India: SKS Microfinance launches operations in Kerala
Kochi, India, December, 22 2007 -
Swayam Krishi Sangam (SKS) Microfinance Private Limited, a new generation microfinance company, has launched its operations in Kerala with the aim of targetting 7,000 poor households with income-generating loans during the fiscal.
Announcing the launch of the operation, Chief Operating Officer M. R Rao said: It will give employment opportunities to matriculation pass rural youths as field assistants and provides them an opportunity to work in their own villages. A field assistant earns Rs.3, 980 as salary apart from incentives which can go up to Rs. 4,000. It will also empower poor women to become economically self reliant by giving them access to income-generating loans and other financial services in a sustainable manner, he added.
Rao said Kerala has roughly 20 lakh poor households with a need for Rs. 4,200 crores, adding, We hope to tap this potential in the market. Initially, SKS gives loans up to Rs.12, 000 to members without any collateral on an interest rate of 25 to 30 per cent with a repayment collected over 50 weeks in weekly installments.
It operates in over 20,000 villages and has over 1.3 million members across the country. It has disbursed loans worth over Rs.1566 crore across India.
In Kerala, SKS had launched operations in Palluruthy in Ernakulam District and Thriprayar in Thrissur District.
Founded in 1998, SKS Microfinance converted from a non-profit society to a for-profit company and received its Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) license in 2004.
SKS currently has 42 branches and over 400 employees in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra, and offers in addition to basic savings and loan products an insurance product.