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Thinking small to weave a safety net of savings

24th March 2020
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Photo credit: Mint

Ramani Sekar, 38, is the sole breadwinner of her family of five in Tambaram, Chennai. She works as a daily wage labourer and a domestic help, earning around ₹200 a day. Her 47-year-old husband went blind a couple of years ago and has no work. Her son, 17, quit studying after school and stays at home. Her daughter, 20, completed a nursing course, but is unemployed. Ramani’s mother also stays with her.

Despite the hardship, she manages to save ₹500 a month with Kaleidofin, a Chennai-based fintech startup serving the underbanked. “I have set this money aside for emergencies like medical expenses for my husband and mother,” she says. She also puts some money in the savings scheme of a self-help group.

The usual financial products that banks, mutual funds and insurance companies sell are ill-suited to the needs of people like Ramani, whose incomes are low and vary from day to day, says Sucharita Mukherjee, CEO and co-founder of Kaleidofin. The neobank takes a customer-centric appro-ach, working out combinations of financial products that meet goals of those who cannot afford to invest in a range of services.

Read the full story here.