SKS Microfinance announces three-pronged strategy to reinvent Microfinance
May '2011

Hyderabad, May 10, 2011: SKS Microfinance Limited today announced its four-way diversification plan as part of its three-pronged strategy to revitalise the company. The other two elements of the company strategy to reinvent microfinance are: consolidation of customer base and continuing efforts to seek the Andhra Pradesh Government support in resolving the situation in Andhra Pradesh at the earliest.

SKS Microfinance Limited’s four-way diversification would involve launch of Gold and Housing Loan schemes, Sangam Stores and sale of mobile phones. “We plan to focus on Gold Loans, Kirana Sangam Stores and Mobile Phones this fiscal as the pilot projects have been yielding very encouraging results,” says Dr Vikram Akula, Chairman, SKS Microfinance Limited. “We plan to scale up our Kirana Sangam Store project from the present 3800 units, at the present pilot stage, to around 20,000 by the end of this fiscal. Likewise, we plan to increase the number of branches offering Gold Loans from 5 to 400 this fiscal.” The company plans to sell 10 lakh mobile phones in the coming year. Housing Loans would remain at the pilot stage.

Only a couple of large MFIs will be in a position to meet the stringent norms (like interest cap of 26%, income-generation stipulation) prescribed by the RBI.”SKS Microfinance is well-placed to meet to all the regulatory norms prescribed and consequently attract the highest possible Priority Sector Lending,” says Mr M R Rao, CEO, SKS Microfinance Limited, on the company’s plans to consolidate its customer base.

Dr Akula said the credit for bringing about reforms in the microfinance sector should go to the Andhra Pradesh Government led by the Chief Minister, Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy. “In this regard, the lower income group borrowers across the country should be grateful to the entire State Government machinery including the State Cabinet and key Government officials. We are the confident that the temporary pain of the last couple of months would pave the way for a golden future for  aam aadmi.”

In order to step up flow of credit to the underprivileged in Andhra Pradesh, Dr Akula urged the State Government to make, as a first step, the new loan application process less onerous for companies which have complied with all the prescribed norms. Dr Akula is confident that such measure would bring back accelerated growth for the company in the mid-term, ending short-term losses of the last couple of quarters.

About SKS Microfinance Limited:

SKS Microfinance Limited (SKS) is a non-banking finance company (NBFC), registered and regulated by Reserve Bank of India, whose mission is to eradicate poverty by providing financial services to the poor.

SKS operates across 19 states of India. They include: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Delhi.

SKS has been recipient of many awards, which include Social and Corporate Governance Award by BSE, NASSCOM Foundation for Best Corporate Social Responsibility Practice (2007), Social Performance Reporting Award (MFIs) - Silver Category for Social Performing rating conducted by MIX market (2009) etc. SKS was founded by Dr Vikram Akula, who has been conferred the award of Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum and Business Transformation Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young (2010).  He was named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World (2006).