Grameen Sahara Microfinance (GSmF) Program
In Grameen Sahara’s strategic approach financial inclusion and services is very important and therefore Grameen Sahara carefully started this program. This is one of the most important livelihood support programs. Started with a humble beginning in the year 2007 with 250 clients; this program has been able to curve an especial niche in the micro-finance market of the region with augmented performance in terms of its coverage and qualitative portfolio growth. Provision of collateral free credit- to the poor, especially women in the rural and urban areas is the prime mandate of GSmF. With its vision of emerging as the most client friendly and preferred MFI supporting livelihood in NE India by 2018 it worked aggressively and reached 25,000 families. It set its mission also which reads as ‘To provide customer responsive financial services and facilitate technical services to the poor and under-served in order to support sustainable livelihoods. While doing so, Grameen Sahara will strive to emerge as self-sustaining and strong financial institution.’
Value that upholds the GSmF:
- Easy and simple process of accessing its services.
- Doorstep delivery & collection of loans.
- Less time consuming procedures.
- Facilitate need based technical services.
This program has been started and expanded with the support of major funders like RGVN, NEDFi, FWWB India, BASIX, HDFC Bank, Allahabad Bank, Assam Financial Corporation, Oiko Credit, Ananya Finance etc.
Apart from encouraging thrift with formal financial institutes; this program offers the poor and underprivileged With the products of credit and micro-insurance. GSmF has two different delivery mechanism: Joint Liability Group(JLG) and Individual Entrepreneur; while group based micro loans are particularly designed for the poor to assist them in undertaking income generating activities, individual micro-loans are available for small entrepreneurs to offer scope for expanding their business, supporting their working capital base, and asset building for the activity they under taken which help in increasing their earning. JLGs are a group of 5-20 individuals who are normally either from the same villages from the same business locality. These are homogenous male or female groups. But the emphasis is on female members. Repayments are collected on a weekly basis. The loan amount in case of JLG is Rs.5000-10000 per borrower for the first cycle. Individual loan is provided to the micro entrepreneurs who are economically in a better position than their JLG counterpart. The loan size in the first cycle ranges from Rs.15000 to Rs. 25000. Because of its people-oriented of need-based and ease-at-operation, the GSmF has been able to curve an especial niche in the microfinance market of the region with augmented performance in terms of its coverage and quantitative portfolio growth.
As a way forward, the whole program is under process of transformation into Non- Banking Financial Corporation (NBFC) as per the latest micro-finance regulatory framework in India. The transformation process is on and hopefully within a period of six months Grameen Sahara will be able to transfer the entire portfolio to the NBFC and then Grameen Sahara will continue with the permissible services like facilitating micro-insurance services. Need for Credit / loan services will be taken care of by the company with diverged services as permitted by the Reserve Bank of India.