"Indian America Cultural Association (IACA) is perhaps the best known organization that serves the Indian American communities in the Greater Atlanta area and the Southeast. In 2013, the organization launched a music competition, IACA Atlanta Indian Idol Contest to encourage and showcase singers of Indian heritage. Raktim SenProgram Director of IACA
Towards the beginning of 2013, I was introduced to Mr. Nizar Bhojani, co-founder of TextByChoice. They were to provide us with the ability for the audience to vote for contestants by sending SMS.
Nizar took it upon himself to create the entire flow. He did several demos and made sure everything was working well by being at the show and checking from time to time while the show was going on. And that was not all, after the show, he made it a point to highlight what WE can do better next time. I mean, he became a part of “WE” within a span of few days.
Every year, since 2013, Nizar picked it up from where he left off the previous year. Over the past few years, I have seen his suggestions and recommendations make a lot of difference. This year too, he simplified some aspects of the SMS polling to make it more user-friendly. Now SMS Polling has become an integral part of IACA Atlanta Indian Idol Contest and the two prizes are reserved for the SMS Poll winners.
IACA is a volunteer-based nonprofit organization. To have the will and dedication to support a program as a volunteer, says a lot about the mindset of TextByChoice and Nizar. They want to make it better every time and money is not the only motivator for them. To organize a show such as IACA Atlanta Indian Idol Contest, we rightfully engage a lot of paid professionals – for sound, lighting and other technical aspects. We have reasonable expectations of dedication that is contractually bound and lasts only for a few days till the contest is over.
However, Nizar and TextByChoice is not bound by any contract but by their free will to be the best and their volunteer spirit to help. So their involvement does not end. The end of every episode serves as a starting point for the next. No wonder, we don’t pay them. They are not too pricey… THEY ARE PRICELESS."