e-Business & Commerce, 2009
Dhanax was first launched in Karnataka in May 2008 and its operations were expanded to Gujarat in May 2009. It is an online – offline social lending network that facilitates loans to poor women self help groups in India. Individuals interested in lending can register on the Dhanax website and view the details of the groups which are in need of loan. On picking a group to lend to, the mode of payment (online transfer, cheque, online DD) can be selected. Once they transfer the money, an acknowledgement is sent from Dhanax. The legal contract made between the lender, borrower and the company is then couriered to the lenders address. The self help groups borrow at lower interest rates (14%) and they have to contribute a nominal (5%) to the facilitators, dhanaX, making the whole process self sustaining. 100% repayment has been recorded in the areas where this concept has been implemented.
Only 34% of India’s population has access to formal banking systems. India has the second-highest number of unbanked population in the world – about 135 million households or approximately 675 million people. Total credit supply through existing formal channels reaches only 15% of the $90 billion demand. The only credit alternatives for hundreds of millions of people are local pawnbrokers or moneylenders, who usually charge exorbitant 50% – 120% interest rates per annum. Dhanax supports and provides easy access to low cost credit for poor borrowers to supplement their income, and provides a credible and lucrative investment opportunity for the social investor.
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