Kiva Counterpart In India
Much has always been spoken about how Kiva loans are changing the lives of millions of lenders and borrowers. The working poor, with the help of microfinance services like Kiva are setting out to enhance their living conditions through different entrepreneurial ventures. Whether the money is used to start a small shop, or to buy a cow, microfinance is increasingly becoming as option to the poor as opposed to ruthless interest rates from local money lenders. And the latest country to get a new lease of microfinance is India. A similar site to Kiva, Rang De allows people to become “Social Investors”, choose borrowers and offer them loans starting from as low as Rs. 1000. Loans are disbursed within 30 days and a 3.5% interest can be earned at the end of the tenure. Unlike profit-oriented sites like Zopa, where the lender’s money is split across various borrowers to reduce risk and both lender and borrower are charged a fee each for servicing and transaction respectively, Rang De is a social initiative. So what are the chances of Rang De taking off as well as Kiva? Quite a few, we think, especially with the younger generation. In a country like India, where social disparity is at its peak, individuals could quite easily pool in a minimum of Rs.1000 to help out in what is primarily a social initiative. The fact that there is a return attached to it, is just an add-on.