During my visit to Flipkart in Bangalore -India, I learned why this company grew fast to become one of the biggest companies in Asia. Where Amazon failed, Flipkart succeeded. From their situation I noticed something important for our crowdfunding field:
India’s culture is totally different from America (referring to Amazon), with a lot of bureaucracy and low financial transparency. Also, a sizeable number of India’s citizens do not have a bank card and many transactions get solely paid by cheque. And although India’s Prime Minister Modi tried to change their financial system by suddenly banning 86 percent of their cash money a year ago, India’s economy is still mostly depending on cash. Imagine, in a system like this, how can you set up an online service like Amazon which is depending on digital money transfers?
Amazon tried but didn’t succeed their first time: The problem is not to reach many people online – because even the poorest people are online with their mobile phones -. The challenge is to get online buyers. Then Flipkart came. Flipkart is a company like Bol.com or Amazon. They offer a huge online market place as well. But, they did something differently. Flipkart offered their visitors a cash-on-delivery system. People could buy products online, then, once the postman brought your delivery, you paid by cash. It worked perfectly and Flipkart grew and grew.
You may be thinking, what has this to do with crowdfunding?? Well, in my opinion we can use this method in the field of crowdfunding too. Not only in India where the offline market is important, but also here in the Netherlands. NGO’s are already experimenting with digital collection boxes for their campaigns. I think we should find ways to implement cash and the use of digital collection boxes for crowdfunding campaigns as well. The opportunity for interested people to invest directly offline by cash or bankcard can help to build a bridge between the offline and the online world!
Do you have a question or would you like to discuss your crowdfunding idea? Feel welcome to contact!