In India, millions live without access to basic facilities of healthcare, water and sanitation, education and electricity. A significant portion of our population, particularly the youth could better their economic circumstances, if they received some skill-based training. Small, family businesses have immense growth opportunities but lack of timely and/or sufficient working capital curbs their development. Loans are difficult to access as banks rarely serve this segment. The only alternative is to approach the local money lenders. But, since their interest rates are exorbitantly high, most prefer to do without them.
However, giving is part of our social and cultural behaviour; we help one other in medical emergencies, educational needs etc. It is estimated that Indians donate USD 7 billion each year to charities, with an annual growth of ~15 per cent. By 2025, Indians are estimated to donate more than USD 60 billion a year.
Milaap addresses the many challenges of giving (such as difficulty in discovering the right causes, trust deficit and overall donor apathy) by crowdsourcing micro-loans and donations from individuals all over the world on its online platform. Milaap them provides loans to pre-qualified individuals and small businesses through a network of its trusted community partners who specialize in providing and managing microloans to their local communities. As the loans are repaid, the community partner repays Milaap and Milaap credits it back to the donor/lender’s account. The donor/lender now has the option of re-lending or withdrawing their money.
Milaap curates and promotes powerful campaigns, leveraging on a content plus mobile strategy for engagement. In addition to this, they have a robust support of campaign organizers, easy payments, one-click sharing and a transparent connect between donors and beneficiaries.
As of November 2016, Milaap has raised ~INR 102 crore, in donations and loans. Milaap has disbursed 62,008 micro-loans through partner organizations (across sectors such as education, water and sanitation, livelihoods, housing and energy, vocational training) amounting to Rs 63.91 crore, which have impacted the lives of 288,000 BoP (Base of the Economic Pyramid) people. The repayment rate for the micro-loans has been a remarkable 99.21 per cent. Milaap has over 50 field partners across India and is nurturing a growing community of donors and lenders from over 120 countries across the world.
Anoj Viswanathan, Co-Founder
Anoj leads the team in India, running day-to-day operations of the company with a focus on community engagement and corporate partnerships. A Starting Bloc Fellow for 2010, Anoj co-founded Milaap after working with SKS Microfinance in energy and water services. He has also worked at ReEx Capital Asia, a cleantech investment boutique in Singapore and served as a fellow at D.light Design, developing consumer financing & mapping models for rural electrification.
Anoj graduated from National University of Singapore with a Bachelors in Engineering and Minors in Economics and Technology Management. He is a founder member of the Microfinance Society in Singapore.
Mayukh Choudhury, Co-Founder & CEO
Mayukh leads the business strategy and is the architect of the National Skill Loan Portfolio Fund - from concept to execution. Prior to co-founding Milaap, he has been a financial risk consultant in Dubai, where he worked with top banks and asset management firms. Mayukh has spent considerable time in building technology enabled financing models - working in consumer lending for solar-lanterns for D.light, then in developing an commodity financing company as the Head of Collateral Finance with one of India's leading agri-logistics providers.
Mayukh is an electrical engineer from IIT Madras and a PGDM from IIM Lucknow.
Milaap is an online fundraising platform which enables anyone around the world to lend money to the working poor in India through its website. Founded in 2010 by a team of young and passionate entrepreneurs, Milaap envisions a world where the poor are valued as dignified consumers, suppliers, and producers as opposed to mere borrowers. The loans aim to provide the poor with access to basic amenities including clean drinking water, toilets, education, renewable energy as well as income-generation opportunities.