deAsra, Catalysing Employment and Entrepreneurship !

Pradnya Godbole, CEO deAsra

Sanjay Sathe* wanted to start his own photography business but he did not have enough funds to move ahead on it. He applied for a loan under a government scheme, but that was rejected. Sometimes loans like this can be rejected due to a poor credit history. To ensure you don’t find yourself in a situation like this, you might want to consider using credit cards to build credit to help you get a loan in the future. Having a good credit history lets the company or bank know that you will be able to repay the loan. It is also advisable to compare different loans and lenders before taking out a loan. This ensures that you will get the best and most affordable deal possible. You can compare loans on Donkey Finance with no preliminary credit checks. Sanjay, however, was unable to get his loan accepted for reasons that aren’t disclosed.

Enter deAsra, a not-for-profit organisation that helps budding entrepreneurs in small businesses to set up. Its target is to reach one lakh jobs by 2020. Sathe was assisted in getting all the legalities and paperwork done to get a loan from the bank. “In India, the people who have an investment between five lakh to one crore find it really hard to get funding.

The main aim is to empower small businesses, as they contribute around 45 percent to the GDP,” says Pradnya Godbole, CEO of the organization.

Godbole is an engineer by education and worked in the IT industry for over 17 years. But, her work in this industry wasn’t able to fulfill her, “I felt that I needed a change. I wasn’t able to gauge the impact of my work on others.. It was all about software that had to be made for another company. At the time, my boss was Dr Anand Deshpande, CEO and founder of Persistent Systems. I went to him with my intention to take a long sabbatical. He heard me out and then discussed an idea of creating more jobs for the youth. I took a break for just two weeks and then I got back to work on this in 2013.

And deAsra launched in 2015.

Running a bakery, parlor, cleaning, and housekeeping services are some of the small yet traditional services that are supported by the organization. The entrepreneurs are able to approach the organization when it comes to setting up the business from scratch. “There are step-by-step instructions given on the website on how to go about the business. There are those who also choose to come and have a face-to-face chat wherein they are handheld through the whole process. It is easy to track their progress this way.” Godbole further explains that supporting such businesses also means helping them transition from the unorganized sector to the organized sector.

“Not many people even know that the license for the Shop Act can be sourced online and it costs only Rs 200.

Not many people are aware of such things. They have a very old school way of even running their accounts. Most businesses suffer because they aren’t able to trace where their money is going.”

The shift to the organized sector involves the organization aiding the entrepreneurs with managing their expenses, complying with the law and acquiring various licenses, fulfillment documents, and final processing. This completely eliminates the need to go to a moneylender who charges high rates of interest as compared to a bank where it is all regulated.

Godbole feels the stark contrast between her work as an engineer and as the leader of developmental organization, “I can directly see the impact of my work on so many people. It is so much more fulfilling than before!”

*name changed to protect customer privacy

Vijayta Lalwani

Vijayta Lalwani

The young lady from Lagos has always been keen on a career in journalism. Pune365 was hence the right stop. We agree. vijayta@pune365.com
Vijayta Lalwani

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