Although not that well-known outside India, the Mahindra Group is a $12 billion+ monster with 120k employees in 100 countries.

It is now the largest auto maker in India – and the biggest tractor maker in the world. With its acquisition and turnaround of Satyam to form MahindraSatyam, it is also a big player in IT services, and some 15 other segments.

It may seem a bit odd then that its new brand positioning should be focused on building a mass movement through the use of social media.

The ‘Rise’ brand was launched to some fan-fare in India at the start of this year.

And now Mahindra has made good on the promise with the launch of http://www.sparktherise.com, an online platform where anyone who as a project that will help India to rise can ask for help with funding (which Mahindra provides), or with volunteers, expertise or equipment, which comes from the wider community.

Monthly grants are awarded by Mahindra to winners of both public online votes as well as a Mahindra jury. The Grand Finale takes place in March 2012, where the overall winners receive further
support.

Take a look at this infographic to see what has happened since the site launched on the 17th August 2011: http://bit.ly/qaisSparkTheRiseweek1

The initial rush of traffic was so intense that the server struggled with the loads and new hardware had to be added.

In the first week of SparkTheRise.com, a stunning 1,960 projects have been submitted. Submissions have averaged 11.7 per hour.

The first submission arrived within 8 minutes and 54 seconds, and most submissions have been in the technology category (542 projects), with Maharastra the most popular project location (251 projects).

A total of 85,630 volunteers are being sought, and equipment needed ranges from usual items such as computers to the extreme, such as 1 ton of coconut shell powder and a sensing satellite!

The platform is being built and run by Qais Consulting, an award-winning full services digital agency that was founded in Singapore in 2004, and which is currently setting up its India office in Mumbai. Global clients including Hilton, Sony and Standard Chartered Bank, while in India it works for national leaders such as Mahindra, Tata and Vodaphone.

Earlier this year, Mahindra engaged Qais as its Digital Agency of Record for the Rise brand initiative.

Published on: 6:03AM on 25th August 2011