13-year-old 8th class student Saksham Agarwal hailing from Sarangi, a remote hamlet in Madhya Pradesh, has developed a web-based micro-finance app that can potentially connect small business owners, and farmers from his village to lenders so that they can 1) access facilities like loans and 2) track EMIs.
Explaining his idea, Saksham, who is learning coding from WhiteHat Jr, said, “I have observed many people in my community look for micro-finance options to fulfil myriad needs. However, a majority of these borrowers do not understand the complexity of when to pay or how much to pay back on the loan they’re availing. I have seen some of them being conned into paying more than what their EMI should be. My web-based app ‘Shree Finance App’ aims to resolve these issues. I am still in the process of developing it further and really want both, people who want to lend as well as those who want to avail loans, to start using it at the earliest possible.”
The web-based app has multiple interesting features. The app can connect a small loan borrower to a lender via a chat option. It stores lender and borrower profiles and details of the amount borrowed, period and rate of monthly payments. Further, it allows users to track their loans and reminds them about EMIs over chat. The built-in easy-to-use monthly payment calculator is another handy feature for users to calculate the EMI per month for a given amount, the loan rate and the loan period.
Saksham’s coding Mentor Parna Mehta said, “Saksham is a very bright child. He preferred to learn coding in Hindi, so we customised our teaching approach and conducted classes in Hindi. I am proud that Saksham is applying his learnings well and creating something that will help the community.”
Sakshma’s mother Chanchal Agrawal, is equally excited, “Saksham is a very observant child. My husband is a businessman and Saksham takes a lot of interest in his work. We were pleasantly surprised and extremely proud when he told us he was building an app to help people manage their loans and track their EMIs. The concept of this application is interesting and I hope he can further develop this concept so that people actually start using his app. We’re very happy to see him work so hard and want to see him create more interesting apps. With determination and correct guidance, you can achieve your dreams even if you are living in a small city.”
Saksham’s story is testament to the fact that technology can serve as a powerful tool to empower people. Next, Saksham is working on an app to help his father, a consumer goods wholesaler, which tracks orders, manages inventory and prints receipts when small retailers place orders with him.