To offer finance for purchase of 5.5 lakh mobile handsets

SKS Microfinance Ltd plans to extend more loans this year to kirana stores and for purchase of mobile phones.

The company would extend loans to 15,000 ‘Sangam’ stores from the present 10,742 stores, Mr M.R. Rao, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, SKS Microfinance, said in the annual report for the year 2011-12.

A Sangam store is a kirana store run by an SKS borrower. The objective of the lending initiative is to enable Sangam store owners to buy goods from a wholesale vendor and then resell them in their retail kirana stores. SKS Micro has tied up with Metro Cash and Carry to facilitate delivery of goods to the kirana stores. This would enhance the volume of business done by the stores and meet the working capital needs of store owners.

FOUCS AREAS

“On the business front, consolidation of customer base, cross-selling initiatives and diversification have been the key focus areas,’’ Mr Rao said.

The customer base of SKS had come down from 77.2 lakh in the third quarter of the last financial year to 53.5 lakh in the fourth quarter. SKS launched a mobile phone financing programme that offers its borrowers mobile phones at a relatively lower price with the option of paying in small, easy instalments. The company plans to finance up to 5.5 lakh mobile handsets this year. So far, loans have been provided for purchase of 2.8 lakh hand sets. In the core microfinance space, SKS registered 11 per cent quarter on quarter portfolio growth at Rs 1,320 crore in the fourth quarter, in non-Andhra Pradesh regions. The collection figure in 17 States, excluding Andhra Pradesh, was at 95 per cent.

naga.gunturi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 23, 2012)
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