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What Bonnie and Clyde Have to Say About Microfinance in India

Disclaimer: Please note, we seriously don’t mean serious business in this one. Parody alert.

We’re Bonnie and Clyde. We rob banks. Or used to, until they started needing to be bought out themselves. Like geez, guys, you could have at least told us, there are enough challenges in the thieving industry already.

We’re used to adapting though. We decided we’re going to teach and guide budding young robbers instead. Career guidance is a business that’s morally noble and financially sound, after all.

Now, for you aspiring thieves out there, consider this a free trial to the kind of wisdom you’ll get from our course.

If you’re a robber in India, you probably want to look at the microfinance sector now. There’s a reason they’re the second largest provider of micro-credit in India.* ICRA said they grew by at least 36% in the 12 months up to September 2019. They’re even being acquired by banks themselves, or becoming banks. Sounds like quite the hotspot to us.

Here’s what you should keep in mind as you get ready for the big heist:

1. Understand your target audience: Marketing guys are super particular about this, they’ve been saying it for the past 2 decades. Study everyone that might be at the micro-finance institution (MFI) when you go - investors, customers the MFI caters to. There are in fact over 300 million who are just “above very poor” that MFIs can help, and they have only tapped 30% of the market so far. That’s a lot of career growth potential right there, especially for a robber. As for investors, they’re displaying an interest in innovative MFIs that have shown brilliant growth. By understanding everyone associated with the sector and picking up their ways, you’ll be able to sneak past the guards and make your way inside quite easily. Plus, you can predict how everyone will respond and what they might do while you’re doing the actual robbing.

2. Find out who their alternative is: There might be an escape route customers are charting out. MFIs compete with loan sharks, who charge interest that can add up to 60% over the course of the year. Otherwise, they might go to banks that take too long to process loans. Neither you nor the customers using the MFI really want to go this way, so remember to hold their hand in case they proceed to the exit. In a tight, tough clasp of course. Also keep the alternative in mind for your next hit-list.

3. Map out the obstacle route: Walking right upto the counter to talk to the MFI won’t be so easy a task. There are some challenges that you’ll have to face. Most potential customers have problems in financial literacy and don’t understand what an MFI can do for them completely. While some MFIs are trying to increase their awareness, others seem to be stuck in the pure aspects of lending-borrowing. Regardless, you could bump into a few souls people you might need to direct yourself before they get out of your way. You might need to use a voice recognition feature or two on the app, or graphics with no text that’ll let them figure out what to do. Could you just threaten them to move? You could, but now where’s the fun in that?

4. The final ask: Here’s the big finale - when you silently walk up to the clerk and put forth the big demand.

“Give me your problems!”

Note it down, young student - The best thief is the one that steals people’s problems to make a solution. You get more in return, thanks to intellectual copyrights and business smarts!

We never did say we were talking about stealing money.



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