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Imagining India – Interview with Nandan Nilekani

4 May

Bhalchander: It is my great pleasure and honor to have with us today Nandan Nilekani, author of the recently published book Imagining India – Ideas for the new century, and Co-Chairman and Co-founder of Infosys Technologies. Nandan’s work and accomplishments have been recognized worldwide and he has received numerous honors and awards. In 2006, Nandan was conferred the Padma Bhushan, one of the highest civilian honors awarded by the Government of India. Most recently, Nandan was nominated to the list of 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.

Congratulations on your new book, Imagining India – Ideas for the new century. It is an extremely well researched, wonderfully articulated and truly thought provoking work. You have sparked a new discussion which all of us must actively engage in. And thank you very much for taking time from your busy schedule to be with us.

Nandan Nilekani:  Thank you. I’m glad to be here.

 

Bhalchander: We have several questions for you, many of them from twitters all over the world. The first question is from Raj Melville, Boston, USA.  How does one retrain & retain today’s rural India to help feed the increasing food demand?

Nandan Nilekani: I think rural India is in reality, well-placed to meet our growing food demand. But right now, our agricultural productivity is low because of a very weak support environment – ineffective water and electricity supply, a badly built subsidy system, and weak connectivity to our cities and markets.  We have for instance, ignored irrigation and groundwater replenishment – nearly two-thirds of our farmed land depend on solely rains for water. Our subsidy system – that subsidises water-intensive crops such as rice and wheat – encourages farmers in arid regions as well to grow these crops, since it lowers their risk. This means that our farms have not diversified, and we are not growing crops suited to regional climates. 

Particularly tragic is the amount of produce our farmers lose due to our weaknesses in transport. Fully one-third of our produce gets spoilt while being transported to markets, because we lack the cold chain infrastructure we need. These infra weaknesses – bad roads, unconnected villages – also isolate our farmers, limit their knowledge of best practices; and since they are so disconnected from our markets, they cannot find out quickly and easily what prices are, and what consumers are buying.  

So the reason our farm growth has averaged just 2% or lower is because of a disastrous combination of our above weaknesses. I would say that addressing these would solve a large part of our supply problems. 

 

Bhalchander: The next question is from Andreas Kopp, Munich. What should a young college graduate do to make his way to change the world?

Nandan Nilekani: The role of the youth is critical, and you tend to see that countries grow fastest when they have a larger proportion of their population that is young. I think graduates and students need to think beyond a first job in the corporate world. If you have a good idea and if you are a young entrepreneur for instance, you have a high chance for success – you have enthusiasm, and innovation on your side. And such entrepreneurs are critical for growth and development. In India, I’ve seen young entrepreneurs who are making quite an impact – Sriram Raghavan, who heads COMAT, and Jignesh Desai, who heads MCX, come to mind. And then there are the young people who take up and join various social causes: pushing governments towards more transparency and disclosure, tackling environmental issues, and driving reform. Even if you are not directly involved in politics and public policy, the third sector does allow committed people to make a difference. And of course, an effective way to ensure forward looking development is to have more young leaders in politics: governments need to be invigorated from within as well as without. 

 

Bhalchander: The next question is from Andreas Kopp, Munich, Germany and Trevor Rotzien, Seattle, USA. In his recent book, Creating a World without Poverty – Social Business and the Future of Capitalism, Nobel Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus talks of a new form of business – social business. In Prof. Yunus’s own words: “A social business is not a charity. It is a non-loss, non-dividend company with a social objective. It aims to maximize the positive impact on society while earning enough to cover its costs, and, if possible, generate a surplus to help the business grow. The owner never intends to take any profit for himself.” What are your thoughts on social business? Can a wave of social businesses as Prof. Yunus envisions help solve some of the pressing challenges India faces? 

Nandan Nilekani: From what I’ve seen, some NGOs that work in India do function as ‘social businesses’. That said, I think too many of us indiscriminately tar the idea of ‘profit’ being bad for the social sector. Its good for all kinds of organizations to create surplus for a rainy day.  Two organizations that made a huge difference to poverty in India were the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations – they financed the research efforts that led to the Green Revolution. Their money came from corporate profit. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is now doing some incredible work in Africa. We can’t diminish such efforts because they were funded by corporate profit. 

And for better or for worse, more people are motivated by profit than by philanthropy. The question is whether such for-profit efforts are effective in the social sector, and from what I’ve seen, I would say yes – paired with sensible regulation, it helps bring excellence to the forefront in the social sector. In India, businesses targeted at the poor have managed to deliver them low-cost services more effectively than some NGOs. Arvind Eye Hospital specializes in  low-cost eye operations for the poor. For-profit micro-finance institutions are doing remarkably well in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.   

 

Bhalchander: We have a question from Vijay Sankaran, Mumbai, India.  How is Indian IT helping bridge the digital divide? 

Nandan Nilekani: The real impact is right now with ICT rather than just IT – a combination of information and communication technologies. Mobile phone penetration for instance, has made a big difference to farmers, especially combined with voice services that inform them of crop prices, and weather information. And while internet penetration is still very low, community kiosks built by companies such as ITC and Comat have brought some semblance of connectivity to the villages and rural towns. 

 

Bhalchander: The Tata Nano has generated unprecedented enthusiasm. Building on the theme of innovation for the masses Vijay Sankaran, Mumbai, India and Atul S Kulkarni, Duluth, USA would like to know when will Infosys and the other large Indian IT companies make the common Indian their customer?  When will Indian IT build a Nano? 

Nandan Nilekani: In my opinion, Indian software for the common man will come through an instrument that is more like the mobile phone than the computer. This should hopefully take not more than another five years.  

 

Bhalchander: You mention in your book that people regardless of income levels should have access to health facilities, clean water, basic infrastructure, jobs, capital, social security and good schools for their children. But projects in almost each of these areas have long gestation periods and low financial returns to investors. How do you propose that we mobilize the risk-tolerant and patient capital in a reasonable time frame to initiate and implement these projects successfully? 

Nandan Nilekani: I have detailed the approach in my book – health and schools can be approached with a combination of voucher systems, and in highly rural areas, with government support for private initiatives in the early years. I don’t think these take long gestation periods. Neither does clean water and basic infrastructure – if there is popular pressure for it. Taking indirect subsidies out of the equation and replacing them with direct subsidies makes people focus more on markets, which in turn, forces pressure on governments to improve connectivity and access to basic services. Once the pressure is there, the response tends to be immediate. 

 

Bhalchander: In part II and part III of your book, you talk about areas where a lot of work needs to be – schools, our cities, infrastructure, creating a single market, environment and so on. There has been slow progress in most of these areas. With the impending elections, if you were to recommend a few easily understood points whose implementation the voters should demand from the government and politicians in a time bound manner, what would they be? 

Nandan Nilekani:  I would suggest, 1) Money in your hands – direct subsidies. In  the form of cash to an account held by each citizen, which would replace the creaky indirect system of ration shops and subsidized rice/fertilizer/kerosene. 2) School vouchers, which give poor students the option of attending either private or government schools. These two alone would bring more cash into the hands of citizens, and give them access to markets.  And it would as a result, create more pressure towards better infra that connects markets, and less red tape in education. 

 

Bhalchander: The World Bank estimates that 456 million Indians (42% of the total Indian population) now live under the global poverty line of $1.25 per day (PPP).  Most of them are perhaps impatient for progress. What would be your message to them? 

Nandan Nilekani: I would say, that we must use the democratic process to break barriers to access. We are in a vastly imperfect system, where votes are channeled to vote banks and interest groups, which in turn harden the status quo. Instead, if voters focus on the issues of access to education, direct subsidies, infrastructure, and breaking down barriers in labour markets, then we’d see progress come faster. 

 

Bhalchander: Your tone in the book is one of cautious hope, which largely echoes the general sentiment of the public. But while concluding the book, you state that the government and ministers do not talk the language of hope. How do you propose that the people at large get them to speak the language of hope? 

Nandan Nilekani: A big problem here is that the leaders in the government are of a different generation, and bound to age old interest groups. For a different language, we need younger leaders – this is beginning to happen – as well as reformers who simplify the language of reforms so that people can understand them: when reformers speak of direct subsidies, vouchers, universal health and pension plans, and a more decentralised approach to environment and energy, I think they will find that much of the poor is on their side. 

 

Bhalchander: The last question is from Ashok Parameswaran from New York, USA. How do you balance your time between work and philanthropy? And what are your future plans? 

Nandan Nilekani: My efforts in philanthropy don’t take much time because I have quite a few people that I trust running the day to day operations of it. I’ve been fortunate in that I have some very brilliant, dedicated people managing my non-profit interests. 

 

Bhalchander: Thank you very much for being with us. We wish you success in spreading your ideas and impacting policy for a renewed India.

Everything you wanted to know about microfinance in India but did not know whom to ask – Interview with Mr. N Srinivasan

27 Apr

Bhalchander: It is my great pleasure to have with us on email Mr. N Srinivasan, author of the ‘Microfinance in India: State of the Sector Report 2008’. The unabridged report is also available in several bookstores including amazon. Mr. N Srinivasan is a development economist and a career development banker. A postgraduate in economics from Madurai Kamaraj University, he also has a certificate in training and development from the University of Manchester. He served National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for about 25 years of which last six years were in the capacity of  Chief General Manager.

After leaving the bank, he is pursuing a career as a freelancer and has been a consultant to World Bank, IFAD, UNDP, UNOPS, GTZ, Frankfurt School, Sir Ratan Tata Trust, Access Development Services and Government of India.

 And thank you very much for taking time from your busy schedule to be with us. 

 

Bhalchander: The Microfinance in India: State of the Sector Report 2008 is a very comprehensive report. Could you tell us in brief about the methodology you used for the survey?

 

N Srinivasan: It is difficult to fit in the preparation of the report to a defined methodology given the size, complexity and multiplicity of stakeholders in the sector.  Interviews, surveys, dip stick studies, focus group discussions and literature reviews were all used. Mostly secondary information made available by NABARD, Sa dhan, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Insurance Regulatory and Develoment Authority (IRDA) and others were used to analyse macro trends.  Study and research outputs of several individuals and organisations were also examined and used to validate the voices from the field.  Primary information and client/practitioner views were gathered during field visits – I was on the road for more than eight weeks.  About ten seminars and conferences gave insights in to certain aspects of the sector. UN Solutions Exchange ran two questions on their web platform which produced information from different sources.  Weaving all the information from different levels and sources in to a cogent report was the tricky part.

 

Bhalchander: The title slide of your presentation is very interesting. It says “In Search of a ‘mission beyond growth’”. Could you please elaborate on that?

N Srinivasan: The last two years saw vigorous growth.  But growth cannot be not an objective; it is a path to somewhere.  Where- is the question that the sector needed to ask.  With all the efforts and resources are we serving “our customers” well and effectively is the question.  Most growth has been planned in pursuit of institutional aspirations – not necessarily for improving quality and effectiveness of services to the clients.  Hence the need for “mission beyond growth”.

 

Bhalchander: You state that the intensifying competition is not entirely leading to positive results. Could you please elaborate on that?

 

N Srinivasan: Competition has pressurized MFIs in to cutting corners in client acquisition, servicing and monitoring processes.  Offering higher loan sizes just as a competitive response without an appropriate appraisal, financing of existing clients of other MFIs without considering their repayment capacity, poaching clients from others by making enticing offers thereby introducing clients to shopping and MFI hopping and a focus on increasing client and loan base without adequate risk management systems are some of the consequences of escalating competition.  Competition is good for the customer as it improves product quality and reduces costs in the short term.  But these improvements may be temporary, if unfair competition destroys some of the competing institutions.  The customer would tend to suffer in the long run.

 

Bhalchander: The presence of MFIs is concentrated in regions which are well endowed and where the entrepreneurs (clients) are relatively better off, while the less endowed regions and the poorer clients do not have access to microfinance. Do you think increasing competition will eventually make sure that all regions and all entrepreneurs are reached or would we need additional incentives or policy measures to make that happen?

 

N Srinivasan:  Competition  is limited – almost non-existent- in the less endowed regions.  Poorer people are last choice clients and do not gain easy access to finance.  Competition would fill in gaps in well endowed areas and among better off clients.  For the less endowed areas policy interventions and financial incentives are needed.  The financial inclusion campaign with the support of two funds can play a very significant role in extending frontiers of microfinance to remote and underserved areas.  But policy push should result in banking system and MFIs making inclusion a “ business prospect” rather than a CSR obligation.

 

Bhalchander: India is perhaps unique in having two major models of microcredit. One is the traditional Bank- Self Help Group (SHG) model and the Grameen replicator model followed by most MFIs. Based on your experience and recent observations which model is proving more effective in lifting people out of poverty?

 

N Srinivasan:  Studies show that SHG model where it has been in existence for a long time (five years or more) has an impact on poverty.  The NCAER study finds evidence that savings income, expenditure on education and health  have all  increased.  I would believe that MFIs would also have a similar effect where they have provided loans to same clients over a period of time.  But given the present small size of loans in both the models, it is difficult to envisage a rapid decline in poverty.  The loans are not sufficient to cover investment in livelihood assets that can produce a poverty mitigating income.  In fact the loan sizes need to be about ten times the present average to provide a base for poverty alleviating income for a family.  Credit, we are reminded is not a solution to poverty.  There are other enablers necessary such as access to markets, appropriate technology, skill sets, input availability and infrastructure.  Institutions that have managed to provide/ensure  these linkages in addition to finance have been more successful in addressing poverty.

 

Bhalchander: There has been huge and rapid growth of the larger for-profit MFIs. Many of them seem to have adopted a strategy of touch and move. i.e. They make microloans to a few people in a locality  and then move on to another locality, rather than truly get involved and penetrate a given locality. What is the impact of this strategy on the clients and the MFI?

 

N Srinivasan:  The “touch and move” models result in high transaction costs, low revenues per client, low ability to manage risks, render monitoring and supervision of operations difficult due to the expanded span of control and impose higher costs on the customer.  Small loans leave the customer open to poaching by other lenders. While widening is necessary for inclusion, deepening of services would lead to greater customer loyalty, higher revenues per client and lower transaction and risk costs.  Consolidation of business in each location before moving to new locations would better serve the interests of MFIs.

 

Bhalchander: Most of the funds go to a select few for-profit MFIs who are on a rapid expansion path. They get equity more easily from investors as they have the potential to go IPO. Since they have access to equity, they are also able to access bank loans on favorable terms and grow very rapidly. On the other hand, smaller MFIs that are more localized find it very hard to raise funds. Given that capital is limited, is there any reason why smaller, more localized MFIs should be supported rather than only support the larger ones as seems to be the trend today?

 

N Srinivasan: A good question.  First of all the notion that an MFI needs to be very large to be effective has to be dispelled.  The paradigm relevant in banks that have multi-location, multi-business  clients is not relevant to MFIs where clients are small and ticket sizes are also small.  Most pan-Indian MFIs would tend to increase their costs of management and control on account of extended spans and large complement of staff.  The standardization that takes place to make the business manageable would leave little scope for innovation and no flexibility to respond to client specific requirements.  In many ways such large organizations would be software driven and not by local human intellect. Microfinance is relationship banking to the core.  Hence I would venture to say that small MFIs should be supported to find the right size.  Equity, quasi-equity, long term loans and guarantees are tenable ways of financing such institutions. 

Equity as the dominant option requires large MFIs so that the investor gets a viable exit strategy; hence there is a mutuality of interests among those wanting to grow huge and those wanting to invest in equity with a ‘return’ consideration.

Finding the right size is the challenge – one of the issues is sustainability, another risk management across clients and activities in the loan portfolio, a third is the absolute cost of regulatory/supervisory compliance which is the same regardless of size.  But a critical consideration should be at what size the MFI could still be sensitive to the client’s needs.  The short answer is that we should prioritise small localized MFIs for all support.

 

Bhalchander:  What strategies should smaller MFIs which are either NGOs, societies, S.25 companies or cooperatives adopt given that they are likely to find it very difficult to transform into for-profit Non Banking Finance Companies(NBFCs) with the financial crisis and still continue to serve their clients? Is member owned co-operative which can also mobilize its own savings a feasible option?

 

N Srinivasan: Member owned forms are feasible, but slightly difficult option.  There are member owned and managed for profit companies, Mutually Aided Credit Societies, conventional cooperative societies that are successful. There are a dozen examples of member-owned MFIs that work successfully. These could be the models that other transformation candidates could emulate.  An important caveat is that such institutions take three to five years to stabilize; so the threshold of patience should be high to give such institutions the space to grow and psopper.

 If transformation is to ensure continuity and sustainability of access to finance, the NGOs could also think of becoming Banking correspondents of banks.  With more technology entering microfinance space, banks are willing to use NGOs to service microfinance clients.

 

Bhalchander: Some of the large MFIs in India have reached sizes which are not common in other parts of the world. Moreover they are purely microcredit institutions with no access to internal funds unlike Grameen Bank for example. And further they are for-profit entities with investors which also include Private Equity funds and Venture Capital apart from a few socially responsible investors. Such scale and structure is not found anywhere else in the world. What do you think are the emerging risks to banks which lend to them, their clients and to the organizations themselves because of this aspect which is so unique to India?

 

N Srinivasan:  We might find a few large MFIs  in other countries too. Some MFIs have targeted growth and size and have moved ahead.  They have the appropriate models for expansion of business.  But customer comfort may not always be a priority.  They offer uniform products regardless of clients’ livelihood investments and cash flows.  Sustainability of fast paced growth and retaining clients after three or four cycles of lending with the same loan product are concerns that would have to be addressed.  The high profits come out of an ability to price the loan – poor clients pay out  from their capital or a new loan.  Whether borrower would be sustainable at any level of interest rates? – the long term future of the MFIs depends on a study of interest rates on loans taken out of desperation and loans taken for livelihood activities.

 

Bhalchander: What can the microfinance sector in India learn from other countries?

 

N Srinivasan:  Capacity building  approaches, induction of relevant technology,  regulatory practices and building the profile of microfinance are some of the areas where we can learn from others.

 

Bhalchander: If you were to suggest 5 policy measures to the new government which have to be implemented in the next five years to improve the lives of the poor through microfinance, what would those be?

 

N Srinivasan:

  1.  Targeting livelihoods and incomes among the poor so that financial services can offer relevant services that address poverty.
  2. A new microfinance bill that would focus on sector regulation – not institutional/model regulation.
  3. Enabling savings mobilization by the sector either on own account or as correspondents, with the backing of deposit insurance through Deposit Insurance Corporation.
  4. Funding for investment in new customer acquisition for MFIs and banks to achieve financial inclusion objectives
  5. A low cost bulk funding facility that would finance MFIs  for on-lending to defined microfinance clients so that interest rates to the borrower could be kept affordable and MFIs themselves would remain sustainable.

 

Bhalchander: Mr. Srinivasan, thank you very much for being with us. We wish you success in your efforts to educate all stakeholders in microfinance and in the process building a vibrant microfinance sector which offers a hand up to the poor.

 

Mr. Srinivasan will be taking additional questions from readers posted in the comments, so please feel free to pose your comments and questions.

MicroCredit Enterprises to grow to a $100 million guarantee fund – Interview with Jonathan Lewis, CEO of MicroCredit Enterprises

4 Dec

Jonathan C Lewis

Jonathan C Lewis

 

 

 

Bhalchander: We have with us today Jonathan Lewis, who is the CEO of MicroCredit Enterprises. MicroCredit Enterprises is committed to reducing poverty by mobilizing private investment capital to finance micro-businesses throughout the world.  Jonathan – Congratulations on winning the Social Venture Innovation award and for being recognized as an honoree by the World Affairs Council of Northern California. And thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to be with us.

 

Jonathan Lewis:  Thank you for your own commitment to economic justice and for inviting MicroCredit Enterprises to this interview. 

MicroCredit Enterprises is deeply honored to be recognized for our pioneering social venture model.  In three years, we have created a stable financing model which is sustaining 100,000 microloans reaching 500,000 poor individuals (89% of whom are women and children) via 28 MFIs partners in 15 nations on 4 continents without needing a single dime of donations, grants OR investment.  In the end, as proud as we are of these awards, our lasting pride comes from knowing that literally thousands of children will go to bed tonight without the pang of an empty tummy and their mothers will awake tomorrow to a more hopeful life. 

 

Bhalchander : I read that Microcredit Enterprise utilizes ‘idle capital’ to help the poor. It is a very interesting concept to take something which is idle and use it for public good. Can you tell us more about your innovative model and Microcredit Enterprises?

 Jonathan Lewis:  Because poor women do not have collateral or credit histories, MicroCredit Enterprises Guarantors – the key program benefactors — pledge collateral assets and personal guarantees (not a donation or grant) to back loans to MicroCredit Enterprises that are used to fund an overseas microfinance loan portfolio.  Our Guarantors realize returns in the open market, manage their own funds and simultaneously support about 5,000 small entrepreneurs. 

 In the event of an overseas financial loss, each Guarantor bears the tax-deductible loss on an equitable, pro rata basis with all other Guarantors.  Guarantors do not realize a return on the guarantee risk, but do maintain complete control of their assets, thus receiving all investment returns from their portfolios.

 

Bhalchander:  In how many countries does Microcredit Enterprises operate currently and how have you chosen the countries to operate in?

 Jonathan Lewis:  MicroCredit Enterprises is in 15 nations diversified across 4 continents.  The special focus is sustainable economic development for families living in extreme poverty ($1.00 per day or worse), so our lending criteria are, first and foremost, targeted to reach overseas microfinance partners in rural areas with high numbers of deeply impoverished women.  Secondarily, we apply strict geographic diversification to minimize risk.  Since MicroCredit Enterprises is entirely open source, your readers can visit our website  to study our specific criteria, loan process and evaluate what we have accomplished and – if they wish – build on it.

 

Bhalchander: What were the biggest challenges you faced in setting up and growing Microcredit Enterprises? How did you tackle them?

Jonathan Lewis:  The steepest hill to climb, which still exists today, is explaining our new model, a new funding paradigm.  Since MicroCredit Enterprises depends on neither donations nor social investments, we have an important educational job to explain how a foundation, high net worth individual or company can directly impact lives around the world without writing a check. 

 The solution?  Patience, and old-fashioned, low-tech guerilla marketing by word of mouth.  

 

Bhalchander :  You were a very successful business executive before you started MicroCredit Enterprises. Can you tell us a little bit more about what you did before starting MicroCredit Enterprises?

Jonathan Lewis:  My last commercial venture was an international knowledge company in the healthcare field.  Among other services, we organized trade missions to other countries to investigate healthcare systems and business opportunities and hosted the International Summit on Public-Private Healthcare Partnerships.  The Summit was attended by delegations from about 80 nations.  One day I realized that I cared more about the people who get no healthcare at all.

 

Bhalchander: In your experience what is tougher and why – running your previous organization or setting up and growing Microcredit Enterprises?

Jonathan Lewis:  Both are tough, but in different ways.  All businesses, social or otherwise, and all nonprofits serve multiple stakeholders:  shareholders, customers, the larger community interest, etc.  A social venture adds mission clarity, but – as the adage goes – “no margin, no mission”. 

 

Bhalchander: In the last few months, everyone’s attention has been on the economic crisis. Microfinance is also seeing a lot of changes – there is private equity and venture capital coming in. Are there any new kind of risks Microfinance faces and something we should all watch out for?

Jonathan Lewis:  Microfinance is not immune from the turmoil in the financial markets.  MFIs are indicating that the biggest challenge resulting from the global financial crisis will be securing new financing and rising interest rates which ultimately have to be passed on to impoverished borrowers.  Stories already abound about MFIs losing commitments for funding from so-called mainstream lenders and banks. 

 For some MFIs in select countries, foreign currency exposure is becoming a more serious risk.  In recent years, the weak dollar has largely muted this concern.  No longer will that risk factor be so easy to overlook or ignore.

 In general, microfinance will soon discover that private capital flight risk is real.  Indeed, I predict that the microfinance intelligentsia will mute the complaint about public capital “crowding out” private capital, an argument that actually has never made much sense either economically or in terms of social mission.  Hopefully, in the future microfinance thought leaders will be more respectful of the need for stable, socially committed capital, whatever its source.

 For a quick overview about microfinance, visit the MicroCredit Enterprises Study Center.

 

Bhalchander: What advice would you give to up and coming entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs?

Jonathan Lewis:  To dream.  Listen to everyone, but trust your instincts.  Hang on to your core beliefs and live them intensely and everyday through your venture.  Keep moving. 

 

Bhalchander: And my last question, what are your future plans for Microcredit Enterprises?

Jonathan Lewis:   One, MicroCredit Enterprises will grow to a $100 million guarantee fund (or one percent risk exposure per Guarantor unit of $1 million).  That will mean roughly 2.5 million people with food security.  Two, in 2009, MicroCredit Enterprises will become an offering on the new, very innovative MicroPlace.com website which allows individuals to earn interest from microloans. 

 

Bhalchander: Thank you very much for being with us. We are all very happy that MicroCredit Enterprises is making the world a better place. We wish you greater and bigger successes.

 

You will also find this interview posted on http://www.mykro.org