IBM, Intel, Microsoft target micro finance for social, capital returns

September 4th, 2008 - 3:23 pm ICT by ANI  

Mumbai, Sept 4, (ANI/Business Wire India): Increasingly, mainstream technology firms like IBM, Microsoft and Intel are looking at the microfinance customer base and seeing an opportunity for new clients-microfinance institutions and their borrowers-and a way to help people who normally can”t afford to buy their products.

C.K. Prahalad, the author and business strategist said in an interview released today in Microfinance Insights magazine, referring to IBM, Intel and Unilever, “I believe that the companies that are clued in [to this market] will have enormous benefits, and will take that knowledge back to the rest of the world. To me, the base of the pyramid is not just an opportunity for market expansion. It is an opportunity for innovation.”

Prof. Prahalad’’s cover story is accompanied by interviews with leaders from IBM and Microsoft and a perspective from Intel in the latest edition of Microfinance Insights focused on Technology Solutions for microfinance.

In the past couple of years, telecom companies, as well as technology firms, have been more deliberate in their outreach to the low-income segment. Global telecom companies, like Vodafone and Nokia, see the microfinance market as key to their growth strategies.

In the September - October issue of the magazine, Microfinance Insights looks at some of the technologies that are opening up the world of “financial inclusion” and analyzes the risks and the needs created by these new entrants to the world of microfinance.

Also, in this issue, the magazine publishes a new Survey on technology for microfinance institutions (MFIs), gathering views from nearly 250 MFIs around the world on a range of issues from technology used, technology spending, the challenges faced by MFIs when adopting technology, and the use of Management Information Systems. The results are previewed in the issue.

Microfinance Insights is a dynamic, fast growing magazine with over 4,000 readers around the world. The magazine is published from India, but international in content and distribution, bringing in articles, interviews and commentary from India as well as microfinance markets around the world including Morocco, Pakistan, Ecuador, Kazakhstan and Pakistan.

With the September issue, Microfinance Insights has moved to a bimonthly schedule, publishing six times a year, instead of four. The magazine will also launch a new website this month to provide readers with more content and commentary on a regular basis.

Past issues of the magazine have highlighted opinions and analyses from leading industry voices from the World Bank, the IFC, Morgan Stanley, Blue Orchard, Women’’s World Banking, MIX Market, MicroCapital Monitor, the Micro Insurance Center, Sanabel, SKS and many others. (ANI)

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