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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Made a unique social investment

Yours’ truly is now a serial entrepreneur who’s invested in multiple businesses like printing press, textiles, clothing and Hotel Business and so on across India… Before you get carried away by that statement, let me clarify that all I’ve done is invest Rs 2000 each in 5 women entrepreneurs hailing from some remote villages in different states, assisting them set up their small scale business.

When I met RangDe founders at Cerebrate.in and heard their story (read more about RangDe), I decided to invest Rs 10000 in assisting some villagers who’d need some seed funding to start their own business and thereby walk towards financial freedom.

Once I came back to city, I went through RangDe website, spent about 1 hour studying various profiles of prospective borrowers and identified 5 wannable entrepreneurs  in whom I’d invest. I couldn’t find any gentlemen seeking to borrow money listed in RangDe. All were women. Also there were none from Karnataka. Hope they’ll soon extend their facilities to villages in Karnataka. A risk averse investor that I am, I split my Rs 10000 into 5 parts and invested in 5 different people, spread across geography (from Kerala to Orissa and from Maharastra to AP) and type of business-tailoring, hotel, sarees, tents and printing press.
Below is the quick profile of people and their business I’ve invested in

1. Neelaveni B, neelaveni
Shanthi nagar, Andhra Pradesh, Hotel business
Neelaveni lives in a large joint family. She runs a small eatery close to her house and has many regular clients over the last five years. She wants to include more dishes in her menu especially snacks that are popular and easy to prepare. She needs to spend on more utensils and buy the ingredients in bulk. Her immediate aim is to increase her income, but is optimistic about constructing and running a good hotel some day. [read more]

kalavathy 2.Kalavathy Unnikrishan,
Kozhinjampara, Kerala, Tailoring
Kalavathy works with the aim of setting up a proper tailor shop. For the last 7 years she has been taking up orders from customers and is now determined on strengthening her trade. Towards this, Kalavathy needs a loan to fund the replacement of her sewing machine and purchase of supplies like cloth, threads, buttons etc. All this will certainly enhance her earning potential and Kalavathy anticipates higher returns from her trade.[Read more]

3. Parbati Harijan, parbati
Biromal - A, Orissa, Tent Business
Four children keep Parbati on her toes all the time. She also runs a small business letting out the materials to put up marquees used at weddings and other occasions. She plans to buy some additional fabric and also add utensils to the items that can be given out on rent. She is confident of doing well and hopes to grow her business.[read more]

ratnamala 4. Ratnamala Dongre,
Nagpur, Maharashtra, Printing Press
Ratanmala owns a printing machine, which helps her run a small printing press. With the help of small credit support, Ratanmala will be able to purchase printing material and garner more business for her printing press. [Read More]

5. Narasamma S, narasamma
N T R colony , Andhra Pradesh, Sari Business
Narasamma plans to give her three year business a boost. She sells sarees from home and wants to improve both, the quantity and quality of her products. She knows that there is a ready market and she will get good returns. The additional income will help to provide for her large family better. Establishing a sari's shop is her pet dream.[read more]

Unsecured borrowing had been a very costly affair so far where interest rates are as high as 30-50%, which is mainly because of equally high default rate. In other words, honest people who repay the loan compensate the lender on behalf of those who take money but never return it. Micro credit facilitators like RangDe are doing good work identifying needy people and helping them with seed funds.

I don’t know anything more about these people and may never meet them. Returns are negligible but I’ll be happy if they can do well in their respective businesses. I’m trusting RangDe and its partners for disbursal of funds and mentoring of these businesswomen. I’ll keep a track of them to the extent I can and will keep you all posted. Join me in wishing them a very prosperous business ahead. (May be I should demand some equity right away…)

My early investment experiences * Fly free on Indigo * Surviving stock market crash *

22 comments :

Mohan said...

Sounds interesting and enticing to help our own people. Thanks for sharing the info Shrinidhi. I too will spend some time on this RangDe and decide my future action...
All the best with your support :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Mohan

Indrani said...

That is great initiative! I hope these people are successful in their business.

Anantha said...

Srinidhi,

Kudos to RangDe.. Kudos to you too for taking this step.

I will also see what I can do. Thx a lot for sharing the info.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Indrani and Anantha

Trails of a Traveler said...

Excellent work Nidhi

Mridula said...

I too have to go and visit the site.

Janit said...

Nice of you to publicize RangDe on your blog. Its a great initiative and is very necessary in a country like ours.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Janit, Mridula and Ram

sivakanth reddy said...

Good work dude..

Hari said...

Most people (including me) just talk and complain. You are actually doing something about it. Congratulations and good luck.

Ankit said...

Great Initiative Bro ..

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Ankit, Hari and Sivakanth Reddygaru....

Hari:

I'm not doing much. RangDe and its partners are doing most of the work

Nethra said...

That was very generous of you. Good work! :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Nethra

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mitesh Damania said...

I've been a rangde.org investor for over a year. There's no reason to worry about risk as payback rate is 100% due to the group format.

Anyways, please check out Muhammad Yunus, the founder of microfinance on my blog http://askbutwhy.com. I also cover other topics there that will be guaranteed to open your eyes!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Mitesh for the instilled confidence and additional info.

Priyanka manjari said...

commendable ..must I admit...great going and great efforts with big heart

ವಿ.ರಾ.ಹೆ. said...

Shrinidhi, any updates on this? How did it go? What's your experience.?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Lost about 4k spent on few people in Andhra Pradesh. After that sort of lost interest in this scheme

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Others have fully repaid their loans. Haven't made any fresh investments