As plans go, it was a great one. On 21 May, roughly two months after India imposed one of the strictest Covid-19 lockdowns the world has seen, a disruptive new fintech platform was to be unveiled. One that would run like electricity through the country’s financial system. “Sahay” (in Hindi, “help”), an ambitious online lending marketplace, would be targeted at the hundreds of thousands of Indian micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Businesses that had probably been closed and financially decimated during the lockdown.

Sahay would allow them to access a loan from banks in as few as five minutes.

AUTHOR

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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