BISWA: Fostering Inclusive Growth through Microfinance (Abridged)

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR392
Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 2004-2010
Pub Date : 2011
Teaching Note :Available
Organization : BISWA
Industry : Microfinance
Countries : India

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This case study was compiled from field research, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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It was another hot and humid day at Sambalpur, a town in the eastern Indian state of Odisha.1 It was the end of June 2010. Khirod Chandra Malick (Malick), Chairman, Bharat Integrated Social Welfare Agency (BISWA), had called a meeting of the senior management team of the organization's microfinance program.

Going through the progress reports of BISWA's microfinance program Malick noted that between 1994 and mid-2010, the microfinance program had grown significantly and expanded to 16 states. Along the way, the organization had overcome various challenges. Initially operating as a social service organization that also provided micro-credit to poor people, BISWA had since adopted an integrated approach to bring about a convergence between microfinance and micro-enterprise development, micro-marketing, micro-insurance, and other social development initiatives. It also floated a Non Banking Financial Company (NBFC) to focus solely on microfinance.

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Till mid-2010, BISWA's microfinance program had directly touched the lives of 4,015,240 people. Malick's aim was to ramp up BISWA's presence to cover nearly all the states of India by the end of 2012. However, he knew that achieving that would not be easy as Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), particularly mid-sized and MFIs such as BISWA, had to face several challenges, and this despite the fact that the microfinance sector in India was showing positive trends. The theme for the brainstorming session was:

"How do we strike the right balance between our mission of social development and financial sustainability as a social organization and as a MFI?"

Microfinance in India - Next Page>>

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1] Odisha (earlier known as Orissa) was one of the poorest states in India with 43% people of the state living below the poverty line with a per capita of less than US$1 per day.

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