Impact Investing Is Kind Of A Big Deal

Originally appeared in Forbes on September 16, 2014 The world is awaking to impact investing. Finally. More and more we are seeing institutional investors allocating substantial sums to impact. Audrey Choi, CEO of Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing explains the underlying drivers as a confluence of circumstances, “While the concept of adapting one’s investment […]


Lender to affordable schools Varthana raises $4.4M from Omidyar, LGT & Elevar

Originally appeared in VCCircle on September 11, 2014 Last year, LGT, Elevar and Accion’s seed fund Venture Lab had invested in Varthana. Bangalore-headquartered Thirumeni Finance Pvt Ltd, a non-banking finance company that provides loans to affordable private schools, has raised Rs 27 crore ($4.43 million) in its Series A round of funding from three funds, as […]


Shubham Housing Finance raises Rs122Crore in Series C round

Originally appeared in Forbes on September 11, 2014 Housing credit solutions provider Shubham Housing Development Finance Co (Shubham) on Tuesday said it raised Rs122 crore in its Series C round from led by Motilal Oswal Private Equity along with existing investors Helion Advisors, Elevar Equity, Accion Frontier and Saama Capital. Headquartered in Gurgaon, Shubham provides […]


Addressing the capital needs of micro-enterprises

Originally appeared in Business Line on August 11, 2014 They were working in an NBFC in its microfinance business. The NBFC, Fullerton India, planned to expand its rural business, for which it had opened a handful of pilot branches. But that was when the financial tsunami of 2008 hit the world, which forced Fullerton to […]


Ujjivan Financial Services disburses over Rs 1,000 cr cashless loans to underserved customers in 2013-14

Originally appeared in Business Standard on 9th June 2014 Bangalore-based Ujjivan Financial Services, among the established microfinance institutions, has closed its loan book for 2013-14 with Rs 1,617 crore, registering a 44% growth over the previous financial year. It achieved a pre-tax profit of Rs 83.81 crore, among the highest in the industry. Ujjivan has […]


Vistaar Finance raises Rs 160 crore from PEs led by WestBridge

Originally appeared in Business Standard on 22nd May 2014 Small business-focused NBFC Vistaar Financial Services has raised Rs 160 crore from a clutch of PE funds led by WestBridge Capital, along with its existing private equity partners. Its existing investors include Elevar Equity, Omidyar Network and Saama Capital which have also increased their commitment. The […]


Value lending for MFIs to reduce risk

Originally appeared in Financial Express on 11th April 2014 Tara Thiagarajan, chairman & MD of non-banking finance company-micro finance institution (NBFC-MFI) Madura Microfinance, is trying out a unique experiment. A PhD in neuroscience from Stanford University, she has been pioneering the use of analytics in the MFI sector, which, she says, has helped Madura to […]


Maya Chorengel on Elevar’s Lessons for the Broader Community

Originally appeared on Impact Investing 2.0 on 7th November 2013 by Maya Chorengel - Director, Elevar The Impact Investor Project provided a valuable opportunity to reflect on our journey after eight years in impact investing. We enjoyed the engaging conversations we had with Cathy Clark, and also truly appreciated the 360-degree interview process. This was the […]


What makes Ujjivan Financial Services a coveted employer

Originally appeared in Economic Times on 24th June 2013 There are a handful of people who can see the change their work brings to others. UjjivanFinancial Services, one of the more prominent microfinance firms, says it is seeing this impact that stops their employees from moving to a regular finance job with a ten-fold increase […]


Ujjivan’s CFO, Ms. Sudha Suresh, Wins CFO100 Risk Management Award

Ujjivan CFO, Ms. Sudha Suresh, Wins CFO100 Risk Management Award   Ujjivan’s CFO, Ms.Sudha Suresh was honoured with the Winning Edge in Risk Management award instituted by The CFO Institute and CFO India Magazine. She is in the list of the CFO100 Roll of Honour. The CFO100 is an annual benchmark for rising stars among India’s CFOs. It is […]


Glocal Health to launch software to help doctors diagnose, treat common diseases

Originally appeared in Business Line on 7th April 2013 Glocal Healthcare, a private company that is pioneering the use of technology to make healthcare more affordable and accessible, has developed a software that allows doctors to diagnose common diseases quicker and prescribe medicines with greater ease. Dr Sabahat Azim, founder and CEO of Glocal, told Business […]


MokshaYug Access: Providing Opportunities and Income for India’s Rural Poor

Originally appeared in Knowledge @ Wharton on 28th March 2013 Around 18 months ago, when a new milk collection center opened in her village, Kattegollanahalli in the Tumkur district of Karnataka, 60-year-old Siddamma was surprised. Her village is a small one with less than 50 homes. Of these, around 35 households, including hers, mostly have […]


Low cost hospitals are game changers

Originally appeared in Civil Society Online on 6th March 2013   Harimati Das, 60, a destitute widow with no children, lives in Panchtupi, a remote village in  Murshidabad district of West Bengal. When she was suffering from piles and fistula, kindly neighbours took her for treatment to the Khargram block, some 10 km away. They […]


MokshaYug Access launches Milk Route in Bangalore

Appeared in LiveMint on 31st January 2013 Rural supply-chain solutions firm MokshaYug Access has launched its dairy brand Milk Route in Bangalore. The company will sell pasteurized toned milk, ultra-high temperature (UHT) processed toned milk, and UHT low-fat milk. MokshaYug, the investors of which include Unitus Equity Fund, Khosla Impact Fund and Unitus Impact, began […]


Glocal Healthcare Systems: IAS officer-turned-entrepreneur plans to open 50 more hospitals

Appeared inEconomic Times on 25th January 2013 Former Indian Administrative Services officer Sabahat S Azim’s biggest challenge when he launched affordable healthcare chain Glocal Healthcare Systems was to prove that he could make the hospitals profitable. Within six months of launching the first Glocal hospital in July 2011 in Sonamukhi, a town 126km from Kolkata, […]


Glocal featured amongst India’s 15 coolest startups

Appeared in Business Today on 22nd January 2013 Business Today’s 2009 listing of the “Hottest Start-ups” (March 22) featured two bespectacled 26 year olds peering into the camera from behind a pile of books and cartons. Their company was then less than two years old, had 20 employees and annual revenues of around Rs 4 […]


A prescription for low-cost rural healthcare

Appeared in Business Line on 6th January 2013 Business is not in his genes, and with all the pulls of north Indian small town middle-class moorings, 37-year-old Sabahat S. Azim, feels that he could have ended up with a typical nine-to-five job. However, his urge to ‘create something’, perhaps, made him move to entrepreneurship from […]


The Way I Work | Samit Ghosh, Ujjivan Financial Services

Appeared in Inc January 2013 in Inc Magainze In the three decades he worked for CitiGroup and Bank Muscat, Samit Ghosh picked up every nuance of the banking business. That experience along with his family background (of being born in a middle-class family where he saw his parents’ fortune change with the 1985 revolution in […]


Glocal Healthcare plans Rs 400-cr expansion across six States

Appeared in Business Line on 22nd Decemeber 2012 Glocal Healthcare Pvt Ltd, a Kolkata-headquartered and private equity-backed rural hospital company, has planned a Rs 400-crore project for 50 new units across six States. Sabahat S. Azim, CEO and promoter of Glocal, told Business Line that the ambitious project would be funded by both debt (65 […]


Ujjivan Financial Services lowers interest rates

Appeared in Economic Times on 17th December 2012 Ujjivan Financial Services, a microfinance company with urban focus, has lowered lending rates by 1-2 percentage points with effect from December 15, the company said Monday. It has reduced interest rates to 25% for new customers while existing borrowers will get repeat loans at 24% a year. […]


Glocal announces MoU with Mt. Sinai School of Medicine

On December 7, 2012, Glocal Healthcare Systems Private Limited, Kolkata, West Bengal, announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY. The 5-year MoU comes into effect on January 1, 2013, and spans multiple facets of collaboration in Gastroenterology, GI Endoscopy, and Internal Medicine. This is a […]


Shubham Housing raises $8M from Elevar, Helion, Accion & Saama Capital

Appeared in VCCircle on 29th November 2012 The mortgage company, which focuses on low-income families in India, raised around $2m from Elevar Equity and Helion around 2 years ago. Social sector investor Accion has announced that its Frontier Investments Group, along with Saama Capital (an India venture-focused investment firm), has invested $4 million as part […]


MYA builds a farm-to-retail venture

Appeared in Times Of India on 7th Nov 2012 Harsha Moily keeps a low profile. Quite unlike his father, Union petroleum minister Veerappa Moily. But what Harsha Moily has achieved in the past six years is quite remarkable. He’s won funding from high profile investors like Vinod Khosla and built a network and infrastructure to […]


SKS raises Rs.200 cr via securitisation

Appeared in The Hindu on 7th Nov 2012 SKS Microfinance has announced microfinance securitisation of Rs.200 crore. The announcement comes in the light of issuance of revised securitisation guidelines by the Reserve Bank of India for non-banking finance companies on August 21, stipulating a minimum holding period of three months and a minimum retention requirement […]


DGM RBI mentions Vistaar in a paper on SME financing

Appeared in on October 2012 Cash Flow Based Lending – An illustration of Vistaar Finance The inability of MSME entrepreneurs in providing adequate and satisfactory collateral has proven a major hurdle in obtaining funding from formal financial institutions, especially traditional banks. Therefore, sensing a business opportunity, financial services companies like Bangalore-based Vistaar Finance have […]


Doctor at Heart – Dr. Sabahat

Appeared in TimesOfIndia on 31st October 2012 Dr Sabahat Azim never wanted to become a doctor. He donned the white apron under family pressure but it wasn’t long before he was planning how to get out of it. He prepared himself for the civil services as well as GMAT and cracked both and chose to […]


Ujjivan raises Rs 47 cr from IFC, FMO

Appeared in Business Standard on 18th September 2012. Ujjivan raises Rs 47 cr from IFC, FMO In January, Ujjivan had raised Rs 127.9 crore Microfinance firm Ujjivan Financial Services today said it has raised Rs 47.28 crore from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and foreign institutional investor FMO. Ujjivan Financial has raised […]


The Transit Shelter – Aarusha Homes is doing its bit to provide affordable accommodation

Appeared in Outlook India on 1st of September 2012.   Serendipity has its own role to play in all walks of life. When V Satyanarayana along with Dyan Belliappa, his batchmate from the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, decided to venture into ‘affordable housing’ through Aarusha Homes, little did they know that they would […]


Ujjivan ranks 2nd in Financial Services industry in “Best Companies to Work for” survey

Ujjivan ranks 2nd in Financial Services industry in “Best Companies to Work for” survey Among India’s top 25 Best Companies and ranking 3rd in leadership development Ujjivan ranks 2nd in the financial services industry as the Best Company to Work for, in the 2012 survey conducted by Great Place to Work Institute (India). Ujjivan continues […]


Small enterprise financing firm Vistaar raises $7.2M from Lok Capital, Omidyar, Elevar & SVB

Appeared in VCCircle on 1st of August 2012 BY  NANDANA DAS Lok Capital and Omidyar’s first investment in the small enterprise financing segment. Bangalore-based Vistaar Financial Services Pvt Ltd, a small enterprise financing firm, has raised $7.2 million (Rs 40 crore) in Series B funding from Lok Capital and Omidyar Network besides existing investors Elevar Equity […]


SKS Microfinance raises Rs 263 crore through QIP, preferential allotment

Appeared in Times Of India on 17th July 2012 SKS Microfinance today raised Rs 263.5 crore though preferential allotment and qualified institutional placement. The micro finance company raised Rs 230 crore through qualified institutional placement to foreign and domestic institutions and another Rs 33.55 crore through preferential allotment of shares to a fund managed by […]


IFMR Capital concludes its first securitisation transaction in the SME Finance space with Vistaar Finance

Appeared in IFMR’s blog on the 7th of July 2012 By Bhagirath Iyer & Avishek Gupta, IFMR Capital IFMR Capital strives to build small business loans as a mainstream asset class in the capital markets and therefore partner with innovative financial institutions that extend financing to this financially excluded segment. We believe we can leverage our […]


Ujjivan receives “Microfinance Organisation of the Year” award

Ujjivan received the prestigious ‘Microfinance Organisation of the year’ award in the large institutions category at a special function organised at the Microfinance India Summit in Delhi. Speaking on achieving this distinction, Samit Ghosh, Managing Director, Ujjivan, said ”This award is the foremost recognition by the industry for the best all round performance by a […]


Ujjivan raises $25 million in equity financing

Appeared in the Economic Times on the 1st of February 2012 BANGALORE: Ujjivan Financial Services raised Rs 127.9 crore ($25 million) in its fifth round of equity financing, the Bangalore-based microfinance company announced on Wednesday. The latest round of capital infusion came largely from two new foreign institutional investors, FMO (Netherlands Development Finance Company) and […]


Ujjivan Financial Services Ranked No.1 among the ‘Best Companies to Work for in India’ in the Microfinance Industry

Originally appeared in the Business Standard on June 24, 2011 Bangalore, India: Ujjivan Financial Services, a leading microfinance institution ranked Number 1 for the second time, as the Best Company to Work for in the Microfinance Industry, in the 2011 “India’s Best Companies to Work for” Survey. Ujjivan was ranked amongst the Top 15 Best […]


Glodyne Technoserve to acquire Comat

Appeared on the India Infoline News Service, on Jun 10, 2011 The shares of Glodyne Technoserve are trading at Rs. 405, up Rs. 5 or 1.4% over the previous close. Glodyne Technoserve Limited one of the largest technology infrastructure management services provider and a pioneer in e-governance managed services space in the country today announced […]


Microfinance learns the hard way

Ujjivan’s success underlines dos and don’ts Appeared in the Business Standard, on June 1st, 2011. Written by Subir Roy. At a time when the sector is faced with a crisis in the country, Ujjivan’s foresight and strategic moves have shown that there is light at the end of the tunnel of MFIs’ travails. The months […]


Madura Micro Finance gets Rs 22cr from Unitus Equity Fund

Originally published on on Saturday, the 11th of October, 2008 Madura Micro Finance Limited (MMFL), a leading Indian Microfinance Institution (MFI),  has received a funding of Rs 22 Crores from the private equity investment firm Unitus Equity Fund L.P. (UEF). UEF makes strategic investments in high growth microfinance institutions and social enterprises and is […]


Comat raises Rs 60 crore from Omidyar and Unitus

Originally appeared in the Business Standard, on the 29th of September, 2008 Comat Technologies, which operates a network of rural business centres, has announced it has received an investment of Rs 60 crores from Omidyar Network and the Unitus Equity Fund (UEF). Omidyar Network, the philanthropic investment firm of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, led the […]


MokshaYug Access announces $2 mn funding

The company will build a supply chain and infrastructure for dairy farming and healthcare centres and create market linkages between rural community and upstream players. Originally appeared in The Mint ( on the 17th of March 2008 MokshaYug Access (MYA) announced its funding at Rs8.35 crores ($2 million) from Unitus Equity Fund L.P. (UEF), a […]


SKS Microfinance raises Rs 147cr in 3rd round funding

Originally appeared in on the 4th of February, 2008 SKS Microfinance Pvt. Ltd ., one of the fastest growing microfinance company in the world, has announced the successful closure of a third round of funding in which it has raised Rs. 124 crores. The third round of funding is the largest microfinance investment in […]


Funding the poor man’s dreams

Originally appeared in Outlook Business, on the 3rd of November, 2007 In its second phase of growth, Indian micro-finance institutions are trying to reach out to the urban poor  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 […]


Metro microfinance pioneers

Originally appeared in The Economic Times, on the 21st of June, 2007 With a few prominent exceptions (including SEWA in Ahmedabad) microfinance institutions in India have targeted the rural poor. The urban poor were thought to be too mobile and lacking in neighbourly affinity and cohesion to ever generate the peer-group pressure on which unsecured […]


SKS makes Microfinancing easier

Originally appeared in IBN Live on the 19th of June, 2007 Six lakh women borrowers spread across more than 7, 000 villages in 11 states of India have Vikram Akula’s SKS Microfanance to thank for a new life. SKS is now one of the fastest growing Microfinance institutions in the world. The company grew by […]


Suddenly, it is sexy to fund the poor

Originally appeared in The Times of India, on the 7th of April, 2007 In my early days, I was eager to learn and to do things, and therefore I learned quickly” — Sitting Bull (Red Indian chief)  Great ideas often spawn in the most terrible circumstances. One such idea is microfinance, often credited to last […]


Bangalore reaches out to its urban poor

Originally appeared in on Nov 09, 2006 Ujjivan Chief Executive, Samit Ghosh is of the opinion that when you give money to a woman, the majority of it will be spent on the family, whereas if you give it to a man, chances are that it will go to alcohol. This seems to the mantra […]


Unitus Equity Fund Makes $1 Million Investment in Microfinance Institution Credex

Originally appeared in the Microcapital Monitor on September 12, 2006 The Unitus Equity Fund invested $1 million in Credex. The for-profit microfinance institution began in 2002 as a financial services provider for Mexico’s poor.  According to a Credex press release, it has fifteen branches serving 12,000 clients, and manages a $5 million loan portfolio.  The company […]