Shaping women entrepreneurs in rural areas through fintech

The empowerment of women is vital to the growth of their families and communities

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, May 19, 2022, 04:59 PM IST
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Encouraging women to initiate and run businesses can play a pivotal role in uplifting India’s economy |

Encouraging women to initiate and run businesses can play a pivotal role in uplifting India’s economy and bringing about improvements on various social indicators linked to the quality of life and well-being of families.

Aarti Kumari, a distributor from Odhav district in Ahmedabad, Gujarat says her life has changed for good ever since she has got associated with airpay vyaapaar. Kumari has been dealing in the money transfer business for the last eight years.

“We learnt about airpay vyaapaar and decided to become its distributor in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Among the services provided are AePS (Aadhar Enabled Payment System), Micro-ATM, Bill Payment and FASTag. The system runs smoothly and effortlessly.” Kumari said.

airpay wants to handhold the women who want to establish themselves financially, especially in the rural areas. Sharing her experience with airpay, M Monisha, a vyaapaari from rural Maharashtra, said, that she had issues with the previous company in terms of pending and unsuccessful transactions. It used to take at least 24-48 hours for a customer support representative to respond with a solution.

“I have been using airpay for more than a year and their service has been excellent. airpay pays me a commission of Rs 10,000 to 25,000 each month and I am incredibly happy,” Monisha said.

Echoing a similar view, Kushboo Kumari, a vyaapaari from Gaya, Bihar, also said, that it is much easier to transact through airpay.

Not only distributors and vyaapaaris, retailers and even consumers are happy to invest through airpay. As Kiran Mishra, a consumer, who invested in gold through airpay said that she got a decent return, and it was quite easy to invest through airpay.

airpay, through its journey, wanted to empower women to be independent. When the airpay officials visited the rural areas, they found women were equally talented and were keen to join airpay vyaapaar, as they wanted to be financially independent.

India continues to have a gender pay gap issue, while rural men earn 1.4-1.7 times as much as rural women, men in cities earn 1.2 times more than women. The empowerment of women is vital to the growth of their families and communities.

As a part of the women empowerment initiative and providing equal opportunity to women, airpay started The Sakhi Ke Saath airpay initiative in 2020. airpay has onboarded hundreds of women as far as part of this initiative. These financially independent women score higher on measures of financial stability, self-worth, and happiness.

Financial instability due to job losses and salary cuts resulted in people searching for alternate avenues of income. Many people grabbed the opportunity offered by airpay as online transactions increased during Covid.

airpay launched the Sakhi Ke Saath programme to strengthen women's empowerment in society.

“We have enrolled hundreds of women as airpay vyaapaaris as part of this programme to provide banking and financial services to the underserved sections of society. airpay vyaapaar encourages women micro-entrepreneurs and provides them with the tools to start their businesses. In turn, enabling a stable primary or secondary source of income. airpay's mission is to assist more women in achieving financial independence,” says Kunal Jhunjhunwala, founder and managing director of airpay.

airpay vyaapaar is built around three pillars that prioritise the needs of the vyaapaari - revenue enhancement, business management, and revenue collection. airpay vyaapaaris offer banking and formal financial services to more than 3.5 million unserved consumers across 5,700 villages, 533 districts and thirty-seven states and union territories. Launched in May 2020, airpay aims to empower India’s 600 million unserved population going forward.

airpay is eyeing to double its presence from five lakh airpay vyaapaaris to more than ten lakhs by 2023.

airpay vyaapaaris’ daily revenues are driven by transactions done via Micro-ATM, Money Transfer, AePS (Aadhar Enabled Payment System), and other financial products. The airpay vyaapaar platform streamlines vyaapaari business operations with Khata Management, Working Capital Loans, and Tax Compliance. The revenue collection pillar enables the vyaapaari to accept digital payments through UPI, Bharat QR, Credit/ Debit cards, etc.

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