“Don’t worry too much about what will work and what will not, just try out things and learn along the way. Don’t listen to too much advice, just go with your gut.”
Anoj Viswanathan is the co-founder of Milaap, India’s leading crowdfunding platform for personal and social causes. Milaap, which began as a microlending platform for the rural poor, enabling them to get capital to meet various needs, has slowly metamorphosed into a larger platform that can be used by individuals and charities for various purposes.
Anoj Viswanathan was born and schooled in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. In 2005, a scholarship from Singapore Airlines helped him pursue a degree at the National University of Singapore, from where he graduated with a Bachelors in Engineering and minors in Economics & Management of Technology. He has worked at ReEx Capital Asia, a cleantech investment boutique in Singapore and served as a fellow at D.light Design, developing consumer financing and mapping models for rural electrification. When Anoj witnessed the impact of a ten dollar solar-system sold, on credit, to the poor in tribal Orissa, the idea for Milaap struck him. He founded the platform with a simple mission- to connect flourishing Indians and its Diaspora with the working poor through charitable lending.
‘Lend a little. Change a lot‘ is the simple, yet profound tagline of Milaap.org. It allows individuals and organizations to crowdfund donations for personal causes, emergencies, neighborhood projects, and social causes. Milaap also helps corporations to create engagement campaigns around causes. They apply the best principles of microfinance and customize it to the needs and capacities of the borrowers. Due to their efforts, families with young children now have access to clean drinking water at home. Artisans and craftsmen have seen their income rise by more than twenty percent due to increased working capital and production.
Viswanathan has touched the lives of millions of Indians and inspired them to dream big. His initiative have gone a long way in propelling the youth to help turn dreams of the underprivileged into a reality.