Your Philanthropy Story – Our Journey: Dr Shivananda, AMP3 2010

– Dr. Shivananda (Shivoo) R Koteshwar

Dr. Shivananda (Shivoo) Koteshwar and Smitha Hemmigae always wanted to give something back to the society and see how they could come influence and create change. Despite this good intention, Shivoo and Smitha were unsure about how to move ahead on creating a trust and its programs that could create change and make lives better. During this time, an opportunity presented itself in the form of the IIMB alumni meet called IIMBUE 2015 on 11th and 12th December 2015 in Bangalore.

The first session on the 12th December 2015, was an “in conversation” panel between Mr. Azim Premji (Chairman, Wipro Ltd) and Ms. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (Chairman and MD, Biocon Limited). The panel touched upon how the Premji Foundation works to improve primary education and Mr. Premji’s views on philanthropy.

There were a couple of things that Mr. Premji touched upon during that one hour panel that touched the core of Shivoo and Smitha.

They were:

  • Is there an ideal age to give and become a hero?
  • Culture of philanthropy that we Indians need to develop
  • My individual contribution is very small when compared to the organization or management
  • Raising funds for a cause outside work is much tougher than raising money/time for someone at work
  • What should organizations do to sustain sustainability initiatives
  • Need for a platform to connect heroes who can contribute money/time for causes close to their heart

On listening to this both of them realized that there was a need for a platform where a common man who was involved in “giving” should be made hero – hence ”Your Philanthropy Story” (YPS) was born on January 15th, 2016. Also, the platform looks to connect heroes. The platform also aims to connect donors to the cause. The platform can also inspire their own employees to contribute to the causes they are passionate about.  YPS was the first step in their direction of setting a trust. It helped identify the right people who were changemakers; what was driving them, how did they start, the lessons they learnt and how did they create a sustainable plan to further their efforts as the years went along.

Every month, Shivoo and Smitha meet with at least 4 or 5 philanthropists. They have been doing so for over 4 years now. By visiting, one can see over stories on how philanthropists making a difference.

What is unique about the platform is that, people are creating the change and get featured are thoroughly vetted by experts and through our trust. The trust decides if the change-maker is truly inspirational and gets other people who either read the story or learn about their work can either join with them or contribute in their own to the betterment of society.

As the next step, YPS looks to cover youth who are interested and invested in creating change around them. It can be school or college students. We are also looking to cover inspiring stories of key pillars of creating a better society like teachers, members of the police task force, ambulance drivers, fire department, BBMP city cleaning squad among others. We are also looking to foray into other areas like creating a series of videos of people with unique perspectives and also have solutions to some of the challenges the human race is facing in the area of education, health, sustainability, women & children and disability.

If you would like to volunteer to be part of the editorial team or could nominate people you know that the platform can cover, please get in touch with or

About Dr. Shivanand R Koteshwar :

Dr Shivananda is an alumnus of IIMB, AMP3 batch (2009-10). He has written about a philanthropy platform called Your Philanthropy Story which he has also co-founded. The journey of this platform is closely connected to IIMB’s alumni meet – IIMBUE. The idea to start this platform after hearing Azim Premji and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw in the inaugural edition of IIMBUE.