsthand the trials and tribulations faced by a dyslexic (a hampered academic life, suffering harrowing experiences, being labelled lazy and stupid). Having successfully learned to cope with Dyslexia, Arun today holds a Double Master’s Degree, worked as a lecturer in Loyola College and is pursuing his PhD in Specific Learning Disabilities.  Arun is part of the NSRCEL Social Incubation Program.  

How NSRCEL’s program has helped the startup? Please share key learnings and takeaways. 

The biggest advantage of Blink’s association with the NSRCEL and IIM is the reputation attached to the IIM tagline. In addition, we received recognition and opportunities on a National Scale.  After being incubated by NSRCEL, we had the opportunity to be connected to NHFDC (National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation). The partnership also resulted in us signing an MOU with NIEPMD (National Institute for Empowerment of People with Multiple Disabilities) to develop a screening tool for early identification of children with Dyslexia.   

As an organization, BRS was totally dependent on individual funding till our partnership with IIM. The NSRCEL incubation program helped open gateways to funding opportunities. Our abilities to successful pitch our business model in order to raise the first round of funding were also honed. We recently secured seed funding from HDFC and Capgemini Technology. We also recently received a grant from NASSCOM as part of their Technology 4 Change funding program  

Further, the mentors were extremely co-operative, appreciative of our efforts while remaining consistent in ensuring that they guided us whenever we went off track. One of the key takeaways of the program was the constant emphasis on reinventing our strategies and being flexible to suit the market requirement. With the Covid Pandemic hitting the education sector hard, it made us realize that while the core vision needs to remain steadfast, it is imperative to adapt oneself and one’s team with the changing tide.