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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mr.Nilekani & National ID card Project

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Mr. Nandan Nilekani has recently been appointed to head the National ID card project. I am confident that with his vision, passion and business acumen he will be able to drive this project.He knows how to deliver result quarter after quarter, so he will be able to do this as well. But needles to mention, he will require a strong team on board soon, especially to comprehend the complexities of Indian socio political system. This is no small project and will have implications far beyond our imagination and if Mr. Nilekani is able to pull it through in next 2-3 years it will be a herculean feat perhaps in global history...

I largely suspect that basic data like population of our country, number of vehicles in Pune, number of children who dont have any access to education etc is not available or incorrect. I am not sure how national ID card project will solve these problems, but I am sure once the team starts planning and implementing things will become clear. Definitely there will be lot of obstacles but with a problem solver like Mr. Nilekani at the helm, I am sure things will be far far better than if any general politician/ bureaucrat would have been appointed for this role. So I am really thankful to the government to make good beginning.

I think & I am sure that Infosys will be all proud whatever Mr. Nilekani do & will supoort him with team, resources whenever possible in the larger interest of this country. Infosys has strong management & legacy system and infact this step from Mr. Nilekani will enhance the brand image of Infosys which will benefit the company in the long run.

This step from Mr.Nilekani will set a benchmark & hopefully many more people like him will become part of Indian bureaucratic system, which needs a massive rehauling. India today need more of doers than thinkers and discussioners.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

United Prosperity

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United Prosperity a micor finance mission started by Bhalchander Viswanath. This initiative has the potential to solve some of the India's critical problems of poverty, unemployment, rapid urbanization, education, health and general standard of living in rural India. Supporting rural entreprenurs...with small needs can create big difference as it will make them self reliant...boost their confidence level....increase personal income level...create long term employment opportunity for them and their family memebers...all this in turn will decrease migration to urban areas...increase the standard of living of rural India, which in turn will encourage them to send their children to schools and take proper education without any urgency to earn money for the family. Heres an excerpt from Bhalchander about this new mission -
Combat poverty and multiply the impact of your money

United Prosperity ( is the world’s first person to person loan guaranteeing website. Small entrepreneurs all over the world need funds to start and grow their businesses. Banks however don’t lend to them without collateral. Small entrepreneurs cannot provide collateral since they are often very poor. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) lend to the poor without collateral but they in turn (especially the smaller MFIs) need guarantees to borrow from banks. The general public can help the entrepreneur earn a better livelihood by providing cash collateral – a guarantee – on our website. The guarantee allows the entrepreneurs to access a microloan through one of our partner Microfinance Institutions (MFIs). On loan repayment the money is returned.

United Prosperity is unique in several ways:
a. Maximum impact: Due to United Prosperity’s innovative guarantee model which involves additional capital contributions by the bank and MFI, $1 in guarantee could lead to $2 to $5 in loan to the entrepreneur – thus maximizing the impact.
b. Local linkages: United Prosperity creates relationships between domestic banks, MFIs and poor entrepreneurs rather than encouraging dependence on foreign assistance.
No foreign exchange risk: Since the loans from the Bank to the MFI, and from the MFI to the entrepreneur are in local currency, there is no foreign exchange risk involved. Only in the relatively rare event of default, when the guarantee is called will a cross-border foreign exchange transaction take place.

Operations began in India in May 2009 and over time will expand to other countries.

Key supporters include Cognizant, O’Melveney and Myers, Hanson Bridgett, Berkeley Law at UC Berkeley, Tempus Law, NetSuite, and

You can support United Prosperity in several ways:
a. Spread the word: Write about United Prosperity in your blog or website and tell your friends.
b. Become a social guarantor: Visit United Prosperity’s website and support poor entrepreneurs by making guarantees. There is no minimum amount and you can make payments with PayPal or a credit card.
c. Join the community :
d. Share your expertise: Volunteer your expertise to help build and market our website.
e. Support our mission: Provide grants or loans to help scale up United Prosperity’s operations in the US and India to help us reach more poor entrepreneurs and further our mission.