Funding the Poor Man’s Dream (Ujjivan)

November 13, 2008 Posted by Media Exposure

Sales are brisk at the cigarette stall of Ram Naresh Gupta. His daily income hovers around Rs 800, for he is strategically located near one of the exits of Delhi’s chaotic Azadpur wholesale market. On a recent trip to his village in Gorakhpur, UP, a co-passenger robbed him of his considerable savings of Rs 1 lakh with which he wanted to extend his ancestral house. He returned to Delhi penniless. Providence guided Ram Naresh to Satin Creditcare Network, a micro-finance institution (MFI), which bailed him out with a loan. Emboldened with his first brush with a formal system, he is making plans. “I am scouting for an ideal place to start a general store,” he says, already repaying Rs 58 daily, towards a second loan of Rs 15,000 secured more lately.

Satin Creditcare, his benefactor, has perfected the ‘daily repayment, collected at doorstep’ model, targeted at petty traders, over the years. It is now celebrated as one of the stars of the new crop of urban MFIs. Even Yes Bank, which entered the urban micro-finance market in July 2007, has borrowed Satin’s robust ‘grading system’ for evaluating the credit worthiness of the urban poor.

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