“Investing as a concept has still not seeped into the fabric of life here. The very term investment isn’t common parlance. We still use the word bachat (savings). For years, there were only two things we would do with the extra money we had: Deposit it in a post office account or a State Bank of India account,” says Joshi.
Easy access made post office schemes and bank fixed deposits (FDs) the go-to option for most people. For long, the objective they had was to safeguard their hard-earned money and earn guaranteed interest.
“In our city, bachat revolves around trust and word of mouth. The post office and bank symbolize trust, and in fact earlier most of my family and neighbours would simply go to the post office agent or bank manager and ask him/her where to put their money. In fact, my grandfather, a post office agent himself, invested his life’s savings in post office schemes and following in his footsteps, my father diligently invested in Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP), as did most of my maternal and paternal uncles. For them, the percentage of return or CAGR (compound annual growth rate) didn’t really matter,” says Joshi.
Small savings schemes have been very popular in tier-II and tier-III cities for multiple reasons.
The low minimum investment limits, guaranteed monthly or annual interest payouts and sense of safety have ensured a steady flow of money into these schemes. Joshi, like many others living in…