I am delighted to connect with you post a super year ending March 2019 for us at Arohan.
With the 3 business engines of MFI Organic, MFI Inorganic and MSME in full steam, we were able to cross a landmark figure of INR 4000Cr portfolio outstanding serving close to 2 million clients through our 591 branches in 13 states manned by over 4700 employees. Our initial estimates, which are being audited, show a decent bottom line, good operational and financial efficiency ratios, and a net NPA zero company for the year ending March 2019.
The last year saw many highlights in our journey and just to list a few – we entered our 10th low-income state of Madhya Pradesh; launched our MSME business across 3 additional branches in Nagpur, Bangalore and Hyderabad; added close to INR 200Cr in additional capital from our promoter group and existing investors; strongly raised debt even in a difficult Q3 including our first ever ECB issuance with IFC; grew our MFI inorganic business well adding partners and products across the 10 states we operate in; furthered the roll-out of our ambitious “Paperless & Cashless” IT road map; launched a state-of-the-art HR software Adrenalin and the Great Place to Work survey; on-boarded Mr DK Mittal, ex-Secretary DFS as the Chairman of our board amongst others. We are humbled by the various awards and recognition received across Risk, CSR, IT, Financial Inclusion including the special one – "ACCESS Assist Microfinance Organisation of the Year 2018".
During the year, we reviewed our earlier 10 -10 -10 Vision and revised our Vision & Mission with inputs from the sector experts, our promoter group, management/staff and the board of directors to a new one which reads as follows:
Vision: To impact 20 million lives by 2025 – 20 by 2025
Aspiring to be in the Top 3 FI players while covering over 5 million households with a INR 25,000 Cr portfolio and being in the Top 3 places to work by 2025
Mission : To enable the underserved households with a range of financial services in a manner sustainable for all stakeholders
Values: Employee engagement, Transparency, Honesty & Integrity, Innovation, Customer Centricity, and Shareholder Value Focus
We enter year 2019/20 with the above guidance and direction on Vision, Mission & Values and look forward to a great year ahead.
I wish to thank each one of you for your support, guidance and good wishes to help us achieve the key milestones and look forward to more in our journey ahead. I also wish all of you a wonderful new financial year 2019-20.
Warm RegardsManoj Kumar Nambiar,
Arohan announces a revised lending rate W.E.F January 21, 2019
Arohan Financial Services Limited announces a lending rate revision to 21.25% for its flagship loan product, Saral with effect from January 21, 2019. This is a 50 bps increase from the previous lending rate of 20.75%.
This is in line with the RBI regulation with respect to Margin and Qualifying Assets Ratios for NBFC-MFI. A CARE MFI 1 grading and an A- bank loan rating, along with a strong financial holding enable Arohan to borrow at significantly lower costs and extend rate benefits to its customers thereby strengthening its patronage among its growing client base.
Arohan Financial Services Limited features among "The 10 Most Acclaimed Micro Finance Companies"
Arohan Financial Services Limited gets featured among "The 10 Most Acclaimed Micro Finance Companies" by Insight Success.
The article "Arohan Financial Services: Accelerating Financial Inclusion for the Underserved" talks about financial inclusion having been recognized as a key building block which forms the foundation for achieving several sustainable development goals of the country and how Arohan offers financial inclusion products to boost the financial condition and standard of life of the poor and the disadvantaged.
The article also states that Microfinance sector will continue to grow at a good pace with the availability of capital, favourable policies of the RBI, and the support extended by the state and central governments.
Arohan receives "Special Jury Recognition" for Environment Sustainability by ICC
In a grand feat, Arohan has received a 'Special Jury Recognition' for Environment Sustainability by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, in the large enterprise category.
In a grand feat, Arohan has received a ‘Special Jury Recognition’ for Environment Sustainability by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, in the large enterprise category.
Arohan won the prestigious recognition for its efforts contributing to the UN Social Development goal number six of distribution of Clean Water and Sanitation by funding a Water and Sanitation Unit in Boral, under the Rajpur-Sonarpur Municipality region adjoining Kolkata. The project has been implemented by SAFE and serves more than 500 families with WHO quality drinking water with a volume of 10,000 litres per day, act as a sanitation unit, help in rainwater harvesting, as well as, run a biogas plant for the community. Additionally, the project allows the creation of alternative economic opportunities for the beneficiaries.
Expressing his views on the recognition, Mr. Manoj Nambiar, Managing Director said, "We feel very proud to have been recognised by an institution as prestigious as the Indian Chamber of Commerce for our efforts towards empowering people beyond core microcredit. We will continue to take these initiatives further in other areas of our operations as well."
Arohan's first MSME Securitization
In March 2019, Arohan did a PTC securitization of INR 65.58 crore with DMI Finance Private Limited. This is the first time that Arohan has sold its MSME portfolio which forms part of the non-qualifying book.
This transaction gave a boost to the qualifying ratio thereby creating space to grow the non-qualifying book further.
UP’s first all-women branch opens up!
Zone V of Arohan's operational span, Uttar Pradesh, inaugurated its first all-women branch in Chaubeypur. Arohan is focused on diversity and inclusion both, through employees, as well as, through customers.
Over 96% of nearly 1.9 mn customers of Arohan are women.
The changing face of HR
Mr. Prashant Rai, Vice President and Head of HR, Admin CSR and Training, Arohan Financial Services Limited writes about the evolving face of Human Resource Management as a function for 'All Things Talent', an IIM Jobs magazine.
In the article, he talks about the changing times the HR function is witnessing which is not just incremental but also revolutionary, and how the HR professionals need to adapt to the needs of the organisation thus taking the business to the next level.
Feet on the street: The golden rule of Microfinance – an ET exclusive
Mr. Manoj Nambiar, Managing Director, and Mr. Shirish Chandra Panda, SVP and Head Microfinance Business, Arohan Financial Services Limited co-authored an article on 'Feet on Street – the golden rule of microfinance', exclusively for Economic Times.
Tracing back to the origin, the 2010 crisis in Andhra Pradesh, the days of demonetization to current status now, the authors deftly trace the journey of Microfinance which was once a way of extending tiny loans to economically underprivileged households to now when Microfinance has evolved as an industry having earned the recognition of being instrumental in inclusive financing and fuelling the growth at bottom of the pyramid.
In the article, they talk about the importance of feet on street with the emergence of technology. "While it is admirable to think ahead of time and start preparing for a next-generation sustainable microfinance distribution model where technology is the key driver, one should not forget the fundamental and proven principles which are led by more of 'high touch' and less of 'high tech' approach", quotes the article.
Arohan participates in Inclusion Conclave 2019, Hanoi
On February 22, 2019, Mr. Milind Nare, CFO, and Mr. Harsh Patnaik, SVP, Head of Central Operations and Alliances, Arohan Financial Services Limited attended the Inclusion Conclave, 2019 in Hanoi. The Conclave deliberated on emerging challenges and opportunities for MFIs and Insurers. The organiser, DHFL Pramerica is among the top three in the MFI and Rural Partnership Distribution, with differentiated products and channels and have set high standards in service delivery. Working groups have been set up to collaborate on new offerings like LI-GI combo, higher ticket/duration covers with easy finance, technology interventions and so on.
Microfinance to mega dreams - An Economic Times Online Article by Manoj Kumar Nambiar
In an authored article with ET Online, MD Arohan, Manoj Kumar Nambiar talks about the Indian Microfinance Industry and its aspiration to financially include over 400 million lives in India. Mr. Nambiar, in the article, writes, "Inspired by the Grameen methodology pioneered by Dr. Mohammed Yunus from Bangladesh for which he and Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, the joint liability group lending template has been an excellent model for borrowers from economically weaker section to get inducted into a formal credit and payment discipline." He further adds, "So what can derail the significant growth that the microfinance sector has shown till now - simply put indiscipline. Indiscipline by lending institutions causing multiple lending leading to default, not sharing lending and repayment information on time to the credit bureaus, indiscipline of lending to delinquent clients and the big one - unilateral loan waiver announcements by individuals/ entities without any intention or plans of paying up on behalf of the borrowers and thereby disrupting the credit discipline created with so much effort and time."
Hindu Business Line article on External Commercial Borrowings by large NBFC-MFIs quotes our Chief Financial Officer
An interesting article by The Hindu Business Line titled 'Tight liquidity in domestic market sees MFIs raising $53 m via ECB in FY19' quotes Mr. Milind Nare, Chief Financial Officer, Arohan Financial Services Limited.
The article talks about the jump in external commercial borrowings (ECB) of microfinance companies to touch $53 million during the current financial year, even as tight liquidity in the domestic market continues to hurt the industry, particularly small and medium institutions, while some large and well-managed MFIs occasionally tap overseas borrowings through non-convertible debentures (NCDs) and ECBs.
Vidya – Education is power
As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, Arohan has introduced 'Vidya', a scholarship programme for the girl child of our customers. The importance of Vidya lies in encouraging girls to pursue further education and complete graduation.
Empowering children with access to education has been a key focus area of Arohan's Corporate Social Responsibility framework. Through its programmes, Arohan aims to provide financial assistance to benefit many. This financial year, the program is being initiated in Uttar Pradesh and Odisha and Arohan will continue to scale it up in the coming years.
Customers in Agartala benefits from Health Camps
In the month of January 2019, health camps were conducted in Agartala. Besides general medical examinations for basic health indicators such as blood pressure, pulse, height, weight, specialty tests such as eye check-ups, nerve function test, lung function test, blood sugar test were also covered in the camp.
Water Sanitation Units, make drinking water accessible to many!
On February 25 and 28 2019, Arohan Financial Services Limited launched two new integrated water sanitation units in Hojai district of Assam and Purulia district of West Bengal respectively. Contributing to the UN Social Development Goal number 6 of distribution of Clean Water and Sanitation, this project is jointly funded by Arohan and IntelleGrow, a group company of the Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group, as part of its’ social responsibility and is implemented by South Asian Forum for Environment (SAFE).
The project will serve more than 100 families with safe drinking water in budgeted volumes of 1000 litres per hour, act as a sanitation unit, help in rainwater harvesting, as well as, run a biogas plant for the community. The facility will not only enable access to clean and safe drinking water along with other provisions, but will also make the people of the communities self-sustainable. The first such water sanitation unit of its eco-sustainability roadmap was launched by Arohan in West Bengal in the month of March 2018. The unit was launched in Boral, under the Rajpur-Sonarpur Municipality region adjoining to Kolkata and benefited around 500 local families.
The inauguration in Hojai harijan community was attended by Mr. Prashant Rai, Head of HR, CSR, Admin and Training, Mr. Anirban Sinha (ZBH), Mr. Farid Aktar Khan (RH), Abhishek Sarkar (ZHR), Mr. Prabal Pran Bhattacharjee (AM), Mr. Krishanu Bhattacharjee (AM), Mr. Pritam Bramha (BH) and Mr. Mantu Das (BH). The launch in Purulia was attended by Mr. Shamimul Haque (RH) and Ms. Smita Sahu, Manager CSR.
School bags for children of Bijni and Lanka
As a part of its Skill Building and Education programme, Arohan distributed school bags to primary school students of Bijni and Lanka branches in Assam. Most children of these areas do not have access to basic educational aids such as a school bag and often carry books wrapped in plastic sheets.
More than hundred children received school bags under this initiative. The children were overjoyed and the schools were happy!
Aanganwadi centres facilitate care for children
Arohan, as a part of its Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, is committed to enabling children of underserved communities with access to proper care and education. To this effect, Arohan has partnered with Swaraj Foundation and initiated the establishment of two Anganwadis in Angra village of Gaya district in Bihar and Dwari village of Chatra district in Jharkhand.
The Anganwadis will be developed as a play school and kindergarten where children can enjoy studying, as well as, playing. Attention to a child's holistic development will also be paid with the use of educational toys and informative wall paintings.
A dedicated green outdoor area will also form an integral part of the Anganwadi centre. The facilitators at the centre would also focus on education and health monitoring of the children. Mother and adolescent girl sessions would also be conducted at regular intervals to help generate awareness of health and well-being.
New library enlightens students in Hazaribagh
The quality of education of children studying in schools in rural areas is reflected in their poor learning levels. To help address this gap, Arohan, as a part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, inaugurated an overhauled library for students of BDJJ Intercollege in Harli, Hazaribagh
The previous library of the college lacked basic amenities and was in a poor state. There was a dearth of good reference books, was not properly lit and even the sitting arrangements for the students was makeshift.
The revamped library is freshly painted, with adequate seating and cabinets and the shelves filled with a vast range of books spanning arts, commerce and science. The library has also been equipped with a computer system to help catalogue the books, as well as, be used as a reference source by students.
The new library was inaugurated by Ms. Smita Sahu, Manager, CSR on March 5, 2019.
Chhaya Kar - is a 4th cycle customer of Arohan in the Mecheda branch of West Bengal. She has a big family with three sons, two daughters in law, an old father in law and her husband who is a daily labourer. To support the family economically, she learnt sewing from a neighbour who runs a small workshop that specializes in bulk stitching of garments. After getting a grip over the skill, Chhaya bought her first sewing machine with her first loan from Arohan. Today, Chhaya is a 4th cycle customer and has taken INR 35,000 as loan. She has bought two more sewing machines and is able to take more orders since she has engaged one staff and is supported by her husband at work as well.
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