Sunday, December 05, 2010

Rang De - Helps You Help

We often feel like 'doing our bit' every now and then, but don't know how to make an impact with our limited means. It's usually then that the urge to contribute dies a silent death not because of a lack of intent but limited means of causing an impact. For example, we all know that India is a country of a billion people and if all of us contribute Re. 1 there will be a Rs. 100,00,00,000 fund. The problem is that Re. 1 by itself won't do anything unless we can come up with a system of collecting all the coins, accumulating them in a central place and then deploying the funds to someone or some organisation with genuine needs.

This is the issue that Rang De has decided to solve.

The idea is exactly the same as the collecting Re. 1 coins from many and distributing it to the worthy. Or micro-credit in the truest sense of the term.

Here the minimum amount or denomination is Rs. 100 and all you require to get started is an email address, a bank account/credit card and a wish to make a difference, however small or big, to an entrepreneur. Once you've signed up there's a large number of small entrepreneurs to choose from a variety of sectors or categories. You get to see the following for every entrepreneur:

(1) Name, business, photo (2) Total requirement, loan raised, remaining requirement & (3) Investment required by date.

Usually these are in a few thousands, and is a great example of how small investments of even a few hundreds of rupees can help build someone's dream of setting up their own business.

I would like to thank my friend Abhishek Paul, who introduced me to this wonderful organisation, by sending me a gift voucher. I invested my voucher in a business close to my heart - Fish farming! I am glad to have made a difference to the life of Ghanashyam Behara of Orissa, and hope his fish business will get the rest of the required amount soon and he can start off his venture.

This is a sincere request to everyone to have a look at the site and maybe contribute to some venture they believe in. And please do spread the word, Rang De can do with any help we can bring!

Disclaimer: I am not associated with the organisation in any capacity besides having made a small contribution to a venture as mentioned in the article.


Ankur Banerjee said...

This is like a global peer-lending initiative called I joined it recently, and made my first microcredit loan too - to a Tanzanian family to build a house. RangDe seems about the same, with a smaller investor community.

I wonder whether it makes sense for the lending partners on RangDe to tie-up with Kiva. There's a massive community of NRIs on Kiva who're raising a lot of money - among the largest donor groups there - and yet there are no projects listed in India on Kiva.

Suhel Banerjee said...

Fair point Ankur. I have passed on your feedback to Ramakrishna, Rang De's founder. Will keep you posted.

Skumar said...

We Care India is another platform ( similar to Kiav and Rangde) that recently launched and operates at grassroots bypassing a field partners. Check it out at also their blog at

Skumar said...

The regulatory environment really seems to prevent this. In Sri Lanka and Pakistan it is difficult to get money out of the country and in India it seems impossible. Therefore, there is not a single project listed on Kiva from India.