The Srijan Financial Inclusion Forum was held successfully from October 7 & 8, 2010 at the Taj Land’s End, Mumbai.The forum is an initiative of Intellecap and the event brought together leaders from the banking, microfinance, insurance, and technology industries to envision the roadmap for Indian microfinance in the next decade.Updates follow below
Srijan 2010: Business Correspondent Model for Financial Inclusion: A Debate
The business correspondent (BC) model has been utilized by mainstream banks to reach unbanked areas. This panel brought together moderator Arun Diaz, Board Member, Aavishkaar, and panelists Utpal Isser, Business Head – Microbanking, ICICI Bank; Anurag Gupta, Founder, A Little World; and Amit Mehta, Sub-K iTransactions Ltd, to talk about how their organizations have used the BC model.
Diaz started off the panel by saying that installing an ATM is expensive, and any ATM that doesn’t do 400 transactions in a day is losing money. Based on this fact, ATMs in every Indian city isn’t a realistic picture. Finding another way to extend banking services to the “last mile” is imperative. Read more
Srijan 2010: The Big Debate: Media Meets Microfinance
In a humorous preface to what turned out to be a candid and controversial conversation, Vineet Rai, Chairman Intellecap and CEO Aavishkaar, laid some groundwork: no physical violence from panel members and no throwing objects at the panel from the audience.
Media interest peaked during the SKS IPO. In the weeks following the IPO, the media coverage has turned a little more critical. This session brought together Sumir Chadha, Managing Director, Sequoia; Alok Prasad, CEO, MFIN; PN Vasudevan, Founder & MD, Equitas; CS Ghosh, MD, Bandhan; Tamal Bandyopadhyay, Deputy Managing Editor, MINT; and Shloka Nath, Principal Correspondent, Forbes India.
To start off the discussion, Bandyopadhyay made a simple request to the microfinance institutions: “If we are going wrong, tell us where we are going wrong. If we are going right, tell us where we’re going right.”
He went on to explain the journalists don’t see stories in a negative or positive way, but they just see facts. Panelists from the MFI sector disagreed. Read more
Scalable Technology Infrastructure for Financial Inclusion
Moderator Vijay Mahajan, Chairman, BASIX joined Sydney Lobo, Head – Sustainability, Tata Power; Vijay Babu, CEO, Vortex; Sadaf Sayeed, COO, Muthoot Fincorp; R.K. Dubey, Executive Director, Central Bank of India; J. K Sinha, CGM – Rural Business, State Bank of India; and Kunal Bajaj, Director-India, Analysys Mason.
None of the panelists doubted the value of technology, but there are many challenges that prevent companies from entering the Bottom of the Pyramid and rural markets.
“All of my panelists agree that there are technology products that can help customers at the last mile,” Sayeed said. “The challenge is to find the right product.” Read more