See, taking out a loan from a bank is not an easy task, you gotta show the salary slips, have a good credit score, and this and that. But what if you don’t have any of these things? Well, that is exactly the case with millions of people in India. So, where should they turn to when they are in need of something like a personal loan, business loan, or credit card? Well, that is exactly where the role of Microfinance companies comes into play. Such companies are established to offer banking services to people who are neglected or ignored by mainstream banks. And the most important part is that these microfinance companies are especially there to help out women who are in need, and those who want to start their own small-scale businesses.
So if you are someone who’s already on the lookout for some of the best microfinance companies in the country, then keep on reading today’s post. That’s because here we will be going on a little detour of the top 10 best microfinance companies in India for 2023. If that is something that intrigues you the most right now, then let’s get down to it without further ado. Shall we?
List of Top Microfinance Companies In India
1. Bandhan Bank
Let’s take a trip back to 2001. Shall we? Do you remember Y2K and the big tech scare? Around that time in Bagnan, a cozy village about an hour’s drive from Kolkata, the seeds of Bandhan Bank were planted. It started as this cool non-profit thing aimed at lifting women up and helping folks get access to money and financial know-how. Their method was pretty dope, lend money individually but bring people together in groups. It was all to help the people who didn’t have easy access to banking services. Today, they offer a whole buffet of financial goodies from savings accounts, and credit cards, to insurance and mutual funds. Whatever you need, they probably got it!
2. ESAF Small Finance Bank
ESAF Small Finance Bank is all about reaching out to those who often get overlooked by the big banks. Back in 2021, they were already making moves to grow bigger and help more people. Got some cash to spare? Check out their fixed deposits. They offer pretty good interest rates, going all the way up to 9.50%! And the golden number? A 9% return if you let your money chill there for 2-3 years. Not too shabby, right? With a huge heart and some tempting offerings, they’re definitely making waves in the financial scene. Their go-getter attitude makes them stand out!
3. BSS Microfinance Limited
Now, let’s talk about BSS Microfinance Limited. These guys entered the game in 1999 and initially started as a Trust. Fast forward to today, they work closely with Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited, focusing on lending small sums of money to women in need, helping them start earning activities and get out of poverty. As of now, they’re spread out across four states, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, aiming to reach as many underprivileged women as possible. By reaching out to those who usually don’t have access to the usual banking stuff, they’re playing a big part in making finance more inclusive.
4. Equitas Small Finance
This bank popped up in 2016 but it’s been doing the good work way before, focusing on microfinance. It’s headquartered in Chennai and is like a branch of Equitas Holdings Ltd. On 30 June 2016, the Reserve Bank of India gave them the green light, and off they went, kicking off their operations on 5 September 2016. But hey, the road wasn’t all smooth, they had a bit of a hurdle with the listing thing the RBI wanted within three years, but they pushed through. They’re all about keeping things top-notch, using tech to make banking a breeze and building trust with everyone involved. With roots in microfinance and eyes on an inclusive future, Equitas Small Finance Bank is carving a name for itself!
5. SKS Microfinance
Next up, we got SKS Microfinance on the list, but nowadays, it goes by Bharat Financial Inclusion Limited (BFIL). It’s been around since 1997, thanks to Vikram Akula, and it’s on a mission to bring financial services to the less fortunate, because hey, everyone deserves a shot, right? They’ve come a long way, offering all sorts of handy-dandy financial products like life assurance and different kinds of loans. Need a loan for a cook-stove, solar lights, mobile phone, bicycle, or even a sewing machine? They got you covered! Despite a few bumps on the road, BFIL is all about financial inclusion and tailor-making its services for the folks who need them most, making them a key player in the microfinance sector in India.
6. Asirvad Microfinance Limited
Asirvad Microfinance Limited began in 2007, aiming to help out the ladies who didn’t have it so easily. Fast forward, and they’re all over India, making a difference for women, especially those looking to kickstart or grow their tiny businesses. And in 2015, a big shot called Manappuram Finance Limited bought a big chunk of Asirvad Microfinance. This connection is just like a seal of “We Got Your Back.” They’ve got everything from business loans to emergency help and even stuff for home fixes and school fees. Keeping it all legit, they’re tight with the RBI rules and are all about serving their customers right.
7. Annapurna Microfinance Pvt Ltd
Annapurna Microfinance Pvt Ltd started in 2009 in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, with this big dream of helping out women who don’t have it so easy economically. They’ve grown a ton ever since and spread their magic across many states in India, offering cool, tailored financial products. They’ve got everything from loans for starting a business, to emergency ones, and even loans for schooling and making your home better! They’re all about empowering women entrepreneurs and being inclusive. With their tailored products and vast reach, they’re surely making waves in the Indian microfinance sector!
8. Muthoot Microfin Limited
Next up, we’ve got Muthoot Microfin Limited (or MML for short), a part of the big Muthoot Pappachan Group! They began as a division of Muthoot Fincorp Limited in 2010 and have expanded their reach across 18 states in India. Their focus is simply to help women entrepreneurs in rural India. They’ve got this app called Mahila Mitra to make repayments easier for rural women. Being part of a well-established group, they’re as reliable as they come, and their vast network across India just adds to the trust!
9. Fusion Microfinance Pvt Ltd
Started in 2010, Fusion Microfinance Private Limited is basically like a bank but without the fancy name. They’re an NBFC-MFI, which is just a fancy term for a financial company that’s not exactly a bank. They’ve got their game plan from this cool concept called the Grameen model. Their main thing is to help out women, especially in the countryside or almost-countryside areas in India. Think of them as the bridge between these ladies and the formal credit world. They hand out microloans, which are these tiny loans for people who usually wouldn’t get a dime from other financial places. They’ve got an eagle eye on empowering women from the lesser privileged sections.
10. Svatantra Microfin
Based out of Mumbai, this company started in 2012, thanks to Ananya Birla. Yep, she’s the daughter of the super-famous businessman, Kumar Mangalam Birla. This company is all about shrinking that money gap in India. They’re super into helping rural ladies get their financial groove on. By just a year in, the Reserve Bank gave them a heads-up! They even made profits in just over three years, fast movers, right? And here’s the cool part, Svatantra was the first to get a special kind of license from the Reserve Bank. Let’s say you and your friends wanna start a business, but need some cash. You all take a loan together and help each other pay it back. That’s what exactly the whole concept is behind this microfinance company.
Alright. That’ll do it. Now you have a pretty good idea of why these microfinance companies are so famous in India. Right? Well, just like these 10 companies, there are literally dozens of others in the country, but as you may already know, not every microfinance company deserves the “BEST” tag. However, we have done our best to only list the best of the best microfinance companies, so if you are in need of their services, then just pick any company as per your liking from this list and you’ll be good for the most part.