RangDe is hosting a Live-in Concert in association with Vasu Dixit’s band, Swarathma, today in Chennai. [Watch Vasu Dixit Videos]
Yesterday I happened to attend their press conference, along with few other bloggers, 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 conference:
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%
* 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.
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
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.