A Multimedia Experience in an Indian Village (Article)

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A Multimedia Experience in an Indian Village
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For students, this case is intended for use in MBA/ MS level programs as part of the finance/ development economics/ social entrepreneurship courses. This case is also suitable for use in Faculty Development Programs, and Executive Development Workshops catering to lending institutions/ government departments/ social entrepreneurs.

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This article discusses a few experiences the authors had while filming a multimedia case study on rural microfinance. The venue of the shoot was Katriyal village, about 110 KM from Hyderabad. It also outlines some of the aspects of developing a multimedia case study, culled from the authors' experiences.

Case availability in the European Case Clearing House (ECCH)

Case title: SHARE Microfin Limited: India's Largest Microfinance Organization

Case reference #: 105-089-0

Teaching note reference #: 105-089-8


Thursday, April 14, 2005: At 4:45 am on an unusually cool summer morning, the members of our team assembled at our pre-decided meeting point, to set out to shoot the video for our first multimedia case study. There were five of us - two case authors, and three camera men. The case study, on SHARE Microfin Limited (SML) had been under planning for a couple of months already - we had prepared a paper version of the case, and also had several meetings with the top management of the organization, getting to know the company and its activities. It was turning out to be an interesting case for us, with aspects of development economics, social entrepreneurship, and financial intermediation.

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SML was a microfinance organization that had begun small, and had grown to become India’s largest microfinance company in just over a decade. Over the years, SML had empowered thousands of poor women in rural India, and improved their lives by providing micro-credit in the form of small uncollateralized loans, which these women used to set up micro-enterprises to become self-sufficient. SML helped the rural women to organize themselves into groups; each SML center usually had eight groups of five members each. While the loans were given to the individual members of the group, all the group (and center) members were collectively responsible for repaying the loan. Peer pressure and operational control ensured an almost 100% repayment record.

We had been preparing for the outdoor shoot for more than two weeks, and tried to ensure that we were well prepared for any problems that could arise during our trip. A lot of things could go wrong with an outdoor shoot, in a remote village. Unpredictable power, improper lighting, rough roads and dusty terrain could derail our well-laid plans. Added to this, the previous week had seen the beginning of a heat wave in the region, with day temperatures regularly crossing 40 degree Celsius. We had armed ourselves with water bottles, caps and sunglasses to beat the heat that promised to scorch us.

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