India’s youngest bank Bandhan to empower women, rural folk

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Innovative microfinance company Bandhan will operate as a bank from October next year and focus on empowering women and rural people, says its chairman and managing director Chandra Shekhar Ghosh.

“Bandhan Financial Services Private Ltd (BFSPL) would start its journey as India’s youngest bank from October next year,” Ghosh told IANS in an interview.

“By October next year, we have to fulfil certain guidelines of RBI to become a full-fledged bank in India. We are now working day and night to achieve the goal,” he said.

Ghosh said Bandhan would build on its experience as a micro-financier and as a bank strive to strengthen capacity building of people.

“Long back, a poor but energetic woman in a village in West Bengal had taken loan from us, Rs.3,000, for making ’Muri’ (puffed rice); after a year she came to us seeking a loan of Rs.20,000 to increase her selling. There are thousands of such instances happening in rural Bengal.”

Kolkata-based Bandhan was set up in 2001 as a micro-finance institution.

Bandhan (meaning togetherness or bonding) provides loans of a minimum of Rs.1,000 and maximum of Rs.5 lakh for small trading activities and from Rs.1,000 to Rs.10,000 for non-business activities like building a sanitary latrine and for children’s education.

Source: Business Standard (link opens in a new window)

Base of the Pyramid, financial inclusion, microfinance