Mumbai-based architect Jenis Makwana found something odd while poring over his late brother Abhishek’s emails. The younger Makwana had accumulated around Rs 1.8 lakh ($2,400) in loan debt. But that wasn’t the odd part.

At the last count, says Makwana, his brother had 72 different instant loan apps on his smartphone, most of which had lent him bite-sized loans between Rs 3,000 ($40.8) and Rs 10,000 ($136.2). These included apps such as SuperRupee, CoolRupee, KreditBear, SweetCash, Cashtime, and Cashvibe.

The lockdown had made things perilous for Abhishek Makwana, a writer who freelanced for a popular Hindi sitcom.


Arundhati Ramanathan

Arundhati is Bengaluru-based. She is interested in how people use money in the digital age and how new economies will take shape based on that interaction. She has spent over 10 years reporting and writing on various subjects. Previous stints were at Mint, Outlook Business and Reuters.

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