Annual Report

Quest’s Vision A world where young people thrive as self-learners driving social and economic progress.
Quest’s Mission We transform learning ecosystems to develop 21st-century skills through education technology, capacity building and collaboration.

Note on the Year

In 2018, we laid the foundation for the next 5 years—to impact 5 million learners and facilitators by furthering school-to-work transitions and enabling social and economic progress.

In a rapidly changing world, for young people to thrive, we recognise the need to equip them with skills to learn continuously and help them develop a mindset to embrace uncertainty and failure. The ecosystem of educators, parents and industry, needs to provide them the space to adopt this growth mindset. To achieve this at scale we need to engage in systems thinking and drive the understanding and awareness of learning organisations.

As Quest grows rapidly through partnerships and education technology-driven models to develop 21st century skills for self-learning, we are focusing our energies on critical factors that will make Quest a thriving alliance of stakeholders committed to innovation and collaboration. These factors include sharing our values, analysing feedback, quality management, driving financial sustainability and impact-first decision making.

Our partners and team are the fulcrums on which we can dream of new possibilities while staying rooted in the realities that India's youth face today. It is between this space of dreams and reality that we can aim to build a platform to empower the ecosystem involved in this endeavour and ensure young people overcome adversity and inspire each other to reach for the stars! We invite you to join us on this journey.

Aakash Sethi
Chief Executive Officer
Abhijeet Mehta
Chief Operating Officer


We continue working towards building a responsive education system to help every student from classes 5 to 10 imbibe essential skills to become self-learners through an engaging learning experience.

Student Level Impact

44% students from classes 5 to 8 moved out of the at-risk list, resulting in an overall attendance level of 63%, a significant shift of almost 11% from the average in the state. In classrooms, 70% of students reported they asked questions, responded to questions, understood what is being taught and felt engaged.

The Changemakers Take Charge

85% of Bal Sansads (student parliaments) are active across 250 schools in the district of Samastipur, giving way to building a strong student voice and leadership in the system. 30 Bal Sansad representatives from these schools were invited to the Bihar Legislative Assembly to present a charter of demands to the Bihar Education Minister for school system improvement.

Educators–The Enabler

We developed a cohort of 40 cluster resource coordinators as change leaders who worked towards strengthening relationships between students, teachers and community in the district. As a result, more parents engaged with their child’s progress with 70% schools organising parents teacher meetings and around 66% teachers making regular home visits. At school, almost 90% students felt that teachers had become friendlier towards them.

Read more on the Anandshala: Change Leader Program (PDF, 870 KB).

Anandshala is making school engaging and bridging the gap between teachers-students-parents. Often we forget about education and then Anandshala keeps reminding us.

Sri. Pranav Kumar, IAS
District Magistrate, Samastipur, Bihar

Dasra Adolescents Collaborative

A partnership with Dasra Adolescents Collaborative, has given us the opportunity to integrate and scale our Anandshala model from Bihar and MyQuest model from other states to Jharkhand with an aim to develop a more comprehensive intervention of school-to-career continuum and impact more lives. Through this project we will reach over 100,000 adolescents in the age group of 10 to 19 with a focus to increase completion of secondary education and enhanced agency of girls to take informed life and career decisions.

Quest Alliance’s engaging technology based content, deep rooted understanding of communities and strong track record of partnering with government schools and ITIs make them a perfect partner for the 10to19 Dasra Adolescents Collaborative. Their experienced leadership team brings a high level of compassion and humility while keeping a razor sharp focus on impacting lives. Dasra is proud to have them as a critical partner in our effort to empower adolescents across India.

Deval Sanghavi
Co-founder, Dasra

Anandshala Impact





Education Functionaries








MyQuest endeavours to create a vast network of vocational centres and industrial training institutes. It uses a tech enabled pedagogy to help young people build knowledge, confidence and 21st century skills needed for careers.

Increasing impact through Collaboration

In collaboration with Central Square Foundation we developed textbooks to integrate employability skills in the Delhi government secondary school curriculum. We tracked 5474 students and 51 trainers to study the impact of the model. About 70% of the trainers found the content useful and 75% students shared their career plans.

Pop-up Skills Centre with Accenture

A unique initiative between Quest and Accenture has been the Pop-up Skills Centres. Across Accenture locations, these volunteer-driven centres used our blended learning curriculum to train receptionists, security and housekeeping staff on critical life and work skills. Within the first year of the program, 10 such volunteer-driven centres across 7 cities have been established. 115 Accenture employee-volunteers contributed time and trained 150 contract staff.

Technology continues to change the world as we know it, but to create positive, meaningful impact, we must put people first. At Accenture, we do this by combining human ingenuity with ground breaking technologies to solve complex problems. Quest Alliance, which works with a mission of enabling self-learning, was an early and natural partner for our Skills to Succeed Corporate Citizenship program. Together, we pioneered a blended learning approach to skills training that has impacted tens of thousands of youth across India. We will continue working on this journey with greater emphasis on enabling anywhere, anytime learning access for youth to thrive in the new age digital economy.

Kshitija Krishnaswamy
Director–Corporate Citizenship, Accenture India

Collaborating to Multiply Impact

This year saw the first of many round-table discussions to bring together companies and foundations in the sector to drive greater collaboration for youth development. On 3rd November 2017 leaders from Accenture, Cisco, JP Morgan, LinkedIn, NASSCOM Foundation, Dasra and Social Venture Partners came together to discuss collaboration on solutions for the future of work and learning, and to build a roadmap for innovations and investments in the years to come.

Enabling the Leadership and Strengthening the Ecosystem

In 2017-18, we sowed the seeds of a leadership program engaging with principals across 24 ITIs in Tamil Nadu and NGO leaders from 4 organisations in the North East. The intent was to develop thought leaders who will further self learning for 21st century skills by enabling learning environments. This is also an attempt to foster collaborations among different players in the ecosystem to initiate change, innovation and collective problem-solving for enhancing the career journeys of young people.

The training helped me boost my confidence level and communication skills. I have also learned that in Nagaland there are lots of job opportunities. Now I am working in Nagaland Today Media, Dimapur, as an Office Secretary.

Mhabeni Ezung, Dimapur

MyQuest Impact



Formal Institutes




Vocational Centres


VTI Students Transition to Work


ITI Students Transition to Work


MasterCoach believes only thriving educators can build thriving classrooms. A blended learning program, MasterCoach constitutes a power-packed four-day intensive workshop and a 4-month online learning course that stretches the imagination beyond curriculum delivery for building better classroom communities.

2017, the Year of Growth

We worked with 247 trainers from 9 states, enabling them to create safe and engaging classrooms for 9,000 youth across industrial training institutes, vocational training centres and engineering colleges. We continue to engage our alumni through local meet-ups and online learning communities and by bringing them in as co-facilitators. We made inroads into the government ecosystem with 22 trainers being nominated for the MasterCoach training by state departments in New Delhi and Gujarat. Dr. Suman Dhawan, Deputy Director, DTTE, New Delhi met with MasterCoaches and continues to be an advocate for the program.

Download the MasterCoach Information Booklet here. PDF, 1.8MB

Gender in MasterCoach

This year, we built a strong gender focus in our approach. With over 45% of our participants being women, we committed to building an equal ratio across all future cohorts. This was achieved not only through enrollment but by specifically dedicating workshop sessions and online reading topics that build necessary mindsets and attitude in trainers to be more gender inclusive. The course completion rate was reported at 76.8% as compared to the world average of Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) completion rate of 30%. (Source: Technology and Social Change Group, at University of Washington).

I am friendlier with students, celebrating their mistakes and not punishing them. I am using more technology-based teaching and giving them more space to understand the concepts themselves. I am motivating them towards self-learning. MasterCoach should be conducted with school teachers and policymakers who are framing the structure of the education system, so this program percolates everywhere.

Dr. Lily Florence
Professor, Adhiyamaan College, Tamil Nadu, Cohort 2 of MasterCoach Arise 2017 project

MasterCoach Impact





Youth Reached



Trainer Tribe

We launched an online learning community for trainers in the employability sector to enable continuous learning and give them an opportunity to build their social capital. Through the community, they get exposed to 21st century facilitation trends, share good practices and common challenges, and get recognised by their peers.

Trainer Tribe Poster

Over 6 months, 626 trainers registered from 100 different organisations with over 1200 videos and pictures being shared of their work. We have over 160 trainers who are actively participating in the community. In the coming year, we aim to reach 5,000 educators across the country.

Quest Experience Lab

Our endeavour is to enable learners and facilitators to develop 21st century skills anytime anywhere using technology, to help them confidently participate in the knowledge economy.

Quest App

Quest App is a learning platform that can be accessed both online and offline on mobile phones, tablets and desktops. It allows young people to learn anytime, anywhere and not just within classrooms. With its core focus on career development, the platform currently hosts toolkits around five thematic areas of 21st century skills. It generates real time learning analytics on progress and performance made accessible to students, trainers and institutions. The platform allows for a personalised learning experience and uses gamification principles to make the learning journey more engaging.


With an ability to deploy digital content for more than 40 devices at the same time, LearnPi is helping learners and facilitators access Quest’s digital lessons at more than 55 centers across urban and rural areas, in 10 states. LearnPi is a power packed low-cost server developed using the Open Hardware board called Raspberry Pi, and customised to deliver digital content to learning spaces and in turn enable self-learning.

LearnPi Components

Quest Experience Lab Impact

Hours of Digital Content




LearnPis Deployed

Knowledge Hub

With Hub we aim to catalyze a global community of organizations and individuals for innovation, collaboration and knowledge sharing on self-learning in the area of school-to-work transition. Through this, we bring to the sector insights and resources, to learn from, co-create and share effective models for systemic reform.

Quest2Learn Summit 2017

The second edition of the Quest 2 Learn summit brought together 250 participants from across 15 states. Through numerous conversations over two days, we heard diverse perspectives on topics like Anytime, Anywhere Learning, Building Learning Cultures, Bridging the Skill Gap and Local and Online Communities for Educators. We collectively explored ideas to enable young people to become lifelong learners and solutions to build capacities of educators to facilitate 21st century learning.

Quest2Learn Summit 2018

Women Work Readiness Report

We did a research study to understand the employment opportunities around Sricity, a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Andhra Pradesh. The report focuses on demand and supply of human resource in the region, particularly females who are 18-25 years of age. Besides youth, the study captured perspectives of parents, employers, training institutes, recruitment agencies, non-profit organisations and academic institutions.

Skills for Future Jobs

Quest, with support from Microsoft, partnered with Tandem Research to co-author a white paper to understand the impact of technology and automation on the future of work in India. Skills for Future Jobs speaks to 6 key insights that will shape the future marketplace and types of skills needed by young people. A copy of the report can be downloaded from the Quest website.

The Learner by Quest

We launched ‘The Learner’ a blog and a print publication which curated reflections from across the education and skills arenas. Over the last 4 months, the blog received 1367 readers from 39 countries reading the publication online. We disseminated 600 copies of the print publication. Some of the themes that have been covered so far include 21st century skills, multi-stakeholder partnerships, ed-tech, innovation, trainer capacity building and the Quest Way.


Where our Money
Comes From

All numbers below in INR

Accenture India 99,882,558 49.76%
Barclays 228,267 0.11%
Bank of America 10,000,000 4.98%
Charities Aid Foundation: Oracle 6,820,430 3.40%
Impact Foundation (India): Dasra 14,200,000 7.07%
Hans Foundation 7,715,996 3.84%
J P Morgan 13,850,000 6.90%
LinkedIn 5,850,000 2.91%
NASSCOM Foundation 1,856,400 0.92%
International Youth Foundation (IYF) 2,753,241 1.37%
VSO 994,913 0.50%
Godrej 6,920,879 3.45%
Give India: Sanjeev Prasad 1,788,442 0.89%
AMD 710,000 0.35%
Microsoft 10,285,023 5.12%
UNDP 1,820,324 0.91%
VIP Industries Limited 40,00,000 1.99%
Central Square Foundation 1,750,000 0.87%
Individual Donations 2,509,609 1.25%
Bank Interest 5,786,157 2.88%
Other Income 986,497 0.49%
Total 200,708,735

Where our Money

All numbers below in INR

Salaries & benefits 42,281,311 20.56%
Program Expenses 59,967,085 29.16%
Sub Grant 42,303,831 20.57%
Travel 8,025,518 3.90%
International Travel 104,763 0.05%
Training & Workshops 15,207,812 7.40%
Innovation & Advocacy 7,245,447 3.52%
Assets acquried 2,940,963 1.43%
Administrative Expenses 27,544,043 13.40%
TOTAL 205,620,774

Balance Sheet
as on 31 March 2017

All numbers below in INR

Capital Fund 12930563
General Fund 3358544
Specified Fund 97510067
Corpus Fund 16614
Current Liabilities 3231283
TOTAL 117047071
Fixed Assets 7,312,574
Investments 60,402,937
Current Assets 3,934,233
Cash & Bank Balances 45,397,327
TOTAL 117,047,071

Income and Expenditure Statement for the Year Ending 31 March 2017

All numbers below in INR

Grants , Donations and Contributions 187,098,509
Transfer from Donor Account
Bank Interest 3,682,591
Excess of Expenditure Over Income 10,362,905
TOTAL 201,144,006
Program Expenses 192,334,997
Overhead and Administrative Costs 6,546,379
Depreciation 2,262,630
TOTAL 201,144,006

Our Team

our team

The year 2017-18 was a year of integration for the Quest team. While the organisation goes through a transition process, building a collaborative team has been our focus to power through the next 5 years and achieve scale and success. Also, an urgent need to create and share knowledge that can bring conversations on education and employability, to mainstream, has informed our team structure.

We are now a team of 115 with women representing 40% of this total. We are a young team with an average age of 32.5 years, spread across 10 states in the country.

Team Statistics

Awards and Recognition

Quest is a Great Place to Work, according to the 2019 survey from

See Quest’s Platinum Certification Profile on

Our Advisory Board

Our Board comprises diverse professionals with a shared passion and vision to actively engage the Quest team, and through them, India’s youth. This year, our Board met on the following days:

This year, our board met on the following days: — June 13, 2017
— January 31, 2018.

Aakash Sethi Male QUEST Alliance, Bangalore

Vikas Goswami Female Head, Good & Green at Godrej Industries Ltd

Aashu Calappa Male Director, Million Jobs Mission

Nagesh Alai Male Former Group Chairman, FCB ULKA

Sanjay Anandaram Male Advisor at iSpirt and Ojas Venture Partners, Venture Partner at Seed Fund

Kapil Das Male Film Maker

Arvind Lodaya Male Strategic Innovation & Branding Consultant at ALo Consulting

Dipta Bhog Female Founder Member of Nirantar


Thank You

Thank you for your deep commitment and continued support to the vision of Quest Alliance.

We hope to receive your views, feedback and advice to strengthen our quest for self-learning. Feel free to write to us at:

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