The hope of having a proper education, starting a business, or getting a job in mega-companies is still a dream of many people. The main reason for not being able to fulfil these dreams is capital. People who are underserved and who are unprivileged face a huge loss in life because of low or no capital. During such difficult times one company, SATYA MicroCapital offers microloans to this section of people. It facilitates several loan products based on a strong credit assessment and a centralized approval system.
In the following interview, Vivek Tiwari, CEO, Managing Director, and CIO of the company shares with us the insights of the financial sector and how they help underserved sections with different means of financial support.
Describe about SATYA MicroCapital Ltd in detail.
SATYA MicroCapital Ltd. is an RBI registered NBFC-MFI, which offers microloans to the underserved section of the society nestling in the rural hinterlands. We aim to inculcate technology-based formation to lending by innovating and deploying new digital platforms into the microfinance industry.
We have gained a massive presence in 21 states of India, currently serving over 5 lac underserved people through our 250+ branches spread across over 21,700 villages in the country in less than 5 years of the company’s inception. With over 2700+ dedicated workforce, we have accomplished the monumental milestone of achieving INR 1000 Cr. assets under management in March 2020, less than within 5 years from its establishment.
Brief us about Mr. Vivek Tiwari and shed some light on his professional tenure.
I am a Postgraduate in Rural Development and Management from the Institute of Engineering and Rural Technology, Allahabad. Apart from acquiring prolific experience of more than two decades in the Microfinance and Development Sector, I am also an evident Board Member of MFIN. As MD, CIO, and CEO of SATYA.
I have taken the responsibility of spearheading the company’s strategic efforts and driving its expansion with morality and a vision to develop entrepreneurship and livelihood at the bottom of the pyramid. My proficiency outlines imbibing a complete digital framework in SATYA for incubating responsible lending, financial inclusion, social entrepreneurship, and impact investing.
Before SATYA, I was associated with satin credit care network ltd. (SCNL) as the Chief Operating Officer. In my nearly nine years of engagement with SCNL, I transfigured its portfolio from INR 50 crore to INR 4,000 crore.
The India International Friendship Society awarded me with ‘Bharat Jyoti Award’ for playing a pivotal role in accelerating the JLG/WSHG movement. I have also received the BFSI Leadership Award for immense contribution to furthering the financial inclusion movement.
I am also felicitated as The Most Promising Business Leaders of Asia at The Economic Times Asian Business Leaders Conclave 2020 hosted by ET Edge on 15th December 2020. SATYA also received the award for Best MFI in Digital Lending Category at ASSOCHAM National E-Summit and Awards on Banking and Financial Lending Companies on 29th April 2021.
What made you venture into the banking and finance sector?
The main agenda behind laying the foundation of this institution since day 1 was to offer financial services to low-income populations so that their financial burden can be minimalised.
I feel that SATYA is a part of the industrial ecosystem with the primary focus being laid on understanding the needs of the poor and on devising better ways of delivering services in line with their requirements, developing the most efficient and effective mechanisms to deliver finance to the poor, creation of opportunities for self-employment for the underprivileged thereby delivering a ray of financial independence.
What kind of offerings does SATYA provide to its clients?
We offer microloans from 10k to 200k rupees to the unbanked and underserved section of the society at the bottom of the pyramid in the rural and the marginalized belt of the country, based on a strong credit assessment and a centralized approval system on a self-sustainable and commercial viability model.
The product offerings encapsulate multifarious microloans ranging from Limited Liability Loan, Individual Micro Loan, Micro Business Loan, Water and Sanitization Loan, Consumer Durable Loan, Emergency Loan (Education and Immediate Medical Expenses), PM SVANidhi Loan, Cattle Specific Loan, SME Lending, and Health Insurance with 24 x 7 Doctor-on-Call Facility to Hospicash Products. We cater to those who seek credit help in the several focus sectors for their income generation and income growth purpose such as agriculture, animal husbandry, business/trade, production/services, and Water Sanitation purposes.
What kind of challenges SATYA faced while entering the banking and finance space?
Through the years, we have successfully overcome many challenges – Demonetization (wherein we initiated our operations and innovated with our mechanisms – Cashless), Assam Crisis, CAA and NCR crisis, and the recent Covid-19 crisis wherein, we have innovated our processes at various levels to ease and supplement not only our clients but our employees throughout the country as well.
Life will never stop confronting us with struggles and challenges. Howsoever, how to navigate the boat of our life, completely relies on us. We always have two options. One, let the challenges tear us down. Second, with resilience and perseverance, transform the same struggles into our strengths.
How much was SATYA affected in these pandemic times and what were the steps taken by you to curb the damages, all the while helping your clients and maintaining the safety of your employees?
Amidst this crisis, we have ensured that prime importance is given to the health of not only our clients and employees but their family members as well. We initiated a free of cost digital OPD to address their medical concerns and provide ease of access to experienced medical professionals. Since early March, we had floated the ‘Work-From-Home’ policy and even now continue flexible roster plans wherever possible.
Even as our field officers visit the clients and go about their daily operations, we ensure that all preventive measures are strictly adhered to. We have equipped our 2,000+ staff across the country with health kits (including gloves, face masks, sanitizers, immunity-boosting homoeopathy medicines, and the like). For the ones who unfortunately contract this disease, we have specially curated a health insurance plan- “Covid-19 Care” to help with their medical and other related expenses.
We have continually disseminated government authorized information about this pandemic and ensured that a good follow-up has been maintained not only with our employees but with our clients as well through the SATYA Client Connect App. Proper training and skill-building are continued to be imparted either through physical or virtual means. We have even modified and created loan products according to the needs and demands of our clients keeping in mind the challenges faced during this crisis time.
Despite the pandemic scare around and a severe dent in the national economy, the efforts of our team remain robust, and this is reflected through the positive increase in the repayments made by our clients.
What would you like to advice the young generation of finance enthusiasts and entrepreneurs?
The fundamental aim of the financial sector is to enhance the life state of people via making them financially independent. Remember – the client comes first, work for people first. Imbibe the attributes of patience, resilience, consistency, and willingness to adapt to change in your entrepreneurial values. Otherwise, it will become challenging for you to cope with the ups and downs happening in the contemporary finance space.
Where do you envision SATYA to be in the long run and what are your future goals? How do you plan to embrace the changes happening in your industry?
SATYA will integrally work for uplifting impoverished people through financial stability to elevate from simply surviving to accrue savings. Another aim is to provide women with the financial backing they always deserved, to start business ventures and actively participate in the economy. Thereby rendering confidence, improving their status, and making them more active in decision-making, thus encouraging gender equality.
Since the day we have evoked our journey in the microfinance space, we have always strived to be a catalyst for the socio-economic upliftment of 5 million households by the year 2025. Adding onto this, in the forthcoming years, we also want to be a preferred choice for the people at bottom of the pyramid in the creation of their enterprise and livelihood through a holistic approach.