How Yashoda, Laxmi, and Prema became entrepreneurs thanks to microfinance
A small loan from organisations like Inditrade can often make a big difference in the lives of rural people
Yashoda of Periyavoor, Tamil Nadu was concerned about rising household expenses and wanted to supplement her husband’s income while still taking care of her house and her children. She realised she could open a small provisional store at her residence. Since she knew most of the people around her, she knew exactly what would sell. At the same time, she would be able to take care of her responsibilities at home. All she needed was some financial support. That is when she heard about Inditrade and approached the company for a loan.
With a loan of Rs 30,000 today Yashoda does an average business of Rs 1,500-2,000 per day, which gives her a daily income of Rs 300-Rs 800. Her husband and children also help her manage the store. Yashoda’s dream of sending her children to good schools has come true.
From a tasty pickle from Allepey or lac bangles from Hyderabad, most of us use products from small businesses of the smaller towns and villages of India. More and more women are starting new ventures thanks to loans from micro-financing firms.
To support small but ambitious women entrepreneurs, Inditrade Capital launched their micro-financing arm, currently catering to Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, in March 2017. The organisation aims at expanding into geographies like Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Kerala in the upcoming future.
Inditrade (erstwhile JRG) is a leading player in the agri-commodity financing business in southern India and was incorporated in 1994. Over the years, the company has forayed into lending business (NBFC), commodity trading, insurance broking and microfinance. Inditrade Micro Finance is headquartered in Mumbai and has a team size of 50.
Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Group Chairman of Inditrade (JRG) Group of Companies, says,
I believe that women are more disciplined and dedicated – two attributes that are extremely important, especially in a segment such as micro-finance.
Small businesses form the foundation of India’s economy
About 41 percent Indians rely on informal sources of borrowing. According to The Hindu as on March 31, 2015, the MFI had a total loan portfolio of Rs 40,138 crore with 30.5 million borrowers. The demand from micro-finance institutions in 2019 is expected at $13,861 million as per responsAbility Investments’ Microfinance Market Outlook, 2015.
About 3.01 million women-owned enterprises represent around 10 percent of all micro, small and medium enterprises in India. In 2011, 26 percent of women in India used bank accounts. In 2014, this percentage had gone up to 43 percent (as per the Global Findex Report 2015).
Sudip explains, “The demand for credit in the unorganised sector in the country is higher compared to the supply. Even after the proliferation of micro-finance institutions over the last couple of decades, the unmet demand continues to be significant. Inditrade wants to address this demand and help in organising and strengthening the market further.”
Crafting several success stories
Laxmi and her husband, Hanumantu, run a small yet successful tiffin centre in Gharkul near Sholapur in Maharashtra. They wanted to expand their business by adding a sweets stall within their existing premises. That is when they heard about Inditrade from their relatives and approached them for a loan of Rs 30,000. Laxmi and Hanumantu have now doubled their daily income from Rs 500-1,000. They are next planning to set up chat stall in the near future.
Prema’s life dramatically changed six years ago when her husband, the sole bread-earner of the house, passed away. Prema had no option but to start working as a daily labourer near her village in Kesavapuram in Tamil Nadu, to support her family. However, not having a steady income and one that she could grow worried her constantly especially for her children.
When a group of women from her village decided to access a micro-finance loan from Inditrade, Prema decided to join them. With a loan of Rs 30,000, Prema now runs a saree business from her residence, earning approximately Rs 1,000–1,500 per week. Today, Prema is confident of growing her business further and building a solid future for her children. She is proud of her journey from homemaker to entrepreneur.