This Indian American has Democrats and Republicans using his election software. Now, he’s in India to convert parties
Ravi Singh's success was born from failure. Nearly a decade ago, he tried to get
elected to the Illinois legislature, but failed. Singh, a Sikh, says he lost the race because he refused to remove his turban and beard, as asked by some of his party members. His response was, "If I do that, I will not be true to my faith and my work... If I give up my identity and values, I'll not be an Asian or an American. I'll be nobody."
So, he stayed true to his faith and values. And he lost the poll. But along the way he learnt some lessons, which helped him launch ElectionMall Technologies in 1999. "Running for office was a complicated affair. I had to deal with at least 54 different vendors," says Singh. He realised that while free and fair elections are the backbone of a democracy, there is room for entrepreneurial innovation in streamlining the electoral process. He realised the power of the Internet to change the way candidates and voters interact and communicate. Ravi Singh thus changed the fortunes of many a candidate.
ElectionMall is a non-partisan technology solutions firm that provides citizens, candidates and political parties with the online tools and services to win polls with some help from the Internet. Having identified over 54 different campaign behaviours and put them into five product offerings: Build, Manage, Raise, Promote and Shop, Singh says ElectionMall's product offering encompasses the lifecycle of a political campaign. The company claims to be the largest election technology firm in the US.
Singh says his company is working with all the leading contenders in the US presidential race—Senators John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. In fact, the company is turning its attention to many of the Republican and Democratic state parties, candidates for Congress, as well as local and state candidates. To date, Singh claims more than 600 campaigns have been launched using ElectionMall's on-demand services. The firm has also made forays into Malaysia and the European Union. "I am now focusing on making India the hub for our Asian plans," he says, and is showcasing his solutions to the country's major political parties.
Singh, the son of US immigrant parents, began his political journey at age 14 when the US Armed Forces forbade him from wearing his turban at a USA Military Academy. Senator Paul Simon and Congressman Dennis Hastert introduced legislation on his behalf, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. This allowed Singh to graduate from the academy with full honours as a Second Lieutenant, making him the first American with a turban to graduate from the academy.
After the success of ElectionMall in the US, Ravi Singh is planning to make India the hub for his Asia plans
Born and raised in the US, Singh has a Bachelor of Science degree from Valparaiso University and a Masters in Political Science from Northwestern University. He has authored two books and various articles.
Apart from being an 'industry pioneer' and inventor with registered patents, Singh says ElectionMall is the only online 'registering authority' providing digital authentication certificates for candidates, campaigns, and political organisations' websites in the US. The online programme, known as ElectionSecurityTM, ensures election and campaign trust, security, and protection for online political consumers.