In the below video Alex Counts, Grameen Foundation CEO, and founder debates with Vikram Akula, founder of SKS Microfinance on the 25th October, at the Asia Society.
Debate on Microfinance Profits – Vikram Akula and Alex Counts
The audio quality is low and if you are unable to decipher what the participants are saying you can read the transcripts posted below this video.
Transcripts of the debate on For Profit Microfinance follow below
in the above video Vikram Akula begans by articulating what he sees as the microfinance industry’s fundamental flaw today: “Microfinance hasn’t scaled large numbers.” He cited the statistic that three billion people in the world live on less than two dollars a day, yet “only twenty percent of the [world’s] poor households” have been reached through microfinance. To address this pressing need, Akula argued, the only approach is for microfinance institutions to become for-profit businesses so that they can gain access to large amounts of much-needed commercial capital.
Highlighting the effectiveness of his company’s strategy, Akula stated, “In twelve years, we’ve reached 7.5 million clients,” with most coming in the last few years when SKS switched from a non-profit to a for-profit, whereas “the Grameen Bank today reaches 8 million clients, but it took the Grameen bank thirty-five years to do that.”
Read the rest on Can Profit Motive Improve Microfinance