BBC Radio broadcasts interviews with Indian Microfinance Experts

On 22 May 2011, BBC Radio 4 broadcast an in depth report on the Andhra Pradesh Microfinance crisis titled ” The Bankers and the Bottom Billion” . The program investigates the reasons for the Andhra Pradesh Microfinance Crisis and also carries interviews with leading microfinance experts from India.

A microfinance client whose successful sewing business was started with a micro loan.

The Bankers and the Bottom Billion

Listen to the BBC Radio Program at the link below :

Duration : 40 Minutes


Contributors, in order of appearance, include:

  • David Roodman, Centre for Global Development
  • Tanmay Chetan, Agora Microfinance
  • Meenal Patole, Agora Microfinance India Limited
  • Jayesh Modi, HSBC
  • Yezdi Malegam, Reserve Bank of India
  • Nitin Aggarwal, Spandana Sphoorty Financial Services
  • R Subramanyam, Principal Secretary of Rural Development, Andhra Pradesh
  • Vijay Mahajan, Basix
  • Professor Abhijit Banerjee, MIT
  • Rajnish Dhall, Micro Housing Financial Corporation

Program Description :

The bankers are back in the spotlight – this time financing an explosion in lending services for the poorest people on earth. They are building on the original dream of “micro-finance” with an array of new products for very poor people, funded in part by raising private debt and equity in London and the world’s other financial capitals.

It is thought credit, insurance and mortgages could improve the lives of people in slums and villages from Bangladesh to Bolivia. Yet with mounting attacks on micro-finance’s idealistic founder Muhammad Yunus, there are also concerns that this rapid injection of investment capital could hurt the poorest.

Mukul Devichand tells the intimate story of one slum lane in India, where a group of women have been targeted by the audacious plan to create financial services for the “bottom billion.”

His report asks one of the most important questions of our time: can financial markets help the poorest, or do they need to be protected from the profit motive?

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