Who We Are
What We Do
BW Businessworld, 22nd November, 2016 by Chandni Ohri & Raunak Kapoor
The overnight demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes shook the entire Indian economy, for good or bad is yet uncertain. An estimated 85 per cent of the value of currency has ceased to be a legal tender and the release of the new currency has been rationed for the next few months. Such a move from the government will likely put a check on black money circulation in medium to long term, however, it will also impact businesses in the short run given the fact that more than 90 per cent of the consumer payments in India still happen in cash. The move is also expected to be a boon for digital financial services ecosystem in India.
October 23, 2016 by Steve Hollingworth and Kathleen Stack
Grameen Foundation and Freedom from Hunger are proud to announce that we have joined forces to form a single unified organization.
Under the banner of Grameen Foundation, our mission is to enable the poor, especially women, to create a world without hunger and poverty.
This is more than mere words. It is an unflagging commitment to focus our resources and combined expertise on charting new paths out of poverty with programs that expand financial inclusion, enhance health, strengthen resilience and improve livelihoods for the world’s poorest people.
Economic Times, Oct 28, 2016
Chandni Ohri and Steve Hollingworth discuss Grameen Foundation India’s work to promote financial inclusion. Also highlights GF-FFH integration.
After assisting the government with its agenda of financial inclusion through Jan Dhan Yojana, the US-based Grameen Foundation now wants to help deliver relevant services to India’s poor by improving agricultural incomes as part of its roadmap for the country.
The foundation said it is also keen to educate people, especially the poor, about the relevance of services they get and also study how these services change their behaviour.
New organization to combine power of digital technology to end poverty with robust networks of women’s self-help groups in Africa, Asia and Latin America
The company’s financial inclusion project, ‘Integrating Mobile Financial Education and Services for Financial Inclusion in India’ wins the coveted award in the ‘Digital Finance Plus’ (DF+) Social Impact in emerging Asia category
Grameen Foundation India has been awarded the 2016 Mondato Award for the Digital Finance Plus (DF+) Social Impact in Emerging Asia category for its work to integrate mobile financial education and services in India. Its project, ‘Integrating Mobile Financial Education and Services for Financial Inclusion in India,’ is enabling microfinance clients to use digital technology to repay their microloans. Grameen Foundation India is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Grameen Foundation.
Microfinance sector has been instrumental in serving the underprivileged communities for over two decades now. Despite the good work done, in 2010 the sector witnessed a great upheaval which subsequently led to the need for a regulatory framework.
Since 2010, the sector has witnessed positive changes primarily due to the strong support of Government, Reserve Bank of India, stakeholders and MFI practitioners. However, there is still a huge need to rebuild the credibility of the microfinance sector. It is crucial for the sector to put together a strategy to approach all the important segments and share with them the efforts being made by the sector in improving their effectiveness with the borrowers. In order to achieve this goal, Sa-Dhan with financial support from SIDBI and DFID under Poorest States Inclusive Growth Programme (PSIG) started publishing flyers on different contemporary and relevant topics. The flyer is shared with Parliamentarians, policy makers, regulators, practitioners and stakeholders.
The topic of Sa-Dhan’s latest flyer is “Poverty Outreach of Microfinance in India’s Poorest States”, which focuses on financial inclusion & women empowerment in Indian states like UP, Bihar, MP, Odisha. This policy brief elucidates findings from a recent study carried out by Grameen Foundation India on the poverty outreach of microfinance institutions in poorest states. It provides insights into the poverty profile of microfinance clients, in comparison with the respective state poverty profiles. The entire study can be found at Microfinance Poverty Outreach Report for 4 States in India.
There is great excitement about the potential of using digital mobile technology to drive financial services, particularly in areas where a banking infrastructure does not exist. This is further driven by widespread use of mobile phones even by some of the poorest households. According to Statista, the number of mobile phone users in India is expected to rise to 730.7 million in 2017.
This report is based on the poverty outreach study conducted by Grameen Foundation India in partnership with DFID and SIDBI in the four poorest states of India which are part of DFID’s Poorest State Inclusive Growth(PSIG) program: Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The study compares the MFI portfolio against the base population’s poverty profile in these four states and builds understanding of microfinance clients by drawing parallels between poverty data and other socio-economic indicators. This study will serve as a poverty outreach benchmark for practitioners and policy makers and help MFIs to improve their poverty outreach over the PSIG program period. The study covers a sample of 11044 microfinance clients through participation of 20 MFIs practicing in the 4 states.
This is the fourth post in a series on Grameen Foundation India’s journey with a microfinance institution, Margdarshak Financial Services Pvt. Ltd, as we help it transform from an organization that provides poor clients with credit as its only service, into one that provides a range of financial services by acting as a business correspondent of commercial banks. This is a continuation of our previous blog – here, we round up the challenges banks face as they partner with MFIs, and how they are addressing these challenges and mitigating the associated risks...… Continue Reading(…)
This is the third post in a series on Grameen Foundation India’s journey with a microfinance institution, Margdarshak Financial Services Pvt. Ltd, as we help it transform from an organization that provides poor clients with credit as its only service, into one that provides a range of financial services by acting as a business correspondent of commercial banks. Our first two blogs presented the perspectives of microfinance institutions (MFIs) as they adapt to become effective business correspondents of banks. In this blog and the next, we discuss the challenges banks face as they partner with MFIs, and how they are addressing these challenges and mitigating the associated risks...… Continue Reading(…)
Acumen and Grameen Foundation recently used the PPI to study the poverty profile of clients of Ziqitza Health Care Ltd, a social enterprise providing emergency ambulance services, and better understand what factors might drive its outreach to the poor. The study has been featured in this blog on Acumen’s focus on lean data in the Stanford Social Innovation Review magazine.
This past summer, Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ and Grameen Foundation India held a forum to explore how mobile phones and 3G technology are helping to promote financial inclusion in India. Participants represented various stakeholders including microfinance institutions, commercial banks, donors, investors and technology service providers. This recap shares insights provided by Mr. Krishnan Dharmarajan, executive director of the Center for Digital Financial Inclusion, and a panel discussion led by Gigi Gatti, Grameen Foundation’s Asia director and country manager for the Philipplines. It also includes highlights from a showcase of Microlekha, an end-to-end MFI mobile technology application supported by the Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ Connecting India to Disconnect Poverty initiative
Grameen Foundation is using a human-centered design approach to deliver mobile banking services and education to an Indian Microfinance Institution, Sonata’s female borrowers in the State of Uttar Pradesh. In this blog post, we discuss the steps we are taking to gradually transition these borrowers to making loan repayments individually rather than as a group, over their mobile phones, and through agents of a third-party mobile payments provider, Oxigen, rather than Sonata. ..… Continue Reading(…)
Quick technology workflow fixes to enhance a Microfinance Institution’s Business Correspondent Operations
In our second blog post in the series on our journey with an Indian microfinance institution, Margdarshak Financial Services Pvt. Ltd (Margdarshak), as we help it transform from an organization focused on credit alone into a sustainable and scalable business correspondent of a commercial bank, we discuss six technology interventions that banks and MFIs must consider to make the business correspondent model more effective..… Continue Reading(…)
A five-point checklist for Indian Microfinance Institutions that want to become Business Correspondents
Earlier this year, we partnered with MetLife Foundation to help a microfinance institution based in Uttar Pradesh, Margdarshak Financial Services Pvt Ltd, become a business correspondent. Our two-year project with Margdarshak aims to create sustainable and viable banking services, including savings, for more than 40,000 poor, female clients. For Margdarshak and other microfinance institutions, making a successful transition to this model requires them to address five key issues..… Continue Reading(…)
Though mobile financial services offer microfinance institutions an important new channel to serve clients, their staff remain their most valuable asset. This is an important consideration for institutions as transitioning to mobile-based services will require all of their departments to navigate change. Grameen Foundation worked with two institutions that offer microfinance services in Uganda to help increase the adoption of digital services among current and potential clients. This study details the experience of leaders and staff at both organizations Click here to download the study in PDF format
Grameen Foundation featured in GSMA’s report on Accelerating Digital Literacy: Empowering women to use the mobile internet
Grameen Foundation’s work with Cashpor MicroCredit Ltd., to provide mobile based serving services to its female clients, is featured as a case study in this report. The case study talks about the design and usability challenges faced, the lessons learned in implementing a mobile-based application for Cashpor’s clients, and the steps taken to overcome mental barriers to mobile usage..… Continue Reading(…)
With support from the Citi Foundation, Grameen Foundation India, in partnership with a mobile money provider and Sonata Finance Pvt. Ltd., a microfinance institution, is using a human-centered design approach to deliver mobile banking services and education to Sonata’s female borrowers in the State of Uttar Pradesh, India. In this blog post, we talk about insights we uncovered through our first round of customer research, conducted in preparation for the project pilot.… Continue Reading(…)
Grameen Foundation discusses the importance of change management and working closely with employees when financial institutions adopt mobile microfinance services… Continue Reading(…)
Our first two posts talked about how Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFC)-Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) who wish to become Business Correspondents (BCs), offering multiple banking products can effectively influence (a) Partners to develop a mutually beneficial, sustainable business model, and (b) Employees to transition successfully into the new organizational model and deliver business results. In this post, we turn our attention to the third pillar of organizational success—customers—and discuss ways for MFIs to engage effectively with them to drive product adoption and usage. Continue Reading(…)
Grameen Foundation and MetLife Foundation are partnering to advance financial inclusion in India. This new initiative is designed to leverage the combined strengths of commercial banks and local, trusted field-based organizations to create sustainable and viable banking services for the poor. The program will be executed over the next two years by Grameen Foundation India (GFI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Grameen Foundation. Continue Reading(…)
Two MoTech-based services deployed in India, Mobile Kunji and Mobile Academy have won a Global Mobile Award at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The services – as a package – won ‘Best Product or Service for Women in an Emerging Market’. The CEO of the GSMA said: “Our winners are in the esteemed company of the mobile innovators, pioneers and leaders that have won these coveted awards over the last two decades, many of whom have been game-changers in transforming the way that the world communicates.”. Continue Reading(…)
India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in close collaboration with BBC Media Action and with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is scaling three of BBC Media Action’s maternal and child health mobile services, built on Grameen Foundation’s MOTECH platform, nationally across 35 states in the country. Continue Reading(…)
CGAP publishes a blog post on Grameen Foundation India’s experiences and learnings from a recent project, using a User-Centered Design approach to product development at an Indian Microfinance Institution, Grameen Financial Services Pvt Ltd. Continue Reading(…)
This collaboration will help GFI reach out more effectively with financial services to disadvantaged sections of the population via a multi-stakeholder approach and be part of the policy dialogue around financial inclusion in India . Chandni Ohri put in perspective GFI’s initiation into the MFIN network in this interview, published in the October 2014 issue of MFInclusion. Continue Reading(…)
Our first blog post in this series talked about the key items that Non Banking Financial Institution (NBFC)-Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) should negotiate with banking partners to ensure a long-term, sustainable partnership that furthers the financial inclusion goals of both parties. We now turn our attention to the internal changes that these MFIs must make to become effective Business Correspondents (BCs). Continue Reading(…)
Acumen and Grameen Foundation’s Ziqitza Study is selected as the Editor’s choice report for the “Practitioner’s hub for Inclusive Business”
Acumen and Grameen Foundation recently collaborated to study the poverty profile of clients of Ziqitza Health Care Ltd, a social enterprise providing emergency ambulance services, and better understand what factors might drive its outreach to the poor. The study has been selected as the Editor’s choice report for the “Practitioner’s hub for Inclusive Business”.Continue Reading(…)
Mumbai, India, Sept. 10, 2014 – Acumen, a leading social impact investor addressing poverty across Africa and South Asia, together with Grameen Foundation India recently partnered to better understand caller poverty levels for Ziqitza Health Care Limited, an Acumen investee providing emergency ambulance services in India. Continue Reading(…)
New Delhi, India, Sept. 5, 2014 – Grameen Foundation has received a grant from Citi Foundation to deliver integrated mobile financial services and mobile financial education to expand financial inclusion in India. The program will be managed by Grameen Foundation India (GFI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Grameen Foundation. Continue Reading(…)
In recent announcements, the government of India has unveiled ambitious financial inclusion plans of which the Business Correspondent (BC) model is a key piece. Over the next several weeks, Grameen Foundation India (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Grameen Foundation) will post a series of blogs that discuss this model and how to make it work for promoting financial inclusion in India. Continue Reading(…)
Acche din for the financially excluded or too much din?- Vikram Gandhi & Chandni Ohri, Business Standard, August 20, 2014
Interview of Chandni Ohri, CEO, Grameen Foundation India, in the Summit Bulletin published by the organisers of Microfinance India Conference 2013
This compendium of Discussion papers documents the experiences of BC practitioners working in the field in order to share their experiences, brainstorm solutions to operational challenges that are within the purview of the existing regulatory norms, and also highlight the macro issues that require policy amendments from the regulators and banks. 12 Nov 2013 Click here to Download PDF
This Case Study on Channel Innovation explores how Cashpor transformed from a MFI to a MFI-BC to provide multiple financial services to the poor. 12 Nov 2013 Click here to Download PDF
This case study analyzes Cashpor’s Business Correspondent (BC) model and describes the infrastructure used to deliver the BC services. It studies the financial viability and strengths of Cashpor’s business model and attempts to arrive at some general principles that BCs could adopt in order to attain financial viability. 12 Nov 2013 Click here to Download PDF
It is estimated that at a country level, 80% of the the 100 million bank accounts (NFAs) opened for the poor opened become dormant. This case study talks about Cashpor/ GFI’s experience in managing dormancy in savings accounts opened by Cashpor as a Business Correspondent- Today Cashpor is serving more than 133,000 savers with dormancy rates in the range of just 20%. 25 July 2013 Click here to Download PDF
Titled ‘A Poverty Lens on Financial Inclusion’, this report is an initiative of Grameen Foundation India in partnership with EDA to understand the poverty profile of microfinance clients in the state of Karnataka, with an aim to get better insights and an understanding of the outreach of microfinance in the state. 04 July 2013 Click here to Download PDF