Muthoot Microfin is one of the organizations which showed extraordinary resilience throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the pandemic did create an inevitable halt on its operations and lending activities, which is to offer simple financial products to the Bottom of Pyramid sections of the society.
Mr Sadaf Sayeed, CEO of the NBFC-MFI believes that microfinance industry plays a key role in the development and growth of rural economy. In the current environment, microfinance can help rural sectors recover faster and Muthoot Microfin is uniquely positioned with its widespread branch network to enable this. He is confident that rural economy is very resilient, and this recovery can be achieved rather rapidly. He is hopeful of a V-shaped recovery provided administrations could vaccinate maximum number of people as quickly as possible. For the 2021-22 financial year, he anticipates substantial growth in opportunity and business for the industry.
Meantime, microfinance industry is also expected to undergo revolutionary reforms post the Reserve Bank of India’s consultative paper on pricing policy. This is believed to be a policy change which would liberalize and standardize the regulations on microfinance lending by all players.
Empowering Women, Enriching Lives
Muthoot Microfin’s operations are designed to promote entrepreneurship among women and inclusive growth. The institution provides financial assistance through micro loans to women engaged in small businesses. Delivering financial services to masses including underprivileged and disadvantaged people, living in the rural sectors of the Indian society at affordable terms, in quick turnaround time and with hassle-free processing is the aim of Muthoot Microfin’s financial inclusion drive.
Muthoot Microfin caters exclusively to women in lower income households and is premised on the fact that if such individuals are given access to credit, they will be able to identify new opportunities and grow their existing income.
The company has an active clientele of 1.8 million women entrepreneurs realizing their entrepreneurial dreams, served through our 773 branches across 17 states and union territories in India. The organization has disbursed around ₹17,500 crores into the rural outskirts which include around ₹ 1,150 crores of education and ₹ 21 crores of sanitation loans.
Muthoot Microfin, with a talent pool of above 7000 employees is recognized amongst the 30 best workplaces in India, along with Great Place To Work certification by Great Place To Work Institute. The company aims to become the No. 1 microfinance company in India by 2025 with most innovative financial inclusion drive, serving life cycle needs of the underserved.
Under a Dynamic Stewardship
Mr. Sadaf Sayeed is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Muthoot Microfin Limited. He has provided outstanding leadership and has contributed significantly to enable the company scale phenomenal heights from the commencement of the business to present. Being passionate about the financial inclusion drive, he joined Muthoot Pappachan Group’s microfinance business at its inception in 2010.
Muthoot Pappachan Group’s microfinance venture was started from scratch and emerged as one among the top 5 microfinance companies in India. Mr. Sadaf has been the driving force behind the inspirational growth of the organization. His efficient and well thought out decision making with an aim of long-term vision and leading from the front attitude towards his role as Chief Executive Officer helped the company reach remarkable heights in a short span of 10 years.
Sadaf has in-depth understanding of the sensitive market landscape of microfinance industry. This helped him create an organization which is run independently by qualified professionals and guided by a well-represented Board. His background in risk management further helped the organization tide over several challenges like demonetization, Kerala Floods, and the present Covid-19 situation, which have hugely impacted the industry. Muthoot Microfin under his leadership continues to perform with high competence and resilience.
Maintaining ‘Quality & Quantity’ at par, Sadaf transformed the growing business by working closely with management teams, large workforce, and other key stakeholders to drive sustainable long-term growth.
Navigating through the Pandemic
Muthoot Microfin overcame the first two waves of Covid-19 challenges with minimal damage to the business and human resources. The company retained all its employees, provided job security, and ensured that salaries and obligations are paid on time.
It was the grit and determination shown by the employees and management that helped the company focus on the health and safety of its employees, as well as business continuity, customer support, and communications. The company took several proactive steps in the interest of safety and welfare of its employees. It also created early awareness among employees about Covid-19 and set protocols for their safety. It covered all its employees under covid insurance packages too.
The Financial Year 2020-’21 was the toughest one as far as business growth, employee safety and customer care were concerned. However, Muthoot Microfin had a modest growth of 5.08 percent in its portfolio during the period.
Muthoot Microfin is on the path of a digital transformation, the organization is in the process of adopting some significant technological and digital advancements. The organization’s next phase of growth shall have more focus on embedding technology in all aspects of its operations and credit assessment. Talking about the ongoing digitalization and digital payment revolution, Mr Sadaf commented, “We continue to encourage our customers to use digital means of transactions. We are looking forward to a technology driven tomorrow.”
Sharing Some Personal Wisdom
While talking about the broad challenges faced by the banking and finance industry, Mr. Sadaf said, “Though the industry has grown many folds in the last 20 years, it still hasn’t reached even 10% of the potential that it can reach in an economy like India.”
On choosing his career in financial services industry, he said, “The choice or the challenge that I faced was to choose in which direction I want to shape my career in the Financial Services industry, either towards fast growing and highly remunerating stock market which is also froth with risk or towards banking industry which has vast scope of growth and has deep impact on the economy. I chose the latter.”
Addressing youngsters and entrepreneurs who are venturing into financial services industry, Mr. Sadaf elaborates, “My advice to them would be to realize the endless opportunities lying within the Financial Service industry. It’s incredible to see the pace at which things are evolving these days. The way digitalization of the economy and financial services taking shape is amazing. Fintech is playing a key role in taking financial services to the last mile. Meanwhile, microfinance industry is doing a great job in financial inclusion of the masses. Technology, public policy and banking industry together are shaping the future of India. No other industry of this scale is evolving so rapidly. Youngsters must become a part of this revolution that is taking place here, there is so much to learn, contribute and grow.” concludes Mr. Sadaf.