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Saturday, May 01, 2010

RangDe Swarathma Concert and my investment update

Few months ago I’d invested Rs 10000 in RangDe, a micro finance facilitator, who would in turn lend this money to various villagers who seek to set up their own small time businesses and thereby achieve financial independence over a period of time.

My investment of Rs 10000 was split equally among 5 women borrowers spread around Orissa, AP, Kerala, Maharastra. [Full Details in this post] About 2 months since I made the investment, here’s a quick update on how these investments are doing:
rangde-investment-update
All funds were promptly disbursed by RangDe via its partners, and borrowers have started repaying too. Looks like Parbati Harijan of Orissa is running her tent business most profitably, as she’s repaid as much as Rs 170 (that’s about 8.5% in 2 months). Others have repaid about 40 to 80 Rs so far. I wish them all the best. Will check if I can invest some more.
Meanwhile, RangDe is hosting a Live-in Concert in association with Vasu Dixit’s band, Swarathma, today in Chennai.Rang De Swarathma Live In Concert Event Poster [Watch Vasu Dixit Videos]

Yesterday I happened to attend their press conference, in the presence of Ms Waheeda Rehman, a reputed actress of yesteryears, who is supporting the cause of RangDe.

Here’re some interesting points noted during the press conf:
* Demand for micro credit in India was Rs 200,000 crore in 2006, but the availability was just 10% of that, at 20k crores. Today in 2010, we’ve not been able to meet the demand beyond 15%.
* Less than 6% of bank branches are located in rural India. This is a prime reason why majority do not have access to finance (Stated by Soumitra Ghosh of CSO partners, an ICICI venture that supports organizations like RangDe)
* RangDe went live on Jan 26, 2008 and so far has helped over 2800 micro entrepreneurs, with the help of over 1400 social investors.
* RangDe is planning to expand into vocational training, thus extending its reach further.
RangDe Team press-meet
Couple of photos taken during the press conf: Above: Left: the RangDe Team, with founder CEO Ram NK in the Centre, Right: Press meet with Ram, Ms Waheeda Rehman and Soumitra Ghosh.

Below: Ms Waheeda Rehman and an odd Photo, passport of Secret agent 007, James Bond…spotted in the book, James Bond Encyclopaedia, which was kept in the lobby of Taj Mount Road.
 Ms Wahida Rehman James Bond's passport
RangDe is very careful in selecting its field partners, who get 5% of the interest and do most of the work-lending money to communities, mentoring them, ensuring recovery and so on. Answering my question Ram detailed various parameters (experience, accounts, team etc) they look into before signing up a partner.

I somehow felt it is a bad idea to hold a press conference the previous evening of the concert. Most of the reporters will have a 2pm deadline and if you hold a press meet late in the evening, newspapers are unlikely to carry the report next day. However I understand organizers had their compulsions such as availability of chief guest etc. Journalists at the venue didn’t ask much questions either.

Rs 100 from each ticket (of the concert, priced Rs 300 and 500) will be diverted as social investment in the name of ticket purchaser. This way, as you enjoy the concert, you’ll also be helping out micro borrowers in remote places of India. Investment in RangDe can start with as low as Rs 100. RangDe doesn’t lend money directly to individuals, but they form a community of borrowers and lend them as a group and mentor them. This way, because of the collective responsibility of the group, the recovery rate is as high as 98.5%

I finally found a male borrower in RangDe (from Orissa), but yet to see any borrower from Karnataka...

7 comments :

Prakash P said...

This is seems to be a good initiative. I also will try to invest some amount in micro-credit.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Yes Prakash. Hope you enjoy your investment exercise

Anantha said...

I was eager to know about your investment in RangDe. Gr8 to see those people are getting benefitted and have started repaying too..

Chetan said...

Hi,

We invested about 80K and we get repayed about 17K. It is progressive. You can join us at http://www.facebook.com/#!/rangdeorg?ref=ts.

-Chetan
Rang De Delhi Volunteer.

Gurinder Singh said...

Wow this is so interesting...

I am Totally Love in Rang DE.,...

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Chetan and Gurinder

Priyanka manjari said...

Really great .....seems life is changing well with investments by the ables...