Reliance Capital starts grassroots initiative

March 3rd, 2008 - 6:39 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, March 3 (IANS) Anil Ambani-led Reliance Capital Ltd Monday joined hands with microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Maharashtra and Gujarat to deepen the penetration of microfinance at the grassroots level. Anil Ambani’s wife Tina Ambani launched the initiative here by handing over the first disbursement cheques to Gujarat-based companies MAS Financial Services and Vardan Trust.

“Our vision is to provide access to finance at the grassroots level by partnering with MFIs serving rural and semi-urban areas,” Tina Ambani said.

In the first phase, the initiative will focus on Maharashtra and Gujarat before moving on to other states. Tina Ambani explained that since Reliance has its base in Gujarat, the project has been launched there and in Maharashtra.

Deputy CEO of Reliance, K.V. Srinivasan, said: “The initiative envisages lending to MFIs who would then be lending them to agriculturists, artisans, small-scale industries, unskilled labourers and women.”

Director of the MAS Financial Services Mukesh Gandhi said that MFIs often find raising capital a difficult proposition.

“Hence, this unique partnership will help us in optimally utilising our expertise in distribution of credit to small enterprises for income generation activities, consumption and emergency needs.”

Mahesh Vara, CEO of the Vardan Trust, said that this tie-up would help them in spreading their network and meeting the growing need for finance by micro-entrepreneurs.

MAS Financial Services is spread all over Gujarat with 61 branches and more than 2,50,000 customers. It targets urban, semi-urban and rural markets.

Vardan Trust, established in 1998, offers microfinance to farmers, small shopkeepers, artisans, small enterprise workers and individuals engaged in animal husbandry.

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