Microfinance News Digest

Microfinance India – News Digest – 03/11/2009

Microfinance India Summit concludes in New Delhi on 28th October 2009

Updates and summary of events can be found on their blog http://blog.microfinanceindia.org/

Microlending in India Continues Macro Growth

Microlenders recorded a 60% increase in clients in India, to 22.6 million in the year ended March 31, 2009, from 14.1 million the previous year, according to a report from Access Development Services, a New Delhi-based nonprofit serving the microfinance industry. Microlenders lend small amounts of money to groups of poor people, mainly to help foster entrepreneurship and trade.

In contrast, the formal banking system in India recorded 15% growth over the same period in the number of poor and underserved clients it serves, expanding its reach to 54 million clients from 47.1 million clients, according to the study. For the last 15 years, the formal banking system has been partnering with nongovernmental organizations to deliver loans to people living below the poverty line (around 20,000 rupees a year, or $430) and people who live in remote areas.. Rest of the article

The microfinance boom – A WSJ report forecasts that microfinanciers are likely to lend more money than the formal banking sector a few years down the line

India’s financial sector could be on the cusp of a major power shift.

A Wall Street Journal report published by this newspaper on Tuesday cites a study by a New Delhi non-profit that says the number of clients serviced by microfinance outfits soared 60% in the 12 months to 31 March, even as the formal banking sector increased the number of poor customers they serve by a more modest 15%.

N. Srinivasan, the author of the report, also made the rather stunning forecast that microfinanciers are likely to lend more money than the formal banking sector a few years down the line.Rest of the Article

Interview with Chandrashekhar Ghosh of Bandhan Microfinance

From its inception in July 2002, Bandhan has grown from strength to strength and is the leading micro financier in the east. It is also one of the fastest growing micro finance institutions (MFI) of the country and has just achieved yet another milestone by creating a 20-lakh strong active borrower base. While the entire Bandhan team was celebrating its latest glory, ET correspondent caught up with its founder Chandra Sekhar Ghosh to get a sense of the MFI’s operations. Excerpts:

You are visibly happy today as Bandhan has crossed an important milestone: 20 lakh live member-borrowers. What does it really mean? What’s next ?

Indeed. We are happy to be associated with 20 lakh poor women and to support them in their economic endeavours. Most significantly, these are all live accounts. If you ask me the cumulative customer base till now, it would be over 25 lakh. What is even more satisfying is the fact that we are growing our customer base faster than anybody else. In just about seven years’ time, crossing the 20-lakh mark is no mean achievement. Over the next five years, till March 2014, we have a target of achieving an 80-lakh figure. Rest of the article

Women self-help groups to man parking lots soon

THANE: Women of Thane are soon to make a foray into another male bastion working as attendants in parking lots.As many as 63 women’s self-help groups (SHG)s in Thane have been given the contract to work at 112 locations across the lake city, helping motorists and bikers park their vehicles at specified places for a certain period and recover the money for it.

The first-of-its-kind initiative, which is expected to be launched by next week, is expected to serve a dual purpose, of opening a new horizon for the SHGs as well as cutting down on corruption in the pay-and-park scheme. Calling it a viable business plan, deputy municipal commissioner B G Pawar, who initiated the proposal, hoped that this kind of job would instil confidence among women’s groups.Rest of the article

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