Atypical Advantage

The Inclusive Canvas: Painting a Brighter Future for All

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Apoorva Pande

Apoorva Pande

Shreya Goel

Shreya Goel


TIAS School for Business and Society

TIAS School for Business and Society


Mirjam Minderman

Mirjam Minderman

Global Goals

1. No Poverty 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 10. Reduced Inequalities

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Atypical Advantage, founded in 2021 by Vineet Saraiwala, is India's largest inclusive platform that generates livelihood for persons with disabilities (PWD). This recipient of the esteemed National Startup Award in the social impact category, bestowed by the Union Government of India, is dedicated to empowering individuals and fostering self-reliance. In the last 1.5-2 years, the platform provided employment for 1,500 individuals, aims to reach 5,000 opportunities this year, and aspires to create 1 million opportunities by 2030.


What sets Atypical Advantage apart is its commitment to scalability and a comprehensive approach globally. As a for-profit social enterprise, it stands out from traditional non-profits, providing the drive needed for scalability. While the model is replicable, there is a surprising lack of similar initiatives globally. In India, Atypical Advantage's inclusive approach covers all 21 forms of disabilities, differentiating it from NGOs that typically focus on one specific disability. The platform's emphasis on various forms of livelihoods adds to its uniqueness, making it a scalable and comprehensive solution for empowering individuals with disabilities.

"We are not doing anything unique, but no one is trying to solve problems in a scalable or appropriate way. It is mostly NGOs that are trying to help PWDs in some way, but it is ultimately a non-profit. The goals and methods there are different. This is why we have tried to keep ourselves as for-profit, so we are a social enterprise, and it gives us more drive. If you try to look for a similar model globally, you will find none. Some people are working with disabilities but are either only looking at opportunities for the candidates or trying to upskill the candidates. Nobody is doing both, which is what we are trying to do."

The Inclusive Canvas: Painting a Brighter Future for All

Fostering Inclusivity By Crafting a Welcoming Canvas for All


Vineet Saraiwala, the founder and CEO of Atypical Advantage, holds a Post Graduate (PGP) degree from IIM Bangalore (IIMB). Vineet is visually impaired with only 5% vision in one eye and has been instrumental in enhancing shopping accessibility for millions of persons with disabilities in India with the Future Group. He is not just creating opportunities for persons with disabilities but also inspiring others. His journey underscores his belief that life should be lived to the fullest. Notably, he has cycled over 5,000 km on his tandem bike, firmly advocating that cultivating passion is the key to creating a better world.

Geetika Mehta, co-founder and COO of Atypical Advantage, holds degrees in engineering from NIT Allahabad and in management from IIM Bangalore. Accumulating over 13 years of corporate experience across diverse industries, she took a significant step by relocating from the United States to India. Geetika, a former batchmate of Vineet and an ex-employee of Amazon in the US, closely observed Atypical Advantage's journey. Recognizing Vineet's need for assistance in advancing their shared cause, she left her position at Amazon to join Vineet in his quest for societal change. Her paramount objective is to contribute to marginalized communities, specifically making a positive impact on the lives of persons with disabilities.

Apart from her professional endeavors, Geetika is an avid reader and a passionate traveler, having explored over 100 cities worldwide for both work and leisure. Amidst her busy work trips, she generously spared time to impart her insights and inspirations through the AIM2Flourish interview, leaving a lasting impact on us as well.

Vineet joined Big Bazaar soon after completing his MBA. He immersed himself in various inclusivity initiatives and pioneered "Quiet R". This initiative aimed to provide a conducive shopping environment for autistic individuals by dedicating one hour each week exclusively for them, free from other shoppers. The environment was carefully crafted to facilitate easy shopping for them. This endeavor proved highly successful, gaining widespread recognition and leading to the employment of 500 people with disabilities within the Big Bazaar group. The success led to the creation of Atypical Advantage, offering a platform for diverse talents like artists, musicians, and dancers.

“During his journey, he encountered someone who inspired him to not limit himself to Big Bazaar and to instead create his own platform to help people with specific types of disability and from all over India and not just in a specific region,” explained Geetika.

The platform collaborated with external organizations, securing dignified income opportunities for individuals through cultural events. Recognizing the need for sustainable income, Atypical Advantage transitioned to securing full-time job opportunities in the white-collar space, partnering with major companies like Amazon and Google.

"We help [the company] right from the point of job mapping exercises. If a company has never worked with people with disabilities, they don't know which kind of people would be the right fit for what kind of job. We help them in sourcing, screening, interview scheduling, coordinating with candidates, and post-placement support. Throughout the process, we do a lot of sensitizations for the recruiters and hiring managers."

Overall impact

Atypical Advantage's approach exemplifies a holistic commitment to empowering people with disabilities economically and promoting inclusivity in the workforce. This contributes to SDG 1, “No poverty”, SDG 8, "Decent work and economic growth" and SDG 10, " Reduced inequalities".

Initially, gaining corporate interest was a challenge for Atypical Advantage. It required significant effort to explain the importance of hiring individuals with disabilities. However, following their appearance on Shark Tank India, the tides turned. On the show, Vineet secured an offer of Rs 30 Lakhs for 3% equity from judges Namita Thapar and Aman Gupta. Beyond the monetary gain, the show's exposure generated heightened interest with people reaching out to learn more about Atypical Advantage's impact. Additionally, there was a notable surge in website traffic, social media followers, sign-ups, and sales leads.

“The impact can be seen in senior leaders of top companies starting to consider hiring individuals with disabilities, in children with disabilities dreaming of becoming CEO of a company, in society shifting from sympathy to empathy towards individuals with disabilities, in students getting inspired to start ventures that give back to society, and in governments working towards disability inclusion. The impact cannot be measured in numbers but is felt in the hearts of those affected.”

They now have over 150 corporates approaching them directly, reflecting a significant shift in awareness and interest.

The current challenge, however, is aligning the skills of individuals on their platform with the specific needs of these corporations. To address this, Atypical Advantage has initiated an academy to ensure that candidates are adequately skilled for their roles, fostering successful placements.

Business benefit

Atypical Advantage is a social enterprise that differs from traditional for-profit expectations because many investors prioritize long-term impact over immediate returns due to their belief in the cause. While maintaining financial viability, the organization is working towards self-sustainability.

Addressing skill gaps among individuals with disabilities, Atypical Advantage is launching an academy to provide focused upskilling and reskilling programs. Instead of functioning as an educational institute, they identify individuals with foundational knowledge and specific skills required by partnering companies and ensure they are job-ready. This innovative approach reflects a commitment to adapting to industry needs and facilitating long-term employability.

Atypical Advantage convinced a global fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) giant to pioneer hiring individuals with hearing disabilities in their manufacturing unit. Initially planning to hire five, the company employed 12 people. A unique model, complete with a dedicated program manager, led to surprising results. These employees showed increased productivity as compared to able-bodied employees within four months. The FMCG company plans to implement this model nationwide, setting an example for its global centers and attracting interest from other FMCG companies.

On the employee end, Atypical Advantage prioritizes a culture of empathy in their team, acknowledging the challenges of their work in the inclusivity space. Despite facing disappointments and challenges, the team is driven by the positive impact they witness. While some companies may not hire despite lengthy engagements, the uplifting moments, like successful placements, keep the team motivated. The driving force is the belief that even in the face of challenges, unique and beautiful outcomes can emerge fueling their commitment to the cause.

Social and environmental benefit

"Discrimination persists against individuals with disabilities in India, coupled with disparities in the education system, insufficient infrastructure, and limited access to necessary support. Through our initiative, our goal is to create a fair and equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in mainstream settings."

"We collaborate with over 200 NGOs and colleges to bridge the gap between grassroots connections and job placements for individuals with disabilities."

Atypical Advantage leverages the local expertise of NGOs, reaching out for suitable candidates when needed and enhancing the quality of outdated skilling initiatives. These partnerships operate in two ways: sourcing candidates from NGO networks and improving training quality through their new academy. This collaborative approach combines local presence with a nationwide reach, contributing to more impactful skills development and employment initiatives for people with disabilities.

As for people who get a job, the impact extends beyond work. For some, it's their first time earning a livelihood. The team placed with the FMCG celebrated a team member's birthday for the first time, showcasing their dedication and newfound camaraderie. Such success stories drive Atypical Advantage's commitment to changing lives.


Geetika Mehta, Co-founder, COO

Photo of interviewee

Business information

Atypical Advantage

Atypical Advantage

Year Founded: 2020
Number of Employees: 11 to 50

Atypical Advantage is India’s largest livelihood platform for persons with disabilities(PWD). Whether it is a singer looking for a show, a visual artist looking to sell their paintings, or job seekers with disabilities looking for career opportunities, Atypical Advantage bridges supply and demand inefficiencies so that persons with disabilities can earn a dignified income.