How to use e-bricks to build (Amaravati, AP's new capital, explores crowd funding)

Fri, 2016-05-27 12:48 -- SCC India Staff

Amaravati

In a quest to become a smartly integrated metropolis while keeping citizens on board, Amaravati, the greenfield capital of Andhra Pradesh, is the only city in India which is raising funds digitally. The crowd-funding initiative, ‘My Brick, My Amaravati’ was launched in October 2015 by the state government, and is gaining momentum now. This could be the first such exercise in India where Indian citizens along with expats will contribute in a fund-raising initiative.

Crowd funding is a method of raising capital through the efforts of family, friends and investors. The pool of individuals participating in the fund-raising can be formed via social media, government portals and other platforms for extensive exposure and reach. Crowd funding has emerged as an alternative form of finance far removed from the avenues of the conventional financial system.

Meanwhile, the sale of digital bricks for Amaravati has now crossed the 55 lakh-mark, indicating the growing interest to get associated with the upcoming new city. As of today, the total number of donors stands at 2.25 lakh, while the number of bricks collected is 55.60 lakh. The total amount of the corpus raised so far is Rs 5.56 crore. What’s more, the government has also decided to involve around 70 lakh students and three lakh teachers in the construction of the capital city. The total fund requirement for this city is around Rs 1 lakh crore.  

Under the ‘My Brick, My Amaravati’ initiative, a person is allowed to buy a digital brick for Rs 10 and his/her name is engraved on it. It is kept in a repository for ever. And the donor gets a certificate of commendation from Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, which reads: “Every brick matters and every effort is valued. Your gesture will go a long way in realising Amaravati as a true people’s capital.”

Plans are also afoot for stepping up this donations campaign for the capital by the cash-strapped State government, which has not been able to gain any significant special assistance from the Centre until now for the project. Andhra Pradesh has received only Rs 856 crore so far from the Centre for the building of Amaravati.  

The mission statement of the exercise is encapsulated in the portal www.amaravati.gov.in A special window for international donations will also be opened shortly.

Benefits of crowd funding:

•Reach: Thousands of creditors can interact, invest and participate in a fundraising campaign.

•Concept Validation: Presenting a concept before potential investors affords an excellent opportunity to validate and refine an offering.

•PR & Marketing: From beginning to close, a promotion on the Internet through social media and other means helps to connect with a large, heterogeneous audience.