Modi’s 59-minute loan promise to MSMEs is linked to a Gujarat-based company with revenue of Rs 15,000, whose latest director ran his 2014 campaign

In a nation where it takes on average about 29 days to start a business (three times more in reality), eyebrows of the business press ought have shot up when the Narendra Modi government announced grandly that it would sanction a loan in 59 minutes for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

And given the pathetic state of the various schemes launched with grand fanfare by Modi—Make in India, Digital India, Start Up India, Skill India, etc—the media ought to have had questions against the backdrop of the government’s desire to acquire a third of the Reserve Bank of India’s cash reserves for such purposes.

Thankfully, a non-journalist from outside the geographical boundaries of mainstream media has just done that, and the results are little short of shocking: private data in the hands of players without any track record or accountability, for a price.

Here’s the Facebook post by Mahesh Peri of Careers 360 in its entirety.

***

By MAHESH PERI

Those who applied for the ’59 Minute SME Loan’ would have got an an ‘in principle’ sanction vide a mail. Much of it is auto-generated with an algorithm doing the calculation and responding to the applicant and tagging a bank.

Now to the real thing:

1. The mail comes from a mail ID No-Reply@CapitaWorld.com.

2. Capitaworld Platform Private Limited is a company incorporated on 30 March 2015.

3. The company is registered in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

4. As of 31 March 2017, the company did not start operations and had a revenue of Rs 15,000.

5. The signatories of the company are Jinand Shah and Vikas Shah.

6. Another director on the board is Vinod Modha, A strategic advisor for corporates including Nirma and Mudra (owned by Anil Ambani).

7. All loanees have to pay Rs.1180 on application and 0.35% of the loan as processing fees.

8. Capitaworld makes its money from the banks who in turn load it on the customer.

9. This Ahmedabad-based private company will hold our data with serious connotations – Net Worth etc.

10. After March 2018, the company inducted 4 new directors. One of them, Akhil Handa ran Modi’s 2014 campaign.

Enough said, now the questions:

1. How can Capitaworld sanction a loan and tag the bank? What is their locus standi? What authority? Quite simply, the sanction doesn’t mean a scrap of tissue paper. In our language, it is a lead generation platform?

2. How were they chosen? Criteria? Qualifications?

3. They were neither operational nor had experience. How were they short listed?

4. Shahs, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Too many coincidences?

5. Modha, Mudra, Anil Ambani. Hmm…

6. How was such a massive project trusted to a company with no experience?

7. What were the terms of the contract?

8. Any projections on how much CapitaWorld makes?

9. Is it true the RS 1180 we paid goes to CapitaWorld and also a part of the 0.35%? Imagine a million SMEs applying?

10. Anything on data privacy and non-disclosure agreements?

The loan is a long way off. The smoking gun has already arrived! I hope some serious journalists will dig into the ownership, contract, directors and clear the air!!