Monday, August 17, 2009

Freedom at a click

Normally, I am a touchy feely kind of person when it comes to buying books, but since I am fast running out of things to read, and am not allowed out, I decided to order a couple of books on-line. When I got the books, I found they had slipped a bookmark into the package - a nice colourful piece of card paper.

The design was attractive, and when I looked closer, I found it advertised a peer-to-peer online lending site called RangDe.org. It so happened that I was already aware of the organization, but even if I didn’t, the graphic was self-explanatory – a lady who looks not unlike any other not too well off lady in the country, dreaming of owning her own grocery stall. RangDe.org puts up profiles of micro-entrepreneurs on their site, which you can browse and choose the businesses you would like to lend to.

When the organization started about a year back, I had been rather skeptical about whether it would really work in the Indian context. We as a nation are used to giving unsecured soft loans to our domestic help, but would we make the leap and make a similar loan to a total stranger? Going by the success stories on the site, we seem to be doing just that. And the women have been regular in meeting their weekly repayment amount.

As for the bookmark as a marketing tool, the target audience was bang on. RangDe.org is an online lending site, and only people who are comfortable with online transactions would ever make loans to entrepreneurs through RangDe. Someone who has ordered a book online is a part of that audience. The copy too was perfect, with just the right amount of information to make you curious enough to investigate further.

How I wish more non-profit organization could get their communication as right as RangDe.org has done.
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3 comments:

The Old Silly said...

I hadn't heard of RangDe.org before, but thanks for the endorsement. Nice blog here, glad I stubled upon it - will have to come back! :)

Marvin D Wilson

Galen Kindley--Author said...

This is a nice way to help deserving people, and, apparently with little risk to the giver. I've seen a couple of such organizations here, as well. They seem to be successful.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Rayna M. said...

@ Marvin - welcome. I love your blog, and I do hope you visit more often

@ Galen - Kiva.org was the one that started it all. They do a lot of good work, and if it takes something like that to flatten the world, so be it.

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