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On the 73rd anniversary of independence, India has a lot to applaud for. Today, India is recognized as one of the fastest-growing large economies in the world and aim to be a USD 5trillion economy by 2022. The country has taken huge strides in enterprise and technology across all walks of life, including commerce, education, science, financial inclusion and more.
However, in spite of the advancements, the large divide that existed between the haves and the have nots continue to concern the economy. The rapid adoption of technology and the subsequent benefits are concentrated among the fortunate ~10% of the country’s population, making the digital divide more pronounced. The need of the hour is to create an ecosystem that paves the way for a more inclusive growth, where the benefits of innovation and progress reach the masses and ensure prosperity for all.
To ensure broad-based economic growth and the overall transformation of India, NITI Aayog in early 2018 had launched the Aspirational District Program. The program identified 115 most backward districts of the country and aimed to quickly and effectively transform them. One of the key areas identified to enable development in these regions was financial inclusion and skill development.
A catalytic set-up under DIPP’s fintech category, PayNearby, an organization conceived to provide the last mile access to Bharat, has done some outstanding grass root level work in these Aspirational Districts.
Through its “HarDukaan Digital Pradhan” campaign, the company has worked closely with retailers in these regions, and brought them to the forefront of financial inclusion, with guidance from RASCI – the Retailer Association Skill Council of India. The work done by PayNearby has enabled financial inclusion worth Rs. 775 Crores to the citizens in these districts through 35 Lakh transactions in the month of June 2019 alone.
The company’s vision tackles two very important issues that can uplift the country’s financial stature: upskilling and creating earning opportunities for retailer partners while enabling financial inclusion for the masses. Retailing which accounts for more than 8% of the country’s employment and the social reach to make meaningful changes, has been provided with the tools, technology and training to offer a range of products to their local communities including Aadhaar banking, bank savings, insurance, access to government schemes and many more.
Commenting on this contribution, Mr Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder & CEO, PayNearby remarked, “Our vision is to create a business that not only stands strong on unit economics but also contributes to nation-building. Our scalable, easy to use technology combined with a committed task force has ensured that PayNearby has a far-reaching social contribution as it goes about its daily business.
Today, from Muzaffarpur to Maldah, and Raichur to Rajnandgaon, including the most backward districts of the county, including Khagaria, PayNearby has successfully enabled the availability of essential services including financial inclusion products in more than 16,700 PIN codes.
Our Digital Pradhans, who form the heart of our business, have been trained and equipped with the tools and technology that allow them to expand their business and transient from just a retail store to much more. As of July 2019, close to 600,000 retailers have signed up on the PayNearby platform and service 5 crore plus customers, with a monthly transactional value of Rs. 4,000 Crore and upwards. We will continue to work with NPCI, bank partners, financial institutions and other stakeholders to ensure basic services including financial inclusion products are made available and affordable to every Indian.”