billionBricks was started by Prasoon Kumar, who had been an architect for 13 years before quitting his job to helm the organisation full-time as CEO. He noticed the dismal quality of housing designed for the poor in developing countries in the region.
There was a lack of competition for such projects, therefore, there was no demand for accountability and quality. Imagine mould everywhere and leaking pipes, as would be the case in projects for the poor that are usually done so poorly. Noone, not even the homeless, would want to live in them. They would rather live in the streets or the slums.
This drove Prasoon to set up billionBricks.
Anurag Strivastava, CEO of architecture firm Space Matrix, and Snehal Mantri, a property developer in India, later joined Prasoon as the organisation's founding trustees. Anurag, who comes from a humble background understands how the safety of a roof provides a person with the confidence to dream, as well as access to opportunities for economic improvements.
The trio based billionBricks in Singapore because of its status as a design and innovation hub, and proximity to funders. The location was also ideal to manage its regional projects that are today in India, Cambodia, India, Malaysia and Nepal.