Remembering M George Muthoot – the man behind the goldSharika S Nair
The Muthoot Group, one of the most respected companies in South India was started by M George Muthoot’s father, Muthoot Ninan Mathai, who traded in timber and food grains, supplying rations to large British-run plantations.
It was founded in 1887 in the village of Kozhencherry in Kerala. In 1939, after returning to Kozhencherry from the Army, M George Muthoot diversified the business into financial services by starting Muthoot Chit Fund. The Muthoot Group is now handled by the third and fourth generations of the Muthoot family.
The Muthoot brothers, who all have George in their names, meet every month to discuss business. Although they run numerous businesses ranging from houseboats to rubber plantations, the name ‘Muthoot’ is almost synonymous with gold loans. Muthoot Finance Ltd, the flagship company of the Muthoot Group, is the largest gold loan service in India. Currently George Alexander Muthoot heads the company.
The Muthoot Group has served over 48 crore customers and has more than 4500 branches with a global presence. In addition to Muthoot’s gold loan service, the company provides money transfer services and foreign exchange. It also offers wealth management services in the form of insurance plans. Travel services, real estate, and vehicle leasing are other areas it has touched upon. The family also runs a radio station and a chain of medical diagnostic centres.
Besides this, the company, which is a pioneer in the Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) sector, has ventured into the remote and rural areas of the country bringing millions into the banking network.
For its services to the underprivileged, it received the prestigious Skoch Financial Inclusion Award for its initiative in the area of ‘Access to Banking and Financial Services’ to the ‘aam aadmi’. The Muthoot Group has redefined gold loans in India and made it an organised business.
The Muthoot M George Foundation was established in the honour of Late M George Muthoot. The Foundation helps individuals and organisations in need of medical and financial aid. Apart from the foundation, a lot of social activities ranging from educational to environmental are taken care of by the Muthoot Group.
The Muthoot Group has been changing lives of so many Indians throughout the country and making their dreams come true, and on his 106th birthday, we wish M George Muthoot, the man who started it all, a very happy birthday!