Rang De

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Rang De
(also known as rangde.org)
Rang De Logo With Url.png
Founded January 2008 (2008-01)
Focus Economic development
Area served
Method Microcredit
Key people
Slogan Invest in rural entrepreneurs today
Mission Providing access to affordable micro loans to underserved communities in India
Website rangde.org

Rang De (commonly known by its domain name, rangde.org) is a non-profit organization[1] and a peer-to-peer lending platform that lowers the cost of credit via crowdsourcing through the Internet to provide affordable microcredit primarily to low-income entrepreneurs in rural India. Rang De's mission is “to connect the haves and have-nots in a manner that keeps the community’s best interests at heart.”[2]

Since 2008, Rang De has crowd-funded more than 52,000 loans, totaling in excess of $6 million.[3] Rang De has attracted a community of over 9,400 lenders from around the world.[4]

Rang De relies on a network of field partners to administer the loans across 17 states in India.[5][6] These field partners are usually socially businesses or non-profit organizations.[7]

Rang De is supported by grants, loans, and donations from its users, corporations, and national institutions and trust bodies.[8] Rang De is headquartered in Bangalore, India.

Lending process[edit]

Rang De allows microfinance institutions, social businesses and non-profit organizations around the country called "Field Partners" to submit profiles of qualified beneficiaries on its website. Lenders browse and choose an individual or an organization they wish to support. The lenders transfer their funds to Rang De through various e-commerce payment systems.[9] After receiving a user's money, Rang De aggregates loan capital from individual lenders and transfers it to the appropriate field partners who then disburse the loan to the individual or organization chosen by the lender. Rang De charges 2% interest on the loans with the Field Partners receiving differing proportions of the amount but the maximum flat interest rate is capped at 10% per annum.[10] As the individuals repay their loans with interest, the Field Partners remit funds back to Rang De. As the loan is repaid, the Rang De lenders can withdraw their principal or re-lend it to another beneficiary.


Rang De was founded in January 2008 by Smita Ram and Ramakrishna NK. While based in the United Kingdom, they were troubled by the occurrence of farmers' suicides in India and were inspired by the work of Muhammad Yunus who pioneered the use of microfinance to help alleviate poverty by creating livelihood generation opportunities in Bangladesh.[11] In February 2008, Rang De's first loans were funded benefiting a group of women from Nagpur.[12] In November 2016, Rang De facilitated over 50,000 loans with the help of over 10,000 lenders.[13]


As of January 17, 2017, Rang De has distributed $775,525 in loans from 10,965 lenders to 54,123 borrowers.

For the fiscal year of 2016, Rang De made $279,846[14] in total revenue boosted by a grant awarded by Tata Trusts to help the organization scale its operations.[15] The organization's net assets in 2016 totaled $468,712. Rang De charges interest rates on its loans and earned $45,607 in the same year.[16] The crowdsourced credit raised on its platform is disbursed to microfinancing institutions that lend out the money at a maximally capped flat rate of 10%.[17] The organization's main sources of funding are grants, financial backing, and discounted services from many major national corporations and institutions. ICICI Foundation,[18] World Bank,[19] Trafigura Foundation,[20] Millennium Alliance[21] and Nabard[22] are some of the organisations that have funded Rang De over the years.

Areas of work and impact[edit]

Female-owned businesses[edit]

As of January 17, 2017, 93.25% of Rang De’s loans have been made to female entrepreneurs.[23] Rang De focuses heavily on women from remote areas in rural India in order to promote financial inclusion and provide affordable microcredit to the poorest communities of the country.

Support for higher education[edit]

Rang De offers low-interest education loans to students from rural communities in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.[24] Rang De has also partnered with an institute that provides employment-oriented education to high school graduates in Dewas in Madhya Pradesh helping students pay for their tuition fees through crowdsourced education loans.[25][26]


Rang De also offers large tranche loans to microventures focused on livelihood generation in the sectors of weaving,[27] farming,[28] childcare,[29] food production[30] and many other fields.


Interest rates[edit]

Strongly believing that interest rates afforded to the rural poor were unreasonably high, Smita and Ram felt the need to create a portal that sourced social capital and leverage technology to lower costs and ensure microcredit stays affordable.

Rang De’s journey started when my husband and I were working in the UK. We had planned to return to India in four years’ time, and do something meaningful in the social sector. But we started hearing disturbing reports of how men and women in Andhra Pradesh, who had taken loans from micro-finance companies, were committing suicide because they could not pay them back. When we dug deeper we realised that the interest rates on those loans were exorbitant – nearly 36 to 40% annually! We asked ourselves: “Could we not create a platform to connect the haves and have-nots, and enable rural entrepreneurs to access affordable loans?” So just like that we packed our bags, and returned to India, and invested our savings of £6,000 (approx. 5 lakh INR) to set up our venture – Rang De.

Smita Ram, Co-Founder, This Indian Couple Figured How To Help Thousands Of Rural Entrepreneurs With A Small Step, Youth Ki Awaaz.[31]

Current interest rate statistics[edit]

As of January 2017, there are a total of 37 field partners listed on the Rang De website.[23] The following table shows the repayment statistics of a sampling of field partners.[32]

Pre-disbursement of funds[edit]

Much like other P2P lending platforms, Rang De disburses loans to borrowers regardless of whether they are fully raised on the online platform. With many of the individuals hailing from families whose incomes hover near the poverty line, they have an urgent need for credit for their occupations. Rang De is registered as a trust and the website acts as an escrow agent. The contribution by socially conscious lenders helps lower the rate of credit ensuring the loans remain a competitive alternative to moneylenders and other micro-financial institutions.[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "www.rangde.org". Retrieved November 23, 2016. 
  2. ^ Ramesh, Rashmi (December 19, 2015). "Adding colour to lives of the economically challenged". The Alternative. 
  3. ^ Sreemoye, Chatterjee. "They add colours to the dreams of rural entrepreneurs and students". 
  4. ^ Gupta, Namita (September 9, 2016). "Add colour to many lives". Deccan Chronicle. 
  5. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions - What is a field Partner?". rangde.org. Retrieved November 23, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Current Field Partners". rangde.org. Retrieved November 23, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Apply For Partnership". Retrieved November 23, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Funders". rangde.org. Retrieved November 23, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions - How to make an investment?". Retrieved January 10, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions - What is the interest rate breakup on the loan products that Rang De offers?". Retrieved November 23, 2016. 
  11. ^ Ramesh, Rashmi. "Adding colour to lives of the economically challenged". Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  12. ^ "And now a bollywood celebrity joins us on a field trip!". blog.rangde.org. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  13. ^ "With Amagi & Trafigura Employees, Over 10,000+ Indians Have Helped Crowdsource Micro-Loans For 50,000+ Rural Indians". blog.rangde.org. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  14. ^ "2015-16 Auditors Report, Page 3" (PDF). Rang De. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Tata Trusts supports microcredit initiative to fight poverty". The Times of India. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  16. ^ "2015-16 Auditors Report, Page 3" (PDF). Rang De. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions - What is the interest rate breakup on the loan products that Rang De offers?". Retrieved January 17, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Page 53, ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth, Annual Report 2009-2010" (PDF). Rang De. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Overview of the India DM 2013 Finalists". blogs.worldbank.org. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Rang De, India". Trafigura Foundation. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Rang De". Millennium Alliance. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  22. ^ "Nabard - Innovations". Nabard. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  23. ^ a b "Rang De - Invest in rural entrepreneurs". Rang De. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  24. ^ "Rang De's Educational Footprint Growing Every Year". Rang De. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  25. ^ "An IT Professional Who Sold His House To Start A College For Rural Youth". The Better India. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  26. ^ "How Micro-loans Have Helped An Institute Focus On Educating Students in Rural Madhya Pradesh". Rang De. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  27. ^ "Freeing Assamese Women From Physical, Social and Financial Bondage". Rang De. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Bringing Back Organic Farming In Anantapur". Rang De. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Guardian of Dreams — An NGO Working Hard To Ensure No Child Gets Left Behind For Over A Decade". Rang De. Retrieved January 17, 2017.  hair space character in |title= at position 19 (help)
  30. ^ "Helping Women Farmers Pursue Alternative Livelihoods In Uttarakhand". Rang De. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Helping Women Farmers Pursue Alternative Livelihoods In Uttarakhand". Rang De. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  32. ^ a b "Our Field Partners". Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  33. ^ "Should online micro-lending be for profit or for philanthropy? DhanaX and Rang De". Journal of Innovation Economics & Management. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 

External links[edit]