Celebrating Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month with Great Pods and Echo India

Celebrating Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month with Great Pods and Echo India

Learn about a healthcare revolution in India and the Rotten Tomatoes of podcasts.

This year, Airtable’s Commemorative Observance team is excited to wrap up Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month by sharing the stories of two amazing organizations out there powered by Airtable: Great Pods and ECHO India.

Great Pods and ECHO India are two organizations spearheaded by Asian & Pacific Islander (API) leaders.

We interviewed Imran Ahmed (he/him), CEO & Co-Founder at Great Pods, and Kartik Dhar (he/him), Head of Technology & Digital Platforms at ECHO India, about their work, what Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month means to them, and how they’re using Airtable.

Great Pods Spotlight

Tell us more about Great Pods.

Great Pods collects professional podcast critic reviews from blogs to publications and organizes them into one spot. Think of us like the Rotten Tomatoes for podcasts. The idea came out of “boldness” regrets I would have from my previous jobs in the audio tech space.

I was tired of user bombing on review sites like Apple podcast reviews. They just couldn’t be trusted. For example, podcasts that only had a trailer out would get one-star reviews just because one of the hosts wasn't to a listener's liking. I grew up watching movie critics Siskel & Ebert dish out their reviews.

Whether I agreed with them or not, they were still trustworthy with their recommendations. This carried over when Rotten Tomatoes launched and what they did in aggregating all those movie reviews. I wanted that level of trust and transparency in podcasts. With our 10+ years combined in the audio tech space, that was my mission and the birth of Great Pods. #NoRegrets

How does your organization use Airtable?

I was initially familiar with Airtable’s project management tools from a previous job, but it was my co-founder, Sebastian, who reintroduced me. We were using Google Sheets to add podcast reviews and pretty quickly realized that wasn’t scalable as we aimed to publish reviews to the website. We found Airtable could do that and more and haven’t looked back.

We could easily store all the review metadata like title, logo images, scoring, and critic rating and link them with each other. Since we were building the site in public, the out-of-the-box embeddable widgets were the first thing we were able to quickly launch. Exploring Airtable’s API and customizing it further with our source of truth was extremely straightforward.

For other devs who are looking to avoid creating and managing a complex database, post gres, etc., I would definitely encourage exploring Airtable. On the publishing side, testing new ideas on the website has been very easy as well. Creating curated featured podcasts for the week? Done. A carousel that I can manually refresh? Done.

If I could think it, the team and I are able to easily implement and test it live with our users.

What does Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?

When I was younger, I understood how important my immediate community was, but it also reminded me how I was different from a lot of my peers growing up. I’m so grateful that I had other Asian & Pacific Islander (API) role models to look to as I forged my own path, and I’ve realized now more than ever how much representation matters. API Heritage Month reminds me to be proud of our community and where I’ve come from. And at the very least, it gives me another opportunity to show off some Bhangra dance moves.

Is there anything you'd like to share about your experience as an API entrepreneur?

Support each other and share your knowledge. This extends beyond the API community because our cultures and our immediate communities have helped to shape the type of entrepreneur we are and those unique experiences and views are important when building something that will (hopefully!) impact many, many lives.

ECHO India Spotlight

Tell us more about ECHO India.

Project ECHO is a global, technology-led non-profit movement that aims to build workforce capacity in healthcare and education to serve underserved populations.

With 600+ active ECHO hubs in 50+ countries around the world we are revolutionizing the way healthcare and education is delivered to underserved areas especially in India, Africa, USA, and other regions.

ECHO India serves as the Indian arm of Project ECHO, with a mission of touching the lives of 400 million people in India, working under Project ECHO's global goal of touching 1 billion lives by 2025.

Through the use of technology, we enable case-based learning and capacity building of healthcare providers (doctors, nurses, community health workers), which amplifies their ability to provide quality healthcare for underserved people in India.

Solving global challenges requires a collaboration and co-creation mindset. In non-profits this thinking is referred to as "Societal Thinking." We have collaborated with the think-tank Societal Platform, that look at non-linear, transformative solutions to large scale, complex and dynamic problems that face the world.

Further info on https://societalplatform.org

For more info about ECHO India or Project ECHO please visit https://echoindia.in or https://hsc.unm.edu/echo/.

How does your organization use Airtable?

Airtable is a key part of ECHO in this journey to scalable impact. In order to manage a global and scalable digital platform to impact millions around the world, investment in a high quality database and workflow management tool was key. From everything from tracking our outreach funnel, managing projects, hardware inventory, content and media for our communications teams, reference data for our digital platforms—we needed a lot of data driven micro-systems to allow us to scale effectively.

As we were evaluating various options like building our own database, managing the complexity and functionality was proving to be challenging. In early 2018, we came across Airtable online through some tech blogs, and found it a perfect fit for a large variety of use cases.

We started out by using it to track bugs and issues in our internal software system, tracking new job applicants for our recruitment team, and then we kept expanding and growing from there. We currently use Airtable for:

  • Project Management
  • Applicant tracking
  • IT equipment management
  • Reference data management
  • Website content and data management
  • Taxonomy management
  • Platform roadmap development
  • Digital media and communications tracking
  • CRM data management

What does Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?

Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month aims to recognize the contribution of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans.

The close collaboration between Project ECHO (at University of New Mexico, USA) and ECHO India, serves as a testament to the collaborative relationships between India and USA towards solving the universal challenges of providing access to high quality healthcare and education.

Through this collaborative development of the ECHO Digital platform, and also with Airtable's help, ECHO demonstrates how strategic partnerships between Indian and American organizations can result in transformative change at global scale.

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