Season’s greetings and a very happy new year!

I am delighted to connect with you once again after an eventful quarter, through our newsletter.

The last quarter brought in many milestone achievements for us, as an organization. Arohan was ranked the 8th largest NBFC-MFI as per the MFIN Micrometer data as of end September 2017 – with a portfolio in excess of INR 1500Cr as of end December 2017, and we would possibly have improved that position last quarter end. With 430 branches manned by over 3000 employees, we today serve over 944,000 end clients in 9 low incomes states across Central, Eastern and North Eastern parts of the country.

November 2017 marked the anniversary of the announcement of demonetization by our honorable Prime Minister in the year 2016. With our selection of geographies, interventions like extra center meetings, issuance of legal notices, placement of recovery CSRs backed by a strong customer connect, we have done better than the industry in managing the fall-out on both, the carry forward portfolio, as well as, new businesses that have been written since.

At Arohan, we are setting the foundation for an exciting phase of growth in the future – our FIS CBS implementation, relaunch of the pioneering Bazaar product in a fortnightly version, expansion with the addition of another 150 new branches this FY, entry into the states of Tripura and UP, merging of the unique Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) business of IntelleCash into Arohan are some of the steps in that direction. With our unique IT positioning with mobility backed with a CBS, we have been able to activate the PayTM tie up and have started opening bank accounts and disburse into them – all to finally achieve our goal of being paperless and cashless in all our business processes.

Our core USPs - businesses such as the Partnership Model, MCA of ICash, and Cross Sell/Banking Correspondence model - have scaled up and grown well. While our partnership business now has six active partners and has crossed an INR 100Cr portfolio outstanding, the MCA business has crossed INR 50Cr with business writings of close to INR 15Cr per month through 3 branches. Today almost 40% of our clients have an extra account with us through our Cross Sell efforts and our BC business has signed up IDFC as a new banking partner.

I would like to end this note by informing you that we have cut our microfinance pricing to a low of 21.2% which is the second lowest in the industry and is reflective of the fine rate at which we are able to borrow and pass on benefits to our end clients. I am also happy to inform you that our SMART Campaign CPP Certification has been renewed again, testimonial of our continued emphasis on transparency and client focus in all business practices.

I wish to also thank you all for the continued support, guidance and best wishes which have contributed immensely to our journey of growth and achievements.

I look forward to a strong year closing in March 2018!

Warm RegardsManoj Kumar Nambiar, MD

Customer Profile

RATE CUT: Arohan revises lending rate w.e.f January 16, 2018, second best among NBFC-MFIs

Arohan Financial Services (P) Limited announces a lower lending rate of 21.20% for its flagship loan products, Saral and Bazaar with effect from January 16, 2017. This is a 102 bps cut from the present lending rate of 22.22% for Saral and 215 bps cut from the present lending rate of 23.35% for Bazaar, which were effective from November 20, 2017.

In line with the RBI in respect of Margin and Qualifying Assets Ratios, the back-to-back rate cuts have been made possible due to retained lender confidence and lower borrowing costs on the back of an A- credit rating by CARE with a stable outlook, and sufficient capitalization by existing and new investors in the entity.

The rate revision will benefit lakhs of new customers of Arohan, over 96% of which are women from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds across the Low Income States of Eastern, Central and North Eastern India. The revised pricing is second-best for any NBFC-MFI in the nine states that the company operates in viz Assam, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Odisha, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.


Arohan wins Skoch “Order of Merit” Award for Technology

Arohan has been conferred with the prestigious SKOCH “ORDER OF MERIT” AWARD for qualifying amongst Top-80 Technology Projects in India.

Speaking about the win, Mr. Manoj Kumar Nambiar, MD, Arohan said “This is a testimony from one of the best in the Industry on the efforts that we have put forth for leveraging technology to be a significant enabler in our business. With 100% mobility, a CBS operating platform, the E-bazaar, a central hub and a centralised storage facility, we are one of the most IT enabled MFI's in India today. Our approach is focused on being paperless and cashless”

The Skoch Group has instituted India’s highest independent civilian honours in the field of governance, finance, technology, economics and social sector. The honours were bestowed at the Skoch Awards held in New Delhi on December 20, 2017 where Mr. Rupen Shah, AGM, IT received the awards

"We are focused on becoming the most tech-enabled organization in our peer group, and the next two years will see many more technological initiatives being rolled out to help achieve our goals. We are happy at being recognized by one of the best in the Industry”, said Mr. Arvind Murarka, AVP, IT. Over the years, Arohan has recognized the importance of being a technology enabled organization and has taken significant strides to incorporate an IT led infrastructure at various levels.


Arohan’s Inorganic Business crosses INR 100 Cr portfolio and the Cross-Sell business achieves INR 1Cr monthly fee income

Arohan’s Inorganic business crossed a landmark INR 100 Cr portfolio while the cross-sell business achieved the highest monthly fee income of INR 1 Cr in the month of December, 2017.

Speaking of the achievement, Mr. Manoj Kumar Nambiar, MD, Arohan said, “Its a momentous day for the company to report 2 significant achievements in the inorganic and cross sell business. The idea in promoting the inorganic business was to create a win-win-win situation - by providing end clients with access to fund with low TATs, enabling our partners to service their customers and strengthen relationships while benefiting from Arohan’s strong operational and technological process, and for us as a company to benefit from spreading out in areas where we otherwise may not have entered organically. We are happy that the proposition is working to the satisfaction of all the 3 constituents. Our cross-sell business focuses on strengthening our relationship with our end clients and brings to them a wide range of financial and non-financial products and services. As of today, over 40% of our clients have atleast two accounts with us.”

“It is a wonderful milestone to be able to grow a quality 100 Cr portfolio in a little over than 18 months, inspite of facing the challenge of demonetization. We hope to continue to grow the work we are doing in this area to be able to reach out to more and more customers in the remotest areas of the low-income states we operate in while supporting good institutions with strong ground operations,” said Ms. Shraddha Srimal, Head, New Products and Alliance Business.

Launched in the year 2016, the Inorganic Business essentially entails tying up with local level entities to either source customers on its behalf, or provide short-term liquidity/ portfolio purchase to fund credit to microfinance customers in its strategic areas of interest which are the low income states of the country, especially in the East, North East and Central India. This has been an extremely successful initiative by the company, made successful with 10 partners, catering to over 50,000 customers across West Bengal, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Assam.


IntelleCash launches Business in Pune

IntelleCash announced the launch of its Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) business in Pune. A unique product, MCA offers loans to micro and small enterprises underwritten on sales generated through creditdebit cards/online sales of the retailer and collected through swipes on the card and/or ACH facility. “The business is steadily scaling up and we will continue to build upon it in our 10 LIS geographies. It gives us the scope of reaching to a diversified customer base - from new SME urban customers to servicing the existing microfinance segment - with a wide range of loan sizes from INR 15,000 to INR 75 lakh. We are looking forward to take this business to newer heights" said Shailesh Kumar, Head of Business, IntelleCash.


Arohan in the 2nd Annual Credit Risk Management India Summit

On October 11-12, 2017, a two-day summit on Credit Risk Management was organized by Inventicon at Hotel Holiday Inn, Mumbai. Mr. Shirish Chandra Panda, Head of Business, represented Arohan as a guest speaker. The 2nd Annual Credit Risk Management India Summit is the first of its kind summit which will address the regulatory changes and their implications on banks and NBFCs, strategies, technology advancement, data management, risk culture, stress testing, and understanding the customer behaviours for a robust credit risk framework.

On December 1, 2017, a consultation meet on ‘Challenges of Digitization and Way Forward - To Develop Digital Ecosystem for Improving Access to Finance for Unbanked’ was organized by Sa-dhan and HSBC in Kolkata. Mr. Arvind Murarka, AVP, IT, Arohan represented the company as a guest speaker for the discussion.


Arohan particpates as a Guest Speaker for XIMB-RM

On November 6, 2017, Ms. Shraddha Srimal, Ms. Shraddha Srimal, Head - New Products and Alliance Businesses, visited the students of Xavier Institute of Management - Rural Management batch as a Guest Speaker to conduct a session on strategies of Financial Inclusion in the Indian economy. The students loved having her at the campus and hugely benefitted from the talk.


MD visits IIM Ranchi for a 'Thought Leadership' session

On November 5, 2017, Mr. Manoj Kumar Nambiar, Managing Director, Arohan Financial Services (P) Limited visited IIM Ranchi as a part of their Colloquium 2017- The Leadership Talk Series. Mr. Nambiar enlightened the students about the importance of Financial Inclusion in empowering the underserved. The students were thrilled to host Mr. Nambiar at their campus and gained valuable insights on financial inclusion in India.


Arohan particpates as a Guest Speaker at Sa-dhan Meet on Digitization

On December 1, 2017, Mr. Arvind Murarka, AVP - IT represented Arohan as a guest speaker at the Consultation Meet on Challenges of Digitization and Way Forward. Organized in Kolkata by Sa-dhan in association with HSBC, the forum hosted discussions on ways of leveraging digital ecosystem for improving access to finance for the unbanked.


Water Sanitation Project Launch Sonarpur, West Bengal

As part of its initiatives to build eco-sustainable solutions available for communities it operates in, Arohan's CSR department announced the project launch of the integrated water sanitation unit at Sonarpur area on Wednesday, 29th November, funded by Arohan and implemented by South Asian Forum for Environment (SAFE).

Located in Ward no. 34 of the Rajpur Sonarpur Municipality, the project once completed in February'18, will serve more than 500 families daily with 10000 litres of WHO quality purified water and would be a great addition to the community. The project was inaugurated with a bhoomi puja, attended by Mr. Prashant Rai, AVP and Head - HR, Admin, Training and CSR. Representatives from SAFE, Councillor and officials of Ward 34 and community members were also present.


New skill development batch launched in Ranchi

On November 21, 2017, Arohan, as part of its CSR initiative, announced the inauguration of its first CRM - Domestic Voice training batch in Ranchi, Jharkhand with its skilling partner NSHM Udaan Skills Foundation. The batch consists of 26 students. In this financial year, over 300 students have been enrolled in the NSHM skill-building programmes funded by Arohan.


'Nukkad Natak' creates financial awareness

Arohan conducted thirteen mass awareness campaigns in Nataberia, Hokoldanga, Alipore, Haripal, Tarkeshwar, Purba Bana, Ramchandrapur, Katiyahat, Sonatikari, Kadambagachi bazar, Falti, Matia, and Dandirhat villages of West Bengal. This is in continuation to its first phase of Financial Literacy Programme where 15 successful mass awareness campaigns were conducted in the state of Odisha along with successful classroom training for 27,298 people across Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal and Assam (Jorhat). 'Nukkad Natak', in the local language, formed the medium of the Mass Awareness Campaign and conveyed the importance of being financially literate and empowered.


Smritikana Mandal - Smritikana Mandal of age 26, a customer of Behala Branch, West Bengal had only completed her higher secondary education when she got married and her focus shifted to her family.

To supplement her family's income she took to cutting patterns for a local tailor but had always dreamed to be more. An Arohan customer for the last three years she has joined the beauty and wellness course conducted at the Tollygunge Skill Training center funded by Arohan as a part of its Corporate Social Responsibility.

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