An ?MBA? for the Bottom of the Pyramid
Friday, July 1, 2011
By Tripti Lahiri
Tara Thiagarajan, the chairwoman of Tamil Nadu-based Madura Micro Finance Ltd., has been browsing U.S. microfinance blogs in the U.S. and she doesn’t like what she sees.
“The question people are focusing on is not really the right one,” she said.
Even though it’s been over two decades since formal microlenders have existed, Ms. Thiagarajan says it’s still early days to ask, “Does it work?” Instead, now the microfinance industry knows it can manage small loans, it needs to figure out how to get more out of the money it lends, including doing a better job of supporting small businesses and income generation. Madura’s contribution: microbusiness education for the poor and help with market links.