In the article, we take you through a fascinating journey from being a non-profit to India’s first peer-to-peer lending platform committed to social change. We also attempt to explain our Theory of Change and why we take on a whole new avatar.
“Earlier our financial condition was such that if you visited our house there was no place to stand. With the help of your loans, our condition has improved so much we can now build a two-storey house,” — a Rang De borrower.
This story resonates with many Rang De borrowers, who with the help of a Rang De loan, have freed themselves from the clutches of moneylenders and steered their life towards economic empowerment. Their economic prowess and self-reliance are manifested in the esteem in which they are held in the community and the confidence with which they are able to take charge of their lives carving a niche for themselves in society.
Our journey so far
On January 26, 2018, we completed 10 years of our journey towards empowering communities through micro-credit. At the cusp of completion of a decade, we were presented with a challenge and an opportunity. The regulation for Peer-to-Peer lending had been in the offing for some time and on October 4, 2017, the circular was passed. The big challenge was to set up an NBFC-P2P without diluting the social mission with which Rang De was set up. For 10 years, Rang De had remained a grant-funded non-profit with a sharp focus on innovation, scalability, and sustainability. We felt it was time to set up and run a social enterprise model without compromising on impact.
Rang De’s Reach
Over the past 11 years, we have disbursed close to INR 70 crores for the underserved communities in India in the form of affordable and customised loans.
(Statistics reflect the data from the last year)
A structural change in Rang De’s business model
Staying true to our mission, we drew up a plan to set up a new platform with the core focus of reaching out to the first-time borrowers. Thus, began our journey to create India’s first social equity investor funded NBFC-P2P platform. The change meant a paradigm shift in our mind-set from a non-profit charity model to a performance-driven for-profit entity which connects the urban professional with the rural entrepreneur and brings both the communities on a level playing ground.
Key highlights of the P2P Regulation
- Any entity in the business of P2P lending has to be registered as an NBFC-P2P with RBI
- NBFC-P2P shall have a net owned fund of not less than rupees twenty million (USD 0.31 million)
- No lending can be accounted for on the books of the platform
- The Upper cap of 10 Lakhs (USD 15,400 approx.) set as a limit for borrower as well as lender
- All transactions to be only digital
The above guidelines as per the regulation made it almost impossible for Rang De to function in its current format and therefore had to explore several options and arrive at a blended model under which both Rang De Trust and Rang De P2P would continue to co-exist and complement each other’s efforts.
The Rang De Heroes who made it all possible
As we re-write our story with renewed passion and vigour, we take a moment to thank our social investors and impact partners who have been an integral part of Rang De’s journey. They are our real heroes and without them, this journey would not have been possible.
Role of Rang De Trust
The public charitable trust will continue to work with its impact partners, build new relationships and remain grant funded.
Currently, at Rang De, we have more than 14,000 social investors from across India who have invested in our borrowers helping them stand on their own feet. An important connecting link between the Social Investors and the borrowers has been our impact partners. Their crucial role in identifying genuine borrowers and providing them with the necessary handholding support has helped transform the lives of our borrowers bringing them under the ambit of financial inclusion.
Role of Rang De NBFC P2P
The NBFC P2P will raise funds, build new partnerships and develop the new platform. One of the primary functions will be to on board new individual lenders in a scalable manner
Even as we undergo structural changes in our identity, we believe we are not merely a P2P lending platform but a forum that demonstrates human potential. We aim to spearhead a social movement affirming that with financial assistance and requisite training each individual is capable of empowering not just themselves but also those around them.
Join us in our journey of a thousand miles which began with a simple thought – to create a financially inclusive India. To express interest or sign up for the new platform, visit www.rangde.in