ICICI Bank - Innovations in Microfinance

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Case Details:

Case Code : FINC041
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 1995-2005
Pub. Date : 2005
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : ICICI
Industry : Microfinance
Countries : India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"ICICI Bank is one bank that has developed a very clear strategy to expand the provision of financial products and services to the poor in India as a profitable activity." 1

- Haruhiko Kuroda, President, Asian Development Bank. 2

Forays in Microfinance

Lakshmi, a 22-year-old school dropout, lived in a remote village of Tamil Nadu. Instead of getting married and starting a family like any other village girl of her age in India, she wanted to set up on her own business.

Lakshmi started an Internet kiosk in her village, offering services like e-mail, Internet chat and tips on health and education. The kiosk was partially financed by ICICI Bank and was set up in association with n-Logue Communications.3 Latha, a 29-year-old married woman with three children borrowed Rs.18,000 to set up a small provision store in Kothaipalli, a small village, in the north of Andhra Pradesh. Within a year, she started earning Rs.3,500 a month from the store. With this money, she was able to provide her children a good education at a local private school. She was a part of a self help group in Andhra Pradesh which received financial assistance from ICICI Bank. These are real-life examples to illustrate how the micro-lending initiatives of ICICI Bank affected the lives of poor women in India.

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By becoming a part of self-help groups, several rural women were able to move out of poverty. Apart from financial benefits, the initiatives helped the women to develop self confidence, improve their communication skills and raise their position in society.

In India, 400 million people spread across more than six million villages are estimated to be in need of micro-financing. The organized financial sector caters to the need of about 20 million people. ICICI Bank's micro credit initiatives involved lending small amounts to the people below poverty line. It provided basic banking services like savings and withdrawal along with micro-investment products like mutual funds.

This provided poor people with safer avenues for saving with little volatility. ICICI Bank was also instrumental in designing new structures through which microfinance institutions (MFIs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) could overcome capital constraints and expand their reach...

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1] Expanding the Frontiers of Commercial Microfinance, Welcome address at the Regional Conference on Microfinance, ADB Headquarters, Mandaluyong City, March 14, 2005.

2] Established in 1966, Manila based Asian Development Bank is a multilateral developmental financial institution. The bank's aim is to reduce poverty in Asia and the Pacific region.

3] N-logue Communications, a company incubated by IIT Madras, has built an entrepreneur-led business model for deploying rural internet kiosks across the country.


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