What started as a design company has now turned into a leading behavior change agency in Pakistan. Co-founded by Raheel Waqar and Khawar Ansari, White Rice is celebrating its 15th anniversary, focused on a singular mission: to massify impact, a legacy that Raheel wholly attributes to the ongoing evolution and ethos of the company.
“We serve the masses and always strive to work in environments where things are against us; be it context, infrastructure, or the very mindset of the people. But when the odds are against you, that is when you can come up with something transcendental,” he shares.
The company deploys its canvas to reach out to communities from day one – no problem is ever tackled without the insights of those it affects. It would be easier to sit hundreds of miles away, come up with fancy solutions on paper and deploy them in the field, but those lack empathy, meaning, context, and will most likely lack the longevity to see the problem through to a solution. Creating a sense of ownership and making people part of a solution is the key.
Focusing on Impact through Design, White Rice has pretty much done it all over the last 15 years. Be it designing a gamified learning experience, telling moving stories through animation and films, designing large-scale behavior change programs to stop child stunting, conducting the world’s largest storytelling exercise with 11,000 mothers, and reaching out to millions during COVID-19 through the Clean and Green Punjab Campaign.
To date, the company has successfully delivered 500+ projects, worked with 100+ organizations worldwide, impacting more than 10 million people spread across 13 UN SDGs.
They stay relevant in an increasingly cutthroat market thanks to a promise the founders of White Rice made when they first started; to keep evolving and constantly challenging their way of doing things, even if it means pivoting their way of thinking and adopting new and uncharted technologies to achieve something better than before.
The name, White Rice, came from the notion that it is a base and an analogy for the foundation of our vision, which is to combine ideas on a blank canvas and create something greater than the sum of its parts.
According to White Rice CEO, Raheel Waqar, “Whenever we work with someone, they can come in with their ideas, their vision, and we serve as the blank canvas that will employ creative tools, technologies, and storytelling mediums to create something truly transformational.”
White Rice deploys design thinking and behavioral science to help their clients better define challenges and design solutions bottom-up for sustainable behavior change. Working with communities directly is something the company cherishes, and even monitors solutions and design changes put in place long after the projects have concluded.
According to Raheel, “When a person you’re helping feels they’re involved and are co-creating the solution, they’re much more likely to respond to change and make the solution sustainable.”
So what comes next for a company that has evolved from design to a behavior change agency, now on the cusp of evolving into a multi-purpose company that is using AI and Virtual Reality? They’re not merely content with being a market leader when it comes to designing interventions that change behavior, especially when it comes to social impact.
“We’re celebrating 15 years of White Rice, but this is just the beginning. Our team is currently evolving yet again in our quest to massify impact. Virtual Reality, and AI-Driven impact initiatives are what we’re delving into next, and I cannot wait to see how the next 15 years of White Rice pan out!,” says CEO Raheel Waqar.
Want a sneak peek into their journey? Here’s a timeline spanning the last 15 years of White Rice – www.whiterice15x.com