The concept of crowdfunding may still be in a nascent stage in the country, but helping turn it into a viable means of financing great ideas is Ranganath Thota, who runs a crowdfunding website FuelADream.com.
Ranganath, whose family is based in Hyderabad but runs the site from Bengaluru, worked in the corporate sector for over two decades before he decided he wanted to do something about his aspiration of helping those around him.
“I was always held back by the fact that I wanted to do something large rather than making a difference to one or two or 50 people... I wanted to do something massive. When I began to understand how crowdfunding worked, I found this was a great way to reach out to people,” says Ranganath, who grew up studying and working in various states and cities around the whole country.
On the site, Ranganath helps those who wish to raise funds by first segregating them into four segments: Ideas, charities, recoveries and causes. After this, his team works with the campaign owners to strategise their fundraising and marketing campaigns.
But what they really focus on is transparency. “We also have profiles for campaign owners, who are asked to give constant feedback to donors who rate them, called crowd rating. If they’re not satisfied with the progress of the campaign, they can go back and change their rating,” he explains.
“The whole concept is that there are a lot of people who do a lot of good work, but they find it difficult to raise funds. Crowdfunding is really all about the power of good...the power of people like us saying, ‘Why don’t we do good to others’,” Ranganath says....