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Twelve things about Bitcoin that you probably didn’t know

[Editor’s Note: Earlier this year, Marc Andreessen wrote an article about Bitcoin in Wall Street Journal. It was insightful especially for folks (like me) who were NOT following this topic with feverish fervor. From the article, reproduced later on Andreessen’s blog, one can glean twelve takeaways – excerpted below. Why is Bitcoin relevant for social enterprises […]

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A fruit cart seller (Pic: courtesy

A page each from Harish Hande and Naveen Krishna

Recently, Harish Hande wrote a cogent and passionate article on Forbes India. The main point in his article is that businesses need to look at social sustainability in a long-term and holistic manner. From his article… Amidst rising income inequality, corporations need to realise that social responsibility is essentially an insurance against social instability. Occupy Wall […]

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Borrowing from MFI to save for daughter’s dowry?

SKS Microfinance Ltd, India’s largest and only listed microlender, said its losses widened in the second quarter from the preceding three months as repayment rates in Andhra Pradesh, its biggest market, plunged after a local law restricted lending and recovery. The Hyderabad-based lender posted a loss of Rs. 384.54 crore in the three months ended […]

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Does Microcredit work for the urban poor? Banerjee and Duflo Answer

In chapter 7 of Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo’s Poor Economics, they delve into the economics of lending to the poor and, among other things, proceed to answer the question “Does Microfinance work for the poor?” The answer depends on the definition of “work”. Banerjee and Duflo (B & D) found that no independent research […]

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Manish Khera (Founder/CEO of FINO) - Pic courtesy

FINO’s branchless banking and financial inclusion products delivered via agent network

[Editor’s Note: To date, Eko is the only one of five branchless banking players in India I’ve written extensively about . The other players are: FINO, A Little World, Nokia Mobile Money, and Paymate’s Green Mobile. Manish Khera (FINO’s CEO) and I have been sporadically exchanging emails for some time but unfortunately the stars haven’t […]

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Eko agent showing ASHA interest accrued on her no-frills savings account

Empowering Bihar’s rural health workers with mobile phones and money transfer

[Editor’s Note: Since Jan 2011, Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI) has been leading the implementation of a mobile money transfer pilot for ASHAs in Bihar’s Sheikhpura district. At the pilot’s 5-month mark, Lalitha Iyer (Gender Advisor to NIPI) created an interim findings report based on her field visit and interactions with 80 ASHAs and other […]

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Srijan Kaushik (in front of the chai-shop where we last chatted in person)

No-frills Savings: MFIs have a case to make

[Editor’s Note: It’s a pleasure to bring you TechSangam’s second guest writer – Srijan Kaushik. After graduating from DAIICT (Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology) in 2007, Srijan has been working in Bangalore-based Ujjivan – a Micro Finance Institution (MFI)  focused on urban poverty alleviation. He works on financial product design and development […]

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Fruit seller Salim, proud father of 3 children, saves Rs. 20-30 every day in his first bank a/c, his Eko a/c.

Eko’s Race to Profitability Received a Few Booster Shots

Earlier this week, TechSangam was the first blog to report on Eko Financial’s $5.5 million funding round from Creation Investments. TechCrunch’s Sarah Lacy followed with this really nice coverage on Eko. Sure TechCrunch hardly covers the Indian startup ecosystem but I just couldn’t resist the we first jibe. 🙂 When Abhishek Sinha (Eko co-founder & […]

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Eko India Financial Services raises $5.5 million round from Creation Investments

We had written about Eko Financial Services in a two-part series (Part 1 linked here). Today they are announcing the closing of a $5.5 million funding round from Creation Investments, a Chicago-based social ventures fund. I had a chat with Abhishek Sinha (Eko co-Founder & CEO) soon after their funding closed and he shared some […]

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Field agent Rathna hard at work (with the Artoo Slate)

Creating a killer user experience for the MFI field agents

[Editor’s Note: Earlier this week, I spent a few hours chatting with Sameer Segal at his cozy rooftop office digs in HSR Layout. Sameer is the Founder & CEO of one-year old Artoo, a startup with a vision of a “Paperless Microfinance” world with reduced delays and dramatically reduced expenses via its flagship Android application […]

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