Arohan Financial Services: Accelerating Financial Inclusion for the Underserved

Financial inclusion has been recognized as a key building block which forms the foundation for achieving several sustainable development goals of the country. Lack of accessible, affordable and appropriate financial services has always been a global problem. Financial access can really boost the financial condition and standards of life of the poor and the disadvantaged.

Established in 2006 in Kolkata, Arohan Financial Services Limited, part of the Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group, is one of eastern India’s largest NBFC-MFI operating in thirteen states of which ten are low-income states across the central, east and north-east. Arohan offers financial inclusion products to boost the financial condition and standard of life of the poor and the disadvantaged. The company truly believes that doing social good can be achieved while being commercially viable.

Offering Best-in-Class Financial Inclusion Products

Arohan offers financial inclusion products to over 1.5 million under-served clients, through 575 branches with a loan portfolio of around INR 3000 Cr in microfinance and MSME lending. Arohan is driven by the Group’s mission to work with businesses which cater to the other 3 billion of the world’s population. Between equity and debt, the Group manages a portfolio of over INR 5000Cr as of today and is one of the few entities which offers an INR 10,000, as well as, an INR 10 Cr loan facility.

An Ingenious Leader

Considered as a pioneer in the Impact Investment space, Vineet Rai, Founder of the Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group, believes in building the entire ecosystem for Impact Investing rather than just financial products and tools. He set up Aavishkaar and Intellecap in 2001/2 with a view to providing equity capital from Aavishkaar funds to entrepreneurs working with an impact motive and also intellectual capital through Intellecap.

Manoj Kumar Nambiar is the Managing Director of Arohan Finance Limited. Manoj has around three decades of experience in consumer finance & retail banking. He, along with the management team, has turned around an INR 28 Cr portfolio and INR 14 Cr networth company to an INR 3000 Cr portfolio and an INR 440 Cr. networth institution, as of November 30, 2018. From 2013, Manoj is also a director on the governing board of Microfinance Finance Institutions Network (MFIN) ‒ the RBI licensed microfinance industry Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) and was also its President in 2015/16. MFIN, during this tenure, has taken many momentous decisions like getting licensed by the RBI as a formal SRO, strengthening the credit discipline with credit bureaus, using Aadhaar as the preferred KYC document to ensure proper debt and lending, code of conduct to ensure all lenders become responsible lenders to the segment, improving investor and lender sentiment towards the sector, amongst others.

Manoj completed his mechanical engineering from VJTI in 1986 and his MBA in Marketing from JBIMS in 1988, both from Mumbai University and has tertiary qualifications in insurance from Insurance Institute of India. He has also completed the “Strategic Leadership in Microfinance” course from the Harvard Business School, Boston, the US in April ’13.

Empowering Underserved by aiding their Financial Needs

Arohan primarily serves women clients at the BoP sector, mainly in non-urban areas. The company serves over 1.5 million end clients of which over 95% are women with 67% plus from rural areas of the 10 LIS in which the company operates. While about 33% of the client are first-time microfinance clients, the remaining clients are second or third cycle beneficiaries who have taken loans, from the company, to grow their businesses such as handicrafts, livestock, small grocery, and retail outlets amongst others. The loans help them grow their business, help them become self-reliant and also generate employment in the entity by adding to staff. Arohan, being among the Top 6 NBFC MFI in the country and growing, will play its part in improving access to FI products to a wide range of client base.

Walk an Extra Mile for the Clients

Arohan is one of the leading NBFC-MFIs with a special focus on 10 LIS, a strong and committed, as well as, credible promoter group backing along with an ability to raise, both equity and debt capital year-on-year. It has an end-to-end IT platform with a paperless and cashless focus to support the wide credit suite with ticket sizes ranging from INR 10,000 to INR 100 lakh across microfinance and MSME sectors. The company has a unique inorganic channel (Strategic Alliances Unit) with partners in the field, while it also focuses on the cross-sell of financial and non-financial products. With a strong and capable management team guided by an eminent board of directors, the company offers the best-in-class services to its clients.

Clients get the benefit of doorstep services and frequent repayment options along with microloans from the company. Most of the clients are first-time borrowers needing credit to scale up and grow their businesses. With its focus on FI , Arohan offers its clients the access to other financial services like insurance, pensions and banking products, beyond core credit.

A Look into the Future

Microfinance sector will continue to grow at a good pace with the availability of capital, favorable policies of the RBI, and the support extended by the state and central governments. On account of its best-in-class finance inclusion services, Arohan aims to become one of the Top 3 Financial inclusion players in the country. With the vision to cross an INR 10,000 Cr portfolio outstanding in the next 4 to 5 years, the company will serve around 10 million end clients while being among the Top 10 Places to Work.

Source :-The 10 Most Acclaimed Micro Finance Companies