Rani Deshpande

Rani Deshpande rejoined CGAP in 2019 as part of an initiative to understand the potential of targeted financial services to maximize the benefits of the burgeoning digitally-mediated “gig” economy for young, marginalized workers, especially women.

Ms. Deshpande brings 20 years of experience in various aspects of financial inclusion, youth livelihoods, and nonprofit strategy and management. Most recently, she directed Save the Children’s $35M portfolio of youth and off-farm livelihoods development work in over a dozen countries. From 2010 to 2016 she led YouthSave, an initiative that assisted over 150,000 teens to open tailored savings accounts and save over $1.2M. Ms. Deshpande worked at CGAP from 2003-2006 and built institutional and industry capacity on financial products including savings and money transfers. She has also served as a strategy consultant to US nonprofits and worked directly with MSMEs in India and West Africa, providing technical assistance on production for export and small business management.

Ms. Deshpande earned her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and a dual Master’s degree in International Affairs and Business from Columbia University. She is fluent in French and Marathi.

By Rani Deshpande


Paying Attention to the Financial Needs of Youth

Despite growing interest in youth financial services as a means to financial inclusion, until recently there has been precious little publicly available information on what youth in developing countries want from financial institutions.

Country-Level Savings Assessment Tool

This Technical Guide explains the areas of analysis covered in a CLSA, the methodology used, and how the CLSA can be tailored to meet the needs of the commissioning agency.

The True Cost of Deposit Mobilization

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) seem to be of two minds about the cost of mobilizing savings. In a recent CGAP study, the majority of institutions interviewed perceived deposits as the cheapest form of funding available, as well as stable, plentiful, and a valuable service to clients.

MFI Capital Structure Decision Making: A Call for Greater Awareness

This Brief summarizes the study's findings and makes recommendations about ways we can work toward optimizing MFI balance sheets.

Safe and Accessible: Bringing Poor Savers Into the Financial System

Despite significant evidence to the contrary, many financial institution managers and policy makers do not believe poor people save money. They tend to assume that poor people are “too poor to save,” that they prefer to consume rather than save excess income, or that when they do save it is only to access a loan.