Rishab Malik is another one of our super Champions. During our 'Adopt an Entrepreneur'' campaign, he decided to fundraise for a deserving entrepreneur who wanted to take her business to the next level. He raised funds of Rs.31,600 for Sasikala who is doing well today at her Self Help Group (SHG) as the loan amount has helped her in her production & also increased her monthly income. As promised to him, he gets a full paid trip by Milaap to visit Sasikala & her family personally.
We spoke to him and this is what he had to say.
How did you get to hear about Milaap?
I first heard about Milaap through a TED talk conducted by Anoj (Co-Founder) in Singapore. I was very impressed by the vision as well as the business model of the firm.
Is there any particular cause on Milaap that is very close to your heart? If yes, why?
The cause on Milaap that is closest to my heart is around the empowerment of women in India. I believe that women should be given equal employment opportunities (which is not entirely thecase at the moment) and giving them the tools to become grassroots entrepreneurs is a fantastic way to address this issue.
You recently completed our “Adopt an Entrepreneur” challenge: to fundraise fully for an entrepreneur so that he/she could expand his/her business. What motivated you to do this?
I chose a women entrepreneur who needed a loan to bridge the expenses needed to take her business to the next level. I am fortunate to have friends, family and well-wishers in different parts of the world, all connected through social networks, emails and other technology. I felt that having 1000 friends on Facebook and multiple followers on Twitter and networks from University etc are futile if I couldn't leverage all this for a good cause such as Sasikala's loan.
How did you go about it? What was your method?
I wrote out a list of personal emails to 15 friends and a few of them passed it around amongst other circles. In the end, I didn't need to use Facebook or Twitter as a high% of the friends I contacted, lent Sasikala money for her business.
Any special secrets/tips that you can pass on to our community so that they can one day fundraise the way you did?
I think personal emails worked really well for me. I also found that writing to friends and family and asking to help for a good cause is something one should never hesitate to do. Just do it!
Tell us more about yourself. What do you do day to day? What are you passionate about?
I work for an ecommerce company based out of New Delhi. I am extremely passionate about entrepreneurship in India, especially tech and social enterprises.
Any question for us?
Q.I'd like to understand how Milaap goes about continually sourcing high quality entrepreneurs in India to lend to and also what the company's plans are in the future
A. We would like to answer your question in two points.
1. We are sourcing high quality entrepreneurs in India by collaborating with trust worthy field partners that provide affordable financing to the entrepreneurs. We engage in rigorous process to identify & select the best field partners that support them.
2. We intend to make the entire transaction paperless by providing loan officers with tablet devices, so that they can upload borrower data directly. We also plan to transition the entire lending experience for the user into Facebook so that the user can browse through profiles and make a loan from Facebook directly, and also get all notifications on his/her Facebook page.
Any thoughts or interesting thing you would like to share with us and our supporters?
Keep up the good work guys, you make us all proud.
Thank you so much Rishab for your time and insights!