“We work on real issues.”

August 5, 2015
Raj helps teams across the World Bank Group develop digital products: websites, mobile apps, social media. Recently he worked on a remittances app that will find the lowest price to send money home. Our team showed that if you cut 5 percentage points from remittance fees you can save $16 billion each year.

Raj, Digital Strategist

I'm from Kolkata, India. 

I don't really work in regions. I work in external communications. So basically our work is spread across all regions and all departments. So we work in the web and social media governance, and we help teams create great products when it comes to websites, social media, and mobile. I focus mostly on mobile products, mostly as a product manager—right from the ideation phase to the launch. That's what my work involves. And I work and coordinate a group of rock-star product managers at the Bank. 

Basically I work mostly as a digital strategist and product manager. It depends from, you know, team to team. So let's say—I'll give an example: the Gender team wants to have a campaign, right? So we help them create a campaign. We help them create a mobile app. We help them create a website. So it differs. You know, sometimes we like go there as internal consultants. They come up with an idea and we tell them "how's it going to—how can they achieve the goals that they have" through digital, basically. So we work with different teams.

I've been working with PickRemit App, which is a remittances app, basically, which is going to help migrant workers send money home.

So the economists and the remittances team, they figured out that there's a lot of money that people spend on sending money back and forth between their home countries, you know, migrants. Sometimes it's like 50% of the money they send. So let's say somebody from Saudi Arabia wants to send money back to Bangladesh or India, they will spend like $50 on fees. And the World Bank is all about transparency; it's about ending poverty; it's helping everybody; helping the people out there.

So I'm working with the team and they figured out that, you know, 5%—if you cut 5% off remittance prices, remittance fees, we are going to save $16 billion globally [each year]. So what this app is going to do is like a pilot project in Italy. It’s actually going to help you find the lowest price around you. And the reason that people cannot find the lowest price is because of transference issues, and they don't know what's around them, what’s the lowest price around them. So this app, which we are planning to launch in June of 2015, people can actually do that. They can actually find the lowest price around them, lock a rate, and send the money home for maybe $2 instead of $20

That's the goal. So we are trying to get these huge corporation like Western Union and all onboard into this app so that people can get all that data from the app. So I think that's going to make a difference going forward. 

I've worked on the World Bank homepage, you know, and we have worked on so many websites. You know, trying to make a change through digital

I think we work on real issues. I worked in the private sector before, and the reason I came to the World Bank was because of this whole mission of ending poverty. That really resonates within me. And you know, these issues that we work on, like gender and climate change, there are so many things that we work on which actually matter in real life. And that's what I feel like, that in my own small way I can give something back to the society, to the world. That’s why I’m here.

Everybody has a passion to do something, to make a difference. And I think that's what I like about the World Bank: the people around me. It’s amazing—I've worked in different places and this is the best team I think I've ever worked for, the best group of people I've ever worked for. That's very difficult to find. You spend so much of your time at work, you spend eight to nine hours each day over here, so it's very important about the people you work with. And that you truly get that at the World Bank.