Mr. Manoj Nambiar has over 32 years of working experience and is currently with the Aavishkaar Group as the Managing Director of Arohan Financial Services Limited.
He started his career with Modi Xerox in 1988 and moved into financial services with GE Countrywide in 1995. He did stints with ANZ Grindlays and ABN Amro Bank NV India and then moved to the Middle East joining National Bank of Oman as Head Retail Banking in 2002 looking after Oman, UAE, and Egypt. He became the COO of the Alhamrani - Nissan Finance company, KSA and thereafter the Deputy CEO of Ahli Bank SAOG in Muscat, Oman. He returned to India in June 2010 as MD & CEO of IntelleCash Microfinance Network Company (P) Limited (an Intellecap Group company) in the business of incubating and capacity building of MFIs getting deputed as the MD of Arohan in 2012.
Mr. Nambiar is a mechanical engineer by graduation from VJTI in 1986, an MBA in Marketing by post-graduation from JBIMS in 1988, both from Mumbai University and has tertiary qualifications in insurance from III. He has also completed a “Strategic Leadership in Microfinance” course from the Harvard Business School, Boston, the US in April 2013 and “Strategy meets leadership” course from INSEAD, France in Aug’19. He joined the MFIN board first in 2013, was the President in 2015 and got re-elected in 2018. Mr Nambiar likes to listen to soft music in his free time.
Mr. Devesh Sachdev
Chairperson MD & CEO, Fusion Micro Finance Ltd.
An XLRI postgraduate with an experience of over 19 years in varied sectors of Banking, Logistics and Microfinance, Devesh co-founded Fusion in 2010. Under his leadership, Fusion has grown to a client base of 1.85 MN clients with a portfolio size of 3,600 Cr in 18 states of India. Devesh’s long term vision and executing strategy is validated by the marquee PE firm Warbug Pincus’s decision to choose Fusion to make its first investment in the Indian Microfinance arena in 2018. His unwavering conviction on upholding organizational value system has enabled Fusion to strive despite of volatile and turbulent environment which sector has faced intermittently over the last one decade.
Devesh has served various Boards since 2008 and was elected as Vice President of MFIN in 2017. He has represented the sector in diverse forums and platforms to create a healthy and positive outlook. He got awarded as the ‘50 Fastest Growing CEOs of India’ by ‘The CEO Magazine’ in 2018. He is a strong advocate of agile transformation and digital innovation for employee centric seamless operations which made Fusion the “Best Workplaces in MFI” in its debut year of GPTW certification with 66th position in top 100 workplaces in India.
Mr. Dibyajyoti Pattanaik
Director, Annapurna Finance Pvt. Ltd.
Mr. Dibyajyoti Pattanaik has over 17 years of experience in microfinance, micro-enterprise development and development sector consulting. Previously, he had contributed as a business consultant for APITCO in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises space. He has worked with Public and Development Sector Institutions in various roles prior joining Peoples’ Forum as Program Head & CFO in 2007. Currently, he is the Director of Annapurna Finance Pvt. Ltd.
He is also serving as the President of OSAFII (Odisha Association of Financial Inclusion) which is actively working towards Financial Inclusion in the state of Odisha for development of the underprivileged to serve them through responsible finance. He has served as the Vice President of MFIN, where he contributed to the overall issues pertaining to the financial inclusion sector.
Dibyajyoti holds a Post Graduate Diploma in development studies from EDII (Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India), Ahmedabad, and has successfully completed a management programme in micro-finance from Boulder Institute of Microfinance, Turin, Italy. In addition, he has also attended Strategic leadership in the field of Inclusive Finance from Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts.
Mr George K John
Executive Director, ESAF Small Finance Bank.
Mr George K John has nearly three decades of experience in Banking, Finance and Development sector, ranging from grassroot experience to senior management level across multiple geographies. A microfinance practitioner since 1995, he addressed the unserved and underserved segment of the society, with his deep-rooted passion for serving the society through micro lending, job creation, skill development and livelihood promotion.
Committed to fight financial discrimination in the geographies ESAF served, Mr George K John was the strength behind the increase in microfinance customers from the first set of 5 in 1995 to 5.5 million by 2022. He was also successful in bridging other gaps in child development, education, slum development, water and sanitation, renewable energy etc creating a direct impact in society.
As EVP – Business, Mr George K John played a key role in the transformation of ESAF Microfinance, spearheading the development of new processes, procedures, and digital systems, which fuelled the growth of ESAF Bank in 5 years of its operationalisation. He was a key strategic contributor in efforts which drove the major expansion of ESAF’s Microfinance and Developmental Programmes covering the South, Central and Eastern India.
Currently as EVP at ESAF, Mr George K John is responsible for managing the Operations, Finance, Strategy & Planning, Treasury, Digital Banking, Sustainable Banking, etc. He is an alumnus of the CMC College Kottayam, Karve Institute, Pune and BITS Pilani.
Mr Abhisheka Kumar
Co- Founder & MD, Sindhuja Microcredit Pvt. Ltd.
Mr Abhisheka Kumar is the Co-Founder & Managing Director of Sindhuja Microcredit Pvt Ltd. He has been associated with the microfinance industry since 2004 and has an experience of varied roles and responsibilities - Donor, Technical Assistance Provider, Mentor, Lender and Microfinance Practitioner. He has a holistic understanding of the sector, the challenges faced in the past and perspective on the road ahead.
Mr Kumar has an experience of being the founding team member of a new generation microfinance institution and small finance bank which steered up the start-up to a major MFI & then to an SFB. Abhisheka has rich experience in Fund raising, Preparing Business Model, Investor Relations, Risk Management, Audit & Compliance etc. Earlier, he has worked with FWWB, ICICI Bank and Utkarsh Small Finance Bank.
He is a Graduate from St. Xavier’s College Kolkata and has pursued Post Graduation in Rural Management from Institute of Rural Management Anand.
Mr Ankush Golechha
Promoter & Director, Aviral Finance Pvt Ltd.
Mr. Ankush Golechha is the Promoter and Director of Aviral Finance Pvt Ltd, which is the first and only NBFC-MFI headquartered in Chhattisgarh and established in 2017. He has pursued Bachelors in Commerce from Sydenham College, Mumbai and is a qualified Chartered Account. He also has a Diploma degree in Information System Audit from ICAI.
He is a Senior Partner in APAS & Co LLP, a 50-year-old Chartered Accountancy firm and has over 20 years of experience in the field of Auditing, Banking, Finance and Business Consulting. He was also an elected member of Central India Regional Council (CIRC) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Ankush was instrumental in Aviral's foray into Microfinance and has been a strategic and guiding force behind it.
With his extensive experience and expertise in field of Information Technology, Aviral has adapted a fully digital microfinance operations and has been making cashless disbursement since inception.
Mr Golechha has been associated with various trade and social organisation and has been an office bearer in most of them namely JITO Raipur Chapter, JBN Raipur, Income Tax Bar Association, Shree Bal Ashram etc.
Mr. Vivek Tiwari has an experience of nearly two decades in Microfinance and Development Sector. His expertise lies in the innovative deployment of technological framework for incubating responsible lending, financial inclusion, social entrepreneurship, and impact investing within national boundaries.
It was his far-sightedness and visionary thinking that made SATYA one of the fastest growing MFIs in the country with a strong network of over 1800 employees working across 22 states. Mr Tiwari spearheads the company’s strategic efforts, driving expansion with morality and a vision to develop entrepreneurship for the people at the Bottom of Pyramid.
He holds a Post Graduate Degree in Rural Development & Management from the Institute of Engineering & Rural Technology, Allahabad. He is also a certified professional of the Management Programme from Boulder Microfinance Training, Italy. He was felicitated with the BFSI Leadership Award as well as ‘Bharat Jyoti Award’ by India International Friendship Society for his contribution to the financial inclusion movement and for playing a pivotal role in accelerating the JLG/WSHG movement.
With an experience of over 6+ years, Jatin has worked in recognized CA firms where he managed audits and taxation of Corporates, PSUs, Banks & Non-profit organizations like National Aluminium Company, Rategain, Central Bank, Indian Bank, Indian Council of Medical Research, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, FNF, National Council for Cement and Building Materials etc. He has also been responsible of hand-holding various start-ups namely Botlab Dynamics, Aerogram etc. by assisting them in Fund Raising, Budgeting & Forecasting financials. His core expertise includes Income Taxation, Start-ups Advisory & Auditing.
Jatin is a qualified Chartered Accountant and is pursuing his LLB. He has pursued his bachelor’s in commerce from Dyal Singh College, Delhi University. He is passionate about Instagram Food Blogging.
Mr. Prashant Thakker
Vice-Chairperson ED & CEO Centrum Microcredit Ltd.
Mr. Prashant Thakker has been proved instrumental in the growth of Centrum Microcredit Ltd since its inception. He is also the founder and managing partner of ProGro Ventures and Advisor, an impact investing and advisory platform. With nearly 17 years of experience within the MFI industry, Prashant was with Standard Chartered Bank in a variety of roles including being the Global Head for Microfinance for almost a decade(2005-2015).He had launched Standard Chartered’s Microfinance program & has overseen equity, debt & mezzanine investments in over 100 Financial services intermediaries for over $2 Bn in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East across 22 countries.
Prashant has worked with global development financial institutions including the ADB, IFC and the World Bank Group and has implemented award winning programs which helped to increase access to finance the world’s unbanked and under-banked populations. He had completed several executive programs from Wharton and INSEAD, holds a PGDBM (Finance) and has graduated as a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Entrepreneurship Management.
Mr. Udaya Kumar Hebbar
MD & CEO, CreditAccess Grameen Ltd.
Mr. Udaya Kumar Hebbar is the MD & CEO of CreditAccess Grameen, India’s largest NBFC-MFI. He is a veteran banker and a visionary in the microfinance industry. He has guided the organization through the public listing and steered further growth through the merger of Madura Microfinance. He has been the driving force behind the contiguous expansion of the company across India. He has a persistent focus on consumer value and protection that has led to the unique positioning of CA Grameen with industry-leading customer retention rates and products. CreditAccess Grameen has grown manifolds under his leadership and the company is well recognized and accredited with the highest ratings and awarded with numerous prestigious accolades in the financial industry.
Udaya holds a master’s degree in Commerce, is a certified associate from the Indian Institute of Bankers and is also a graduate in banking operations and technology from BAI, USA. He has vast experience of over 35 years in the financial services sector. Prior to joining CA Grameen, he has served in organizations like ICICI Bank, Corporation Bank, and Barclays Bank. He has served as President of Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), Chairperson of the Association of Karnataka Microfinance Institutions (AKMI), and as a member of IRDAI's Microinsurance Committee in the past,
Mr. Amardeep Singh Samra
MD and CEO, Midland Microfin Ltd
Mr. Amardeep Singh Samra is the MD and CEO of Midland Microfin Ltd. which is the first Punjab based microfinance institution and is one of the leading NBFC-MFIs in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttarakhand serving 0.45 Mn clients. Under his leadership in a short span of ten years, Midland Microfin has achieved exemplary landmarks including excellent asset quality.
He has a specialization in Finance, Marketing and Administration, introduced various innovative ideas within the business. He pioneered the concept of centralized credit sanctioning coupled with digital and cashless disbursement and was instrumental in creating an institution with focus on Corporate Governance andethical client relationship management.He successfully established an employee focused organization which is certified as ‘Great Place To Work’ for the second consecutive year.
Passionate about Photography and Art,he is a member of the Photographic Society of America (PSA) and a life member of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and participates across regional & international exhibitions. An avid runner and cyclist; he regularly participates across marathons across India. Furthermore, he is a member of Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) Punjab Chapter, the world’s premium network of chief executives.
Mr. Harish Raghu has a rich and varied experience of over 24 years across Agri, Rural, Banking and Financial sector. He has previously worked as a COO of Future Financial Services Ltd. (erstwhile Fincare) and CPO at Spandana Spoorthy. He has also been associated with Fullerton Gramshakti, ICICI bank, Madras Fertilizers in the past. His core expertise includes Sales, Operations, HR, Branch banking, Communications & PR, and Marketing. Mr. Raghu pursued B.Sc. in Agriculture, PGDBM and EGMP from IIM, Bengaluru. He is well connected to various rural management institutes where he is invited for guest lectures and conducts industry workshops on HR and Operations. Harish is an avid traveller.
Mr. Desh Raj Dogra
Ex-MD & CEO CARE Ratings
Mr. Desh Raj Dogra has 39 years of rich experience within the financial sector in the areas of banking and credit rating. He has maintained a high growth trajectory after taking over as acting Managing Director and made CARE the second largest rating agency. Mr. Dogra also worked closely with the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, where CARE prepared a dossier on the Indian Economy as well as white papers on both the equity and debt markets for the Ministry. Mr. Dogra holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Agriculture from Himachal Pradesh University and MBA from Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi. He is a certified associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers.
Dr. Aruna Limaye Sharma
Indian Administrative Service Officer (Retd.)
Dr. Aruna Sharma, a Madhya Pradesh Cadre 1982, retired in 2018 as the Secretary, Steel in the Government of India. Prior to that, she was the Secretary, Information Technology in the Government of India. She is practitioner development economist with MSc from University of Bath UK and doctorate from University of Delhi. She has worked in development and core sectors. Her publications are - Reaching the Last Beneficiary: Resource Convergence Mantra Model –2008 (UNDP), Impact of Recourse Convergence in Policy Making, Program Design and Execution – 2014 (UNDP) and and latest is You@Game Changer for inclusive growth. She addressed John F Kennedy School, Harvard University on the issue of Financial Inclusion. She was member of a five-member high level committee of RBI on Deepening Digital Payment.
Mr. Vineet Chattree
Director, Svatantra Microfin Pvt. Ltd.
Mr. Vineet Chattree has over 25 years of experience spanning across Operations, financial services, Consulting and Merger & Acquisition domains in India, Middle East and US. Vineet currently heads both Svatantra Microfin Pvt Ltd and Svatantra Microhousing Finance Corporation Limited, which make differentiated offerings to the economically weaker and low-income group segments in Rural and Tier III segments across the country. Both these businesses cater to niche segments through unique customer-centric business models with a central purpose of making a meaningful difference in the lives of the customers – be it through financial awareness, financial inclusion, empowerment or access to basic infrastructure.
Vineet is a chemical engineering graduate from Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai and has completed his Master of Management from IIT – B and Executive Management Program at Wharton. An avid reader, trekker, marathon runner and a firm believer in the preaching of Bhagavad Gita.
Head - Advocacy and Development
Swetan Sagar has an MBA degree from Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal. He was earlier working with M-CRIL at the position of Chief Operating Officer and has over 18 years of experience in designing and leading multi-country programme evaluations in the financial inclusion space. His key areas of expertise include data analytics, market research, impact assessments, institutional assessments, capacity building of financial institutions and livelihood promotion institutions catering to the low-income segment.
Swetan has led many projects in the financial inclusion and enterprise development sectors across India and 15+ countries in the Asia and Africa region.
VP-Advocacy and Development
Amit is a professional with almost a decade of work experience. He has been working with MFIN since March,2015. Previously he has worked with BASIX India in livelihood development and ICICI Lombard GIC Ltd. as a Product Manager for group health insurance (Micro Insurance product). His most recent association was with the World Bank Group in the sphere of Digital Financial services. Amit has completed his Post- Graduate Diploma in Rural Management from IRMA, Anand.
AVP – Fintech and Projects
Piyush leads all the FinTech initiatives and related Projects at Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) under advocacy and development vertical. He has 11+ Years of work experience as Consultant, Strategic Alliance head and as Product and Project Lead in Digital Financial Services, FinTech and Financial Inclusion domain. Piyush has hands on experience of working with Remittance business, E-Governance, ICT4D, Business Correspondence, Mobile Money and Pre-paid instruments, India Stack, Aadhaar and other traditional and emerging Payment systems. He has done his masters from Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB) and executive course from Columbia business school. He is a certified Digital Banking and Design Thinking Practitioner, along with certifications on Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning for business.
Raj Kumar Chauhan
Manager - Information Hub
Raj has a professional experience of 12 years within development sector. Prior to MFIN he has
worked with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Fund Projects and State AIDS Control Society.
He has pursued his postgraduate in Social Science specializing in Data Management from Andhra
Finance Officer – Projects
Denish Parshad has pursued his MBA in Finance from Saptarishi University ( Lucknow) and Bachelors in Commerce from Delhi University. He has over fourteen years of experience in accounting and financial systems, grant /sub Awards Management, budget management and monitoring, financial MIS, compliance and audits, procurement and administration. He has worked for various international NGOs where he supervised and supported sub-grantees strengthening their capacities under programs funded by The Global Fund, USAID, Taiwan Government etc.
Head, Self-Regulation & Compliance Officer
Sugandh heads the SRO vertical at MFIN. She joined MFIN during its start-up phase and played the lead role in MFIN's policy & advocacy work, development of credit bureau ecosystem, MFIN's data publications and research, and setting standards and benchmarks. Prior joining MFIN in 2011, she had worked with Bharat Electronics, SEWA Bharat, ITC and ACTED across a broad spectrum of areas related to technology, business and development themes.
Sugandh is an Electronics engineering graduate from MNNIT, Allahabad and a post-graduate in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She received the prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship for her post-graduate program at LSE. She was a fellow at Fletcher School Leadership Program for Financial Inclusion at Tufts University. She has attended several trainings in financial inclusion, risk management, credit bureaus, customer protection and financial literacy, including 'Strategic leadership for Microfinance' at Harvard Business School, 'Risk Management Excellence in MFIs' at ADA Luxembourg.
Dr. Vinay Singh
Head, Self-Regulation & Compliance Officer
Dr. Vinay Kumar Singh is a doctorate in Economics and a seasoned management professional.
Vinay has nearly two decades of experience in financial services with a successful track record in multinational organizations viz. Citibank NA & Aviva Life Insurance. He has multi-business experience in consumer lending, retail banking and insurance. Vinay has worked across geographies with cross-functional stints in sales, distribution, strategy, credit & risk, learning & development, and wealth management with experience in start-up/ turnaround situations.
At Aviva Life Insurance, Vinay implemented productivity enhancement of the sales teams by leveraging technology to digitalize the sales process and institutionalize blended learning. As the National Sales Strategy Head for the branch banking business at Citibank NA, Vinay successfully delivered the turnaround of laggard branches and early breakeven of new branches.
Vinay trained to be a Chemical Engineer at IIT Kanpur and then did a dual major in Economics & Finance at IIM Calcutta. He completed his doctorate in Economics from Management Development Institute Gurgaon where his thesis was on “The Dynamics of financial inclusion and economic growth amid demonetization”. He has published his research in top ranking peer reviewed academic journals. Vinay’s research interests are in impact assessment of financial inclusion policies, adoption of financial products and time-series econometrics. He is a regular contributor of opinion pieces in the leading financial daily Mint on topics related to financial inclusion.
Sheetal joined MFIN in 2016 and has been part of different SRO functions including CGRM, Third-party Evaluations, enforcement and SRO governance. She currently leads the SRO work in terms of framing standards, research, enforcement and governance. Before joining MFIN, she was managing commercialisation of ICAR Technologies and Capacity building of various stakeholders with Agrinnovate India Limited. She has
three years of rich experience with ICICI Bank Ltd. both in SME (asset side working capital funding of credit and non- credit facilities) and Retail Branch banking. Before Joining ICICI Bank, she was associated with BASIX within Bhartiya Samruddhi Finance Limited (BSFL), a NBFC dealing with microfinance and livelihood sustainability in Credit and Risk management team, where she also managed microfinance operations at the field level. Sheetal has completed her MBA in Rural Management from IRMA and is a B.Sc (Ag) Graduate from OUAT, BBSR.
Sankalp has been working with MFIN since Aug, 2016 as a Manager, Grievance Redressal, within the SRO team. Prior to MFIN, he has worked with GIZ on rural insurance and agriculture value chain development projects. He has worked briefly with Yes Bank and Ananya Finance on internship assignments related to financial literacy, process mapping and loan product development. Sankalp has completed his Post-Graduate Diploma in Rural Management from IRMA, Anand and Masters from TISS, Mumbai.
Jay has been with MFIN’s SRO function since 2017 and leads SRO’s data analysis, capacity building, monitoring functions, and reporting to the RBI and DFS, etc. He has experience in interfacing with different government departments, carrying various CSR and non-CSR projects from ideation to fruition, and of working with the media, which he gained from more than a decade long experience in diverse things including program management, consultancy, corporate social responsibility, NGO’s and media.
Previously he was employed with Mancer consulting services, Katha, Swayam Siddha, and Daily News and Analysis.
Jay holds a master’s degree in International Development- Management and Public Policy from the University of Manchester. He has also studied Media at the Asian College of Journalism, and Business Administration at Symbiosis.
Customer Grievance Redressal Officer
Rahul is the Customer Grievance Redressal Officer and team lead for CCEs for MFIN’s Customer Grievance Redressal Mechanism (CGRM). Rahul has been involved with financial services for the past 7 years. He started his career a loan officer with HDFC bank where he played a key role in the SHG/JLG formation and bank linkages, loan appraisal and documentation, and other SHG and JLG group management activities. He did his diploma ‘Triploma in Livelihood Promotion and Micro banking’ from Basix Academy in 2011. He also holds an MBA in Finance from Sikkim Manipal University.
Through field visits and various projects, Rahul has had hands-on experience of financial inclusion services from field level upwards. He is also conversant in various banking software like Banksoft and Finacle.”
Head - State Initiatives
Achla has been working with MFIN since April 2014 and is responsible for looking after the state and regional chapters. Prior to MFIN she has worked with Sa-Dhan, the Association of Community Development Finance Institutions for thirteen years where she contributed extensively for the growth of financial inclusion in urban and rural India across models, facilitated dialogue between different stakeholders-people, policy makers, service providers for better understanding of diverse models. She is a qualified Company Secretary and has also done her law from CCS University.
Deputy State Head - State Initiatives
Radhika specializes in the thematic areas of financial and business education and microfinance policy and practice including social performance management. Prior to MFIN, she was part of ACCESS ASSIST, leading the organization’s work - convening the sectoral Inclusive Finance India platform, leading field-based projects in financial and business capability building and providing technical assistance and consulting. She has conceived and coordinated various policy discussions and state of practice studies for promoting an enabling institutional and regulatory framework for financial inclusion.
In the past, she has been associated with many organizations of repute such as EDA Rural Systems, BASIX, Intellecap, Action for Social Advancement and Sambodhi Research & Communications. She holds a Post Graduate degree from the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM).
VP – State Initiatives ( Northern Region)
Jatinder, a trained banking, and public policy professional has an industry work experience of over 15 years . At MFIN, he is responsible for facilitating ease of doing business for MFIN’s member institutions engaged in micro and MSME finance by managing strategic alliances with Senior Bureaucrats, Policy Makers, Banking Regulator, Law, and Order Enforcement agencies and manages matters related to legal litigations etc. His past work in senior managerial capacity spans from agribusiness value chain finance, fintech-consulting and sales , Business Correspondent (BC Model) operations and Microfinance Social Performance Management (SPM) in Asia and the Eastern Europe at financial institutions like State Bank of India, HDFC Bank Ltd, FINO-Payments Bank, Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX Market) etc. He provided short term investee due diligence and project research-support to devfin institutions like Oiko Credit India (Maanveeya) & APMAS and was associated with prominent public policy think tanks like Centre for Policy Research , Centre for Civil Society and Centre for Research on Innovation and Science Policy where his policy research reports were published in prominent publications.
Jatinder has pursued master’s in public policy from India. He is an alumnus of IIM Udaipur-Sanford School of Public Policy ,Duke university, USA. He was selected under the MasterCard Foundation Microfinance Scholars Program to study community-based microfinance at the prestigious COADY International Institute Canada. He has also studied financial regulations, digital and SME-microfinance at institutions like the Luxembourg University, Fletchers School at the Tufts University, USA. He has been a speaker and presenter at global platforms like e-MFP Luxembourg, CYFI Amsterdam, CEGA-Berkeley etc. Jatinder is an ILA certified life coach and a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner.
He is an avid video-blogger and writer and loves travelling and reading non-fiction books. His thought leadership pieces on financial inclusion related topics have been published on platforms like CGAP, IFMR , Next Billion blogs and The Financial Express etc. A case study on Branchless Banking in India co-authored by him is listed on the Harvard Business School Publishing Centre.
VP West Bengal, Odisha and North East - State Initiatives
Habib is a finance expert with sixteen years of experience. Prior to MFIN, he was associated with Sa-Dhan (The Association of Community Development Finance Institutions) as a “Senior Executive-State coordinator”, responsible for the member services of North-East and Eastern region (viz. Assam, Manipur, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh).An MBA graduate from Bangalore University, he has also worked for seven years in the retail finance and 9 years in Microfinance. He has also been recognised as a “Smart Assessor” by the “Smart Campaign”.
AVP South – State Initiatives
Kamalesh has over twelve years of rich experience. Prior to MFIN, Kamalesh has worked with Sa-Dhan (The Association of Community Development Finance Institutions) as Regional Manager responsible for the member services of south region (Viz Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka).
He has completed an online course of Social Enterprise and Microfinance Experts from University of Libre de Bruxelles. Kamalesh has pursued his MBA in Finance from National Institute of Business Management, BA in Economics from Annamalai University and Software Engineering from Computer Maintenance Corporation.
AVP West – State Initiatives
Devendra is a seasoned management professional with 12 years of diverse experience. Prior to joining MFIN, he was associated with Fino Payments Bank and played instrumental role in product innovations and distribution of insurance products. He successfully led Microinsurance Innovation Project of International Labor Organization at Fino with multiple stakeholders; and also awarded with Best Innovative Business Initiative.He has also worked with Richcore Lifesciences, Span Outsourcing and Everonn Systems. He is an Engineering graduate with PGDBM in Marketing and Finance. He is a member of AIMA and Licentiate in Life and General Insurance from Insurance Institute of India.
AVP Bihar & Jharkhand – State Initiatives
Sanjay has over twenty one years of experience within microfinance and rural development industry. Prior to MFIN, he was associated with institutions like Sarvodaya Nano Finance Limited, Bhartiya Samruddhi Finance Ltd. and Indian Grameen Services – BASIX where he worked across 18 districts of Bihar & Jharkhand. He also worked as ‘National Resource Person – IB/CB’ for Madhya Pradesh Rural Livelihood Mission on behalf of NIRDPR, MoRD, Government of India. At BASIX he worked as an AVP & State Head in the states of Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh. He started his career with ASSEFA where he initiated the livelihood promotional activities through mobilization of Gram Sabha/ ULBs/ PRIs and Women Self Help Group.
He has worked with NGOs partners, MFIs, NBFCs, Community Based Microfinance Institutions and coordinated programme implementation.
He has the expertise of planning, implementation , management, partnerships development , policy advocating, monitoring and evaluation of large scale programmes.
AVP Central Region - State Initiatives
An astute & result oriented professional with 19 years of rich experience in strategic planning, business development, collection as well as team management within banking and financial sector. Prior to MFIN, he was associated with SRG Housing Finance as a “Head Collections”, responsible for Collections vertical of Rajashan,MP,Maharastra and Gujarat region . He has pursued his graduation from Barkatullah University.
Head – Communications
Bhavna is heading the Communications at MFIN. She has sixteen years’ experience in corporate communication. She was previously GM, Corporate Communications at Punj Lloyd, a USD 1.8 billion a global engineering and construction conglomerate where she led internal and external communication, stakeholder management, media relations, crisis management, events and reputation management. During her twelve years at Punj Lloyd, she was instrumental in scaling up the brand through acquisitions and new brand identity rollouts. She also worked in corporate communications for Anand Automotive Systems for four years. Bhavna is a postgraduate in Science from Maharaja Sayajirao University and a postgraduate in Business Administration from Symbiosis. She is an Alumni of the Swedish Institute Management Programme where she was certified for CSR and Sustainability.
Bhumika, a Marketing and Corporate Communication professional has an experience of over 13 years and has worked on assignments related to brand strategy and communications. As a Marketing Communication professional, she has worked with various brands & assisted them in co-creating new go-to-market & media strategies. Her core expertise includes media planning, integrated media properties, advertising campaigns, events & experiential activities, curating communication collaterals, public relation, branding activities, social media marketing etc.
She has been employed with MFIN since 2017. Prior to MFIN she has worked with various Media & Advertising agencies including Edelman India, Dentsu Aegis India Network, Group M Media India, and Reliance Broadcast Network ( 92.7 Big FM). Bhumika has completed her Post Graduation in Public Relation and Event Marketing from Amity School of Communication, Amity University and graduated from Symbiosis Society’s College of Arts and Commerce specialising in English Literature.
She had won a Bronze Award at Media Abby Awards (Goa Fest – 2012) for the campaign SBK (Fight against Diarrhoea). Bhumika is a vivid traveller, mountain lover and enjoys exploring cuisines and food joints across.
AVP – Operations
Sharad has been working with MFIN since July 2016 and is responsible for looking after Finance, HR and Admin in MFIN. Prior to join MFIN, he has worked with Oxfam India, HIV / AIDS Alliance, Sasakawa India Leprosy Foundation and Integrated Research and Action for Development (IRADe). He has eighteen years of experience in financial management, grants management, statutory compliances, HR and admin. He holds MBA degree in Finance and has also done his law graduation.
Manager - Administration
Vijay is Manager - Administration. At MFIN, he undertakes Administration, travel and hospitality arrangements for the employees of the Secretariat and the Board Members in view of the Association’s operations pan India. He brings with him 13 years of experience in Customer Service, Operations and Business Management. Starting his career with Interglobe Technologies, Vijay worked with prestigious organizations like American Express, Kuoni Travel India and Yatra Online. Prior to joining MFIN, Vijay was working as Manager – Operations at FCM Travel Solutions.
Shantnu has an experience of five years in financial management, statutory compliances, and accounting practices. He also has an experience of managing administrative functions in the past both within corporate & social sector. Over the past five years, Shantanu has worked with LIFE (Livelihood Initiative of Empowerment), Tuli international Pvt Ltd & Sanjeev Bhargava & Associates prior to MFIN. He is handling the portfolios of Finance, Accounts, and Admin in MFIN. Shantanu is a CA intern & has pursued his M.Com from IGNOU, Delhi.
Mr. Sudarshan Sen
Former Executive Director at Reserve Bank of India
Mr. Sudarshan retired from the Reserve Bank of India as Executive Director in charge of regulation of banks and non-banking financial companies. In a career spanning over 36 years with the Reserve Bank, he worked in several areas, including banking regulation, bank supervision, fintech regulation, human resources, information technology, and currency management. He has been on several major national and international committees; he has served as the Reserve Bank’s nominee on the Supervision and Implementation Group and the Policy Development Group of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and was a member of the Committees which drafted and subsequently reviewed India’s Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. He hasalso chaired the Inter-Regulatory Working Group on Fintech and the Working Group on Implementation of Ind AS by Banks,constituted by the Reserve Bank of India.
He holds a master’s degree in Mathematics from Delhi University and an MBA in International Banking and Finance from the University of Birmingham, UK.
Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala
Former Chairman, NABARD.
Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala is the Executive Chairman of Capital India Finance Limited, an India-focused, integrated financial services company since August 2020. Capital India is a listed company, categorized as a systemically important NBFC by RBI.
Dr. Bhanwala is also on the Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Management, Rohtak, a premier management institute of India.
Prior to joining Capital India Finance Limited, Dr Bhanwala was the Chairman of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), anApex Development Bank. Over these six and half years, under his stewardship, the assets of NABARD increased from USD 37 billion to USD 74 billion and the institution took significant steps to fulfil its mandate.
Dr. Bhanwala was also the Vice Chairman of Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA). He was on the Board of the Deposit Insurance & Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC), IRMA (Institute of Rural Management Anand) and the National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM), premier institutes of India. He also headed multiple subsidiaries of NABARD which target to reach the last mile through credit and advisory services.
Prior to joining NABARD, he was Executive Director and for a brief period Chairman cum Managing Director Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL). He pioneered the development of credit enhancement product for infrastructure finance, the first of its own kind in India.
He is a Postgraduate in Management from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and holds a Ph.D. in Management as well. He has been awarded honorary doctorate in Science by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, and Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Central Institute of Fisheries Education (ICAR-CIFE), Mumbai.
Dr Kshama Fernandes
Non-Executive Vice Chairperson - Northern Arc Group
Dr. Kshama Fernandes is the Non-Executive Vice Chairperson of the Northern Arc Group and Executive Chairperson of Northern Arc Investment Managers. Northern Arc is a leading finance platform in India that connects underbanked institutions and businesses to capital markets investors. Kshama served as the Managing Director and CEO of Northern Arc Capital from 2012 to 2022. Deeply respected for her knowledge and commitment towards the cause of unleashing the power of finance for the greater good, Kshama has been a member of various High Powered Committees setup by the Government of India and has worked on consulting assignments for the World Bank, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and NSEIT. She has over 25 years of experience spanning across management, risk advisory and academia. Dr. Fernandes is a financial risk manager certified by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). Prior to joining Northern Arc, she was a professor at the Goa Institute of Management. She has also served as Chief Risk Officer of Northern Arc from 2009 to 2012.
Kshama has been featured by FMO as a role model in banking. She is also a recipient of Accion’s Edward W. Claugus award for leadership in financial inclusion. She holds a bachelor’s degree in science, a master’s degree as a well as a PhD in management studies.
SRO – the Genesis
Post-Andhra Pradesh crisis in 2010, a high-level committee, known as Malegam Committee, was formed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to thoroughly examine the issues of the microfinance sector. Most of the recommendations of the Malegam Committee were accepted by the RBI by introducing a new category of NBFCs named NBFC-MFIs in Dec 2011, with detailed directions on a gamut of things including a definition of NBFC-MFIs through qualifying assets criterion, prudential norms, pricing of credit and customer protection measures such as pricing of credit, disclosures and multiple-lending and over-lending.
Recommendation of the Malegam Committee ‘for greater responsibility to be placed on industry associations for monitoring of regulatory compliance’ was adopted through a separate SRO guideline issued in November 2013 for recognition of industry associations as the Self-regulatory Organization’.
Accordingly, Master Directions for the NBFC-MFIs were revised to include SRO function, as under:
All NBFC-MFIs are encouraged to become member of at least one Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) which is recognized by the Reserve Bank and will also have to comply with the Code of Conduct prescribed by the SRO.
The responsibility for compliance to all regulations prescribed for MFIs lies primarily with the NBFC-MFIs themselves. The industry associations/SROs will also play a key role in ensuring compliance with the regulatory framework.
In June 2014, MFIN became the first industry association to be accorded recognition as an SRO by the RBI.
Key Microfinance Highlights
Almost 99% microfinance loans in India are provided to women from low-income households.
98% loans are provided through the Joint Liability Group (JLG) lending model wherein a group of customers, usually 5-10, individually come under JLG to take loans and agree to support and repay the loans if customers in the group face difficulty in making repayment. This group model brings efficiencies in operational costs and leverages social collateral towards underwriting and against the risks of defaults.
Microfinance loans are collateral free. Outflows on account of repayment of monthly loan obligations shall be subject to a limit of maximum 50 per cent of the monthly household income.
Microfinance industry has a diverse supply-side with multiple lenders (nearly 194) including Banks, Small Finance Banks, NBFC-MFIs and NBFCs.
The industry has an outreach in almost 632 districts of India. In terms of geographic spread, 76% of the loan portfolio is rural and 24% urban.
Loans are primarily for income generating activities but are also taken for household expenses like education, health, and housing.
Except non-profit MFIs, all lenders are regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Non-performing assets have remained under 1% over the years despite external shocks in recent past.
History of Microfinance
The history of microfinancing can be traced back as far as the middle of the 1800s, when the theorist Lysander Spooner was writing about the benefits of small credits to entrepreneurs and farmers as a way of getting the people out of poverty. Independently of Spooner, Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen founded the first cooperative lending banks to support farmers in rural Germany.
The modern use of the expression "microfinancing" has roots in the 1970s when Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, founded by microfinance pioneer Muhammad Yunus, was starting and shaping the modern industry of microfinancing. The approach of microfinance was institutionalized by Yunus in 1976, with the foundation of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.
Microfinance in India
Like many other countries, modern micro-credit/microfinance industry in India started in 1990s inspired by the Grameen Model of Prof Mohammad Yunus in Bangladesh. Overtime, as this model evolved and became successful, it boosted the confidence of customers, MFIs and other stakeholders and started to scale-up.
From 2005-6, many non-profit MFIs converted into for-profit NBFCs and many new for-profit NBFCs also entered the micro-credit business, attracting private capital, commercialization, professionalism, and scale. This fueled growth, competition, scale with a sharp focus on specialization in delivering micro-credit efficiently and profitably. As a result, within 5 years, the micro-credit industry in India increased multi-fold to reach an outstanding of nearly Rs 20,000 Cr. However, this period also witnessed the challenges around customer-protection including over-leverage, inadequate disclosures, lack of customer awareness, high pricing as well as risks of geographic concentration, ghosts’ loans, local-level interferences and lack of regulations and oversight.
Recognizing this, Reserve Bank of India (Central Bank of India), introduced a new category of NBFCs called NBFC-MFIs in Dec 2011 with specific regulations for the micro-credit sector, focusing on customer protection. On the back of these regulations, the industry had a hugely successful decade.
Today, the micro-credit sector is diverse and competitive with over 100 regulated players – Banks, SFBs, NBFC-MFIs and NBFCs. A clear regulatory framework, a sound underlying business model, performance trends overtime, and potentially large un-met demand has attracted private capital to sustain the growth.
As a result, micro-credit in India is one of the most tightly regulated sectors in the world. It is also one of the largest micro-credit sectors globally, quite unmatched in terms of its outreach with low-ticket loans, scale, diversity of supply-side, spread, efficiency, performance, customer-protection standards, and contribution of the private sector.
“Microfinance – Building Financial Resilience in Turbulent Times” for Investors – January 2021
Customer Grievance Redressal Mechanism (CGRM) - 5th February 2021
Employee Bureau : Submission Standards and New Features – 27th September 2021
Q4 2021-22 Micrometer Release Event held on 15th June 2022.
Q1 FY 2021-22 Micrometer Release Event held on 14th September 2021
An exclusive Q4 2020-21 Micrometer Release Event held on 30th June 2021
Digital Payments - 12th October 2021
Digital Document Execution (DDE)
To promote digitalisation in documentation, MFIN invited NeSL, India’s first Information Utility, registered with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) under the aegis of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC)) for the first session of MFINTech Talks on Digital Document Execution (DDE) through E-Sign and E-Stamping services on the 14th May 2020. The webinar explained the importance of digital E-stamp procurement, instant authentication of loan disbursed in Information Utility, remote E-Sign using Aadhaar and OTP and how MFIs would benefit from the 65B certificate from NeSL. Most importantly, as NeSL is incorporated as a union government company, there is assurance of data safety and security.
Offline Aadhaar verification, CKYC, and Video Based borrower identification
Continuing MFIN’s engagement with NeSL, MFIN Series 2 on 16 June 2020 discussed Offline Aadhaar verification, plus other ID verification, CKYC, and Video Based borrower identification. NeSL is India’s first Information Utility, registered with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) under the aegis of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) for various digital onboarding products.
Digital KYC and Payments
Digital KYC and Payments, Issues and Opportunities was the topic of the third series of MFINTech Talks on 30th June 2020. MFIs’ IT Heads including Mr Arun Kumar, CreditAccess Grameen, Mr. Arvind Murarka, Arohan Financial Services, Mr. Praveen Kumar, Adi Chitragupta Finance, Mr. Shiva Prakash, Samasta Micro Finance and Mr Umang Shah, Svatntra Microfin discussed Digital onboarding and KYC (CKYCR, E-Sign, Video KYC, RPA, OCR etc), Digital Payment (Aadhaar Pay, UPI, NACH, QR Code, BC based CMS, Card based payment, BBPS etc) and issues and opportunities in these tools and processes.
Underwriting a Micro Finance loan
MFINTech Talk held on 24 July 2020 discussed the importance of data in underwriting a Micro Finance loan. Piyush Singh, AVP – Fintech and Projects, MFIN, moderated the session which had eminent speakers like Monish Salot - Chief Product Officer & Co Founder, Think Analytics, Partha Sen Gupta - CEO and Director, Taraashna Financial Services, Rahul Kotabage - DVP, Business Intelligence and Analytics, Suryoday SFB, Sasidhar Thumuluri - MD & CEO, Sub-K IMPACT Solutions, Sunil Agithakaliya - Senior Vice President, CRIF Highmark and Vipul Sekhsaria - Chief Networks Officer of Kaleidofin. An absorbing discussion bringing forth diverse perspectives ranging from that of a credit bureau to those in the lending or non-lending space.
NBFC - Account Aggregator (AA)
MFINTech Talk on 30 July 2020 with Mr. Srikanth Rajagopalan, CEO at Perfios Account Aggregation Services, centred around the theme “NBFC - Account Aggregator, what does it mean for Microfinance Industry”. Perfios is one of the few organisations which have got NBFC- Account Aggregator license from RBI. The talk involved a presentation on Personal Data Protection Bill (main points, stakeholders, importance, business model, impact etc), impact of AA on business models, importance of consent and how to capture it through AA model, penalties and implications of non-adherence, among others.
LMS and LOS Service Providers
September 2020 saw MFINTech Talk series discuss “LMS and LOS Service Providers - Expectations and Innovations” where the panel comprised three MFI and three service providers. The panellists included Linjin, IT Head, Chaitanya, Naveen Mangle - IT Head, Fusion, Nalini Katagihallimath -Strategy Head, Samasta, representing the MFIs and Nayan Ambali - Co-Founder, FinFlux, SRN Ramachandra Raju - Alliance head, Jayam and Vinish Shah - Strategy Head, Craft Silicon. Discussions steered around the MFIs’ expectations from LOS and LMS service providers, topics of scalability, stability and availability, what more could be done in security and Innovation besides debating on the new features and technologies like churn analysis, automatic credit decisions etc.
Enforcement Committee (EC)
The Enforcement Committee (EC) primarily handles issues of non-compliances and grievances arising from customers requiring redressal. EC members are as under :
Mr. Arnab Roy (Chair)
Independent Member, Former Principal CGM and Regional Director - Reserve Bank of India
Ms. Veena Mankar
Independent Member, Founder and Chairperson - Swadhaar FinAccess
Mr. Haresh Kulshrestha
Independent Member, Former CGM - Reserve Bank of India
Mr Anujeet Varadkar
Industry Member, CEO - Svatantra Microfin Pvt Ltd.