Silver Lining of the Microfinance Sector
“Your problem is to bridge the gap which exists between where you are now and the goal you intend to reach.” – Earl Nightingale, American author, and radio speaker.

What holds you back from achieving your goals is often poor finances. Without proper finance, you can’t take your plans into action, grow your business or start a new one. And when a huge group faces a financial crisis holding them back from coming out of a poverty line it affects the nation’s economy as a whole. What would be your action in such a case? When you lack finances to achieve your goals, you opt for a loan from financial institutions.

Post-independence when India was fighting a huge battle with poverty, Microfinancing in the 1980s brought a ray of hope to empower the citizens below the poverty line. Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in Gujarat became the first initiative in the microfinance sector which formed SEWA bank in 1974. Since its inception, the bank has been helping women and small business owners on rural grounds by providing credit to help grow their businesses.

Since then, individuals and families in rural and urban India have been taking the benefit of small loans to provide the necessary support to grow their businesses and support families. The major USP that sets the Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) apart from formal financial institutions is accessibility. MFIs provide loans to the low-income fraction helping them establish better financial stability and help small-scale businesses flourish.

In a country with a 1.3 billion population where one-third population relies on the agriculture sector and related jobs, the microfinance sector has been among the game-changers to strengthen the Indian economy. To those who face difficulty in accessing formal financial banking services, Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in India have been a major financial help to bridge the gap between their needs and savings.

So, what is the current scenario of the microfinance sector? How has it survived the recent crisis when some of the major financial institutes had to fold as an aftereffect of the COVID-19 pandemic? The answer recites in the bottom line of the pyramid – microfinance consumers who by being consistent with the loan repayments have formed a strong backbone of the microfinance sector.

The government has also played its part by running poverty alleviation programs from time to time. The microfinance sector, as we see it today, is going strong by extending its loan disbursement services to more rural parts of India. Today, MFIs are providing financial support to small-scale businesses as well as the self-employed who do not have convenient access to major financial and banking services. All the micro-financial institutes today either run as NGOs registered under trusts or societies or as Non-financial Banking Companies. (NBFCs).

Despite the impressive growth Microfinance institutes face major challenges such as financial illiteracy, the major section still being unbanked, insufficient funds, and high-interest rate.
However, amid all the challenges and just waking from the COVID-19 crisis the best microfinance companies are playing a key role in finding a silver lining of the microfinance sector in India.

The latest issue of Insights Success, “India's Best Micro Finance Companies to Rely On” feature a few of the flourishing microfinance companies that not only help the consumers survive but have been empathetic and strong support throughout the pandemic to their consumers when the panic of losing income and missing loan repayment deadlines was high.

This issue will highlight some of the major names in the microfinance sector who are marching towards financial inclusivity with their allied financial services and extended loan disbursement to the poor and unemployed. So just sit back and relax while flipping through the pages of this latest issue of Insights Success. You might stumble across some of the articles created by our in-house writers. Read away!

Author's Bio: 

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