Category Archives: Loans

Core values: business models meant to serve the BoP

By | June 25, 2010

(Republished from old Perspective 2.0 blog March 10th 2009) The biggest shock for me in the Phillippines was learning that airtime minutes purchased on a prepaid plan came with an expiry date. The smaller the amount the faster the expiration. For example, the lowest amounts of “load” that can be purchased are 10 or 20… Read More »

Traditional moneylending – informal, flexible, trust based and changing fast

By | January 3, 2010

As Microfinance Grows in India, So Do Its Rivals is the title of a recent WSJ article by Ketaki Gokhale which begins so, The practice of making tiny loans to poor people, or microfinance, was supposed to help drive traditional village moneylenders from rural India. Instead, traditional moneylenders, who typically charge high interest rates, are… Read More »

Seasonality and its influence on rural BoP household financial management

By | July 26, 2009

Fallow field, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan India  January 2009 I first noticed the influence of seasonality on income halfway during the Indian fieldwork. On one hand, its but natural that the seasons are linked to a farmer's cash flow, dependent as it is on the harvest. But it was when I met the silversmith that I… Read More »

Some thoughts on community based models for sharing costs

By | April 29, 2009

We found that the key factor that makes 'prepaid' payment plans (whether its for electricity, mobile phones, water etc) so attractive to the BoP customer, in the context of their own behaviour patterns regarding the management of their personal finances. This is the fact that this model puts significant control over time – frequency and… Read More »

Quick summary of workshop findings

By | April 23, 2009

Our workshop officially ended today although there's still a lot of 'mopping up' to be done not to mention the final documentation. We had the opportunity to analyze groups of users observed and interviewed by me in rural Rajasthan (India) and a barangay in Iloilo (Philippines) as well as some basic personal financial management information… Read More »

Sudhir Venkatesh and the rise of the “other” BoP

By | March 29, 2009

Photo credit: Jim Wilson/The New York Times Even as we observe and study those who live on irregular and unpredictable incomes in the lower income strata of the developing world, articles in the media this week catch our attention to inform us that these challenges are not simply for the 'poor' but in fact, being… Read More »

There can be no shortcuts at the BoP

By | March 21, 2009

This is not meant to be a complaint about any one organization so much as an observation made by happenstance while in the field. As written about earlier, my hostess in provincial Philippines is a micro entreprenuer running a small village shop which she started with the support of a loan meant to empower women… Read More »

The ability to choose your tradeoffs is empowering

By | January 28, 2009

Sari shop, Old Delhi, India, January 9th 2009 Sonia is just 26 years old. She went to work at age 9, when other little girls were going to school. She didn't say if she started working as a gofer in a beauty parlour after school and actually graduated, though it seems likely since she sounded… Read More »