Banking Frontiers|May 2020
Dvara Kshetriya Gramin Financial Sevices (KGFS) has its mission cut clear - to ensure that every individual and every enterprise has complete access to financial services. Formerly called IFMR Rural Channels & Services, it builds and supports local, geographically focused community financial services institutions called Kshetriya Gramin Financial Services. It operates in the states of Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka, serving individual customers and enterprises in remote rural areas. It has been offering JLG and micro-enterprise loans to the rural poor across these 6 states through a network of 300 branches. In March 2019, it had 221 branches in 33 districts of 4 states. Its present customer base stands at 844,805.
Joby C.O., who is the firm’s CEO, claims there are only a few organizations operating in rural markets providing diverse product mix as Dvarwa KGFS. “There is no scarcity of demand arising out from the customers. Also, the brand recognition and recall are quite high due to the close proximity of our branches to the rural households. External factors include the growing recognition of the NBFC and microfinance industry by the government and regulators as a tool to reach out to the rural low-income households and also the various advancements in the digital space – payments, KYC etc,” says he.
BANK & NBFC PARTNERS
Dvara KGFS has lending relationship with 36 banks and NBFCs. Of these, 5 are public sector banks, 5 private banks, 4 small finance banks and the rest NBFCs. Joby says thre major term loan lenders include State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, IDFC First Bank, Utkarsh Small Finance Bank and ESAF Small Finance Bank. Among the NBFCs, the leading one is MAS Financial Services. The company also has BC relationships with Axis Bank, ESAF SFB and MAS FS and has other funding avenues such as direct assignment, securitization and NCDs with these lenders. It also has considerable exposure of unsecured NCD investments from Karvy Capital.
Dvara KGFS has been conducting awareness meetings to acquire new customers in different geographies, mostly in villages, to introduce the company and its diverse products. In existing geographies, customer acquisition is through a combination of such meetings and word of mouth. “These efforts help us in identifying the potential customers who are then enrolled,” says Joby.
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