2018, for us at Arohan, has been a defining year in many aspects! It saw us welcoming our colleagues from the erstwhile IntelleCash into Arohan to strengthen our MSME focus, ending the financial year at a high of INR 2,171Cr portfolio which made us the 7th largest NBFC-MFI in the country in March'18, expanding our operations into Madhya Pradesh (MP) completing a key vision statement objective of being in the focus 10 Low Income State (LIS), growing in our inorganic MFI business which has crossed INR 200Cr this month and our cross-sell vertical continuing to strengthen our client relationship and generating fee revenue. Our treasury team ensured enough funding at low rates even in a challenging external environment, our HR team launched Adrenalin - the employee management software and also initiated the audits for the Great Places to Work (GPW) initiative, while the Admin team helped set up the new Zone, 6 new regional offices and almost 150 additional branches. Our IT team created seamless digital capability integrating mobility devices to the FIS operating system eliminating data entry, converted the Hub into a Quality Control centre and also launched the first online Dashboard. Central Ops launched many new product variants including a new Bazaar version, achieved significantly better scores and rating for our Social Performance & Code of Conduct assessments while our Training team institutionalized the Assessment Centre process for new senior positions. Our Quality functions Risk & Internal Audit continue to be ahead of the curve helping us monitor the quality of business operations and the new Strategic Initiatives unit will help imagine the future and initiate new activities/ tie ups.
As we close December'18, work on Project Udayan - our capital raise exercise continues wherein our promoter group has infused an additional INR 150Cr into the company to strengthen Arohan's net worth while promising an additional INR 165Cr in early Q4.
I am delighted that the recognition this year for Arohan's work has been overwhelming - starting with the Dun & Bradstreet MFIN award for the "Best Risk & Resilience Framework", the CSR Practice of the year award, the AMFI recognition on business initiatives to the 3 SKOCH awards for financial inclusion, strategic IT transformations and alliances, and finally the big one - "MFI of the Year" from ACCESS Assist and HSBC at the Inclusive Finance Summit, 2018. What made this even more special is that Arohan had won the "Small MFI of the Year" from Access Assist back in 2010.
As we enter a new 2019, we pledge to build on the foundation we have set up, scale up and focus on creating a differentiated and sustainable business with Arohan's Vision, Mission and ETHICS, our Values as our guiding light.
I want to thank all of you for the encouragement and support extended in 2018, while wishing you all a wonderful and fulfilling 2019 and look forward to continuing working together.
Warm RegardsManoj Kumar Nambiar,
Arohan wins the prestigious Inclusive Finance India "Microfinance Organisation of the Year" Award 2018
In the month of December 2018, Arohan won the prestigious Inclusive Finance India Awards 2018 under the category "Microfinance Organisation of the Year" organised by Access Assist in partnership with HSBC India. The Award was received by Mr. Manoj Kumar Nambiar, Managing Director, Mr. Shirish Panda, SVP - Head MFI Business and Mr. Abin Mukhopadhyay, VP - Head Internal Audit on the inaugural day of the Inclusive Finance India Summit 2018 on December 11, 2018 in New Delhi. The Awards Secretariat and the distinguished jury stated in the announcement that the selection is truly based on Arohan’s extraordinary operational and financial performance, impact over the last year, effective governance and commitment to the development in the underserved states of the country.
Commenting on the achievement, Mr. Nambiar said "It is indeed a proud moment for all the 4500+ employees of us at Arohan to receive this significant recognition from the sector in which we operate. Arohan first won this award in 2010 in the small MFI category and for us to win it again 2018 is very special. In 2012, when the Aavishkaar-Intellecap group invested in and consolidated with Arohan many in the industry thought it would not work. The commitment and hard work by all employees since then has resulted in many distinctions - a special focus on 10 LIS, an eminent board of directors, a strong and committed management team, a credible institutional promoter group backing, an ability to raise both equity and debt capital year-on-year, an end-to-end IT platform with a paperless and cashless focus to support the wide credit suite with ticket sizes ranging from INR 10,000 to INR 100 lakh across microfinance and MSME sectors. The organisation also has a unique inorganic channel with partners in the field, while it also focuses on the cross-sell of financial and non-financial products. This award bears testimony to all the efforts put in by the organisation in driving a business based on ethics and values, contributing to the key national priority of financial inclusion."
The Inclusive Finance India Awards is an endeavor in recognizing and honoring individuals and institutions that have indefatigably worked towards promoting sector goals of financial inclusion and in supporting inclusive growth.
Multiple industry recognitions for Arohan by SKOCH and AMFI
Arohan wins three Awards from AMFI, West Bengal under the categories "Best Coverage in East India", "Best Credit Plus Activities" and "Best Client Centric Initiatives". It also won the prestigious SKOCH "ORDER OF MERIT" AWARD for qualifying amongst the top ranking Banking & Finance projects in India for "Strategic Alliance Initiative", "Financial Inclusion, Microcredit and Rural Expansion" and "Strategic IT transformation."
Arohan announces a revised lending rate W.E.F November 21, 2018, third best among NBFC-MFIs
Arohan Financial Services Limited, a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulated, leading financial inclusion focused NBFC-MFI, announces an interest rate revision to 20.75% for its flagship loan product, Saral with effect from November 21, 2018. This is a 5 bps increase from the previous lending rate of 20.70%. This is in line with the RBI regulation for NBFC-MFIs with respect of Margin and Qualifying Assets Ratios. Arohan’s focus on customer-centricity, with a CARE MFI 1 grading and an A- bank loan rating, along with a strong financial holding allow it to borrow at lower costs and extend rate benefits to its customers.
Even with a 5 bps increase, the revised pricing is one of the best among NBFC-MFIs. The organisation is operational with over 1.4 million customers, mostly across 10 low-income states viz. Assam, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The news has garnered regional media interest and was published in nearly 50 regional dailies.
Arohan’s MEC certification draws extensive regional media coverage
In the month of September, Arohan was certified for its distribution of clean energy products such as Solar Lamp, Bicycle, Water purifiers and impacting the lives of over 2.2 lakh people. The news has drawn extensive regional media coverage across Arohan’s areas of operations. Nearly thirty leading regional dailies, including Statesman, Hindustan Times, Sambad, Kalinga Mail, Dainik Bhaskar, Meghalaya Guardian, Asomiya Pratidin, The Assam Tribune and Hindustan, have published the news. Microenergy Credits estimates that Arohan has the potential to generate 8,300 tCO2 UNFCC certified emission reductions (CERs) by the end of the year 2019.
Arohan Financial Services to raise Rs. 315 crore in equity
The Economic Times in an exclusive interview spoke to Manoj Nambiar, Managing Director, on how India’s sixth largest microfinance firm Arohan is all set to raise INR 315 Cr in equity from its promoter and existing shareholders to keep its growth momentum. Promoter Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group will invest Rs. 280 crore in the next few weeks while Maj Invest, TR Capital and individual investor R Sachdeva will put in about Rs. 35 crore ( $5 million) in the second round.Talking to ET, Mr. Vineet Rai, Founder, Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group said ‘We want to demonstrate that we are a long term promoter. Arohan is like Kohinoor in our group. The microfinance business requires a lot of capital. We want to nurture and strengthen it."
Arohan’s IT department launches Data Dashboard
On December 21, 2018, Arohan announced the launch of its Data Dashboard, a slick data access platform.
The launch was effected by Mr. Vineet Rai, Founder, Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group along with Mr. Manoj Kumar Nambiar, MD, Arohan and Mr. Arvind Murarka, VP – Head, IT. A first of its kind endeavour at Arohan, the first set of dashboards are related to disbursements. The same can be accessed through portal.arohan.in and then by clicking on the "Dashboards" icon. The data is refreshed every day-end.
All-women branch in Odisha
It is a constant endeavour on Arohan’s part to make its workplace conducive to women employees. On December 14, 2018, Zone Odisha inaugurated its first all-women branch.
The branch is located in Sonepur of the Sambalpur district and will have 6 women field employees including one Branch Head.
Arohan participates in SIDBI Congress
On October 26, 2018, Mr. Manoj Kumar Nambiar, Managing Director, Arohan participated in the SIDBI National Microfinance Congress, 2018 where he was invited as a panelist. He was a keynote speaker at the session on Future of pure play MFIs in India and Sustainability Challenges. The objective of the Congress was to analyse and bring to fore the emerging challenges in the microfinance sector and making policy recommendations towards addressing those challenges.
Managing Director delivers a talk at the CFA Meet
In the month of September, Mr. Manoj Kumar Nambiar, Managing Director, addressed a batch of Chartered Financial Analysts (CFAs) in his talk on the Microfinance Ecosystem in India. In his presentation, he outlined the extensive opportunities and reach that the industry has in enabling Financial Inclusion.
Green Tripura Clean Tripura
On October 16, 2018, Arohan Financial Services Limited co-sponsored an environment awareness campaign in Tripura called ‘Green Tripura Clean Tripura’. Organised by ‘The Social Bangla’, the program, also sponsored by Scamper Technologies, draws inspiration from the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Mission.
Arohan’s sponsorship facilitated the distribution of 10,000 eco-degradable foam bags to the road-side shop owners and hawkers over a period of 60 days.
Representing Arohan, at the event, were Mr. Suman Roy, Regional HR, Mr. Partha Acharjee, Regional Admin and Mr. Suman Das, Regional IT.
Health Camps benefit many
As part of its initiatives to make basic health services available to its customers and their communities, Arohan conducted health camps in partnership with Bihar Voluntary Health Association and Committee on Socio-Economic and health development Assam.
On November 16, 17, 27-30, 2018, health camps were conducted in Kaliabar and Sonitpur districts of Jorhat, Sootea and Jamugurihat districts of Guwahati, Saharsa, Bhagalpur, Aurangabad and Rohras districts of Bihar and Dumka and Saraikela in Jharkhand. Over 1238 people were benefited from the camp.
Besides general medical examinations for basic health indicators such as blood pressure, pulse, height, weight, specialty tests such as eye check-ups, nerve function test, lung function test, blood sugar test were also covered in the camp. Few tests like spirometry lung function test and nerve function test were also conducted. The programme included the distribution of medicines for health issues related to diabetes and reference to further health assistance in the nearest health facilities and PHCs. The examinations were conducted by experienced doctors and conducted by nurses and volunteers.
Knowledge is the greatest gift
Arohan, in association with Swaraj Foundation, is set to launch a library unit in BDJJ Inter College in Daru block of Hazaribagh district, in Jharkhand.
The quality of education of children studying in the schools in rural areas are reflected in their poor learning levels. Hence, children coming out of these schools undergo various social challenges. This poor quality of education is primarily due to shortage of quality teachers and proper learning materials in these schools.
Library addresses this gap by allowing students the access to high quality information and knowledge from across the world. The facility can be availed by any student. The library, set up by Arohan, will be updated with latest course and reference books for Arts, Science and Commerce in Hindi and English along with a computer system. This will be a supplementary offering, in addition to regular classes at the school.
The initiative seeks to empower both, teachers, as well as, students with access to a world of knowledge, helping develop future-ready thinking capabilities in students, while creating awareness, build perception and communication prowess. This specifically enables the teachers to build learning and development skills, stimulate minds of students in understanding the applications of a wide array of subjects such as maths, science, language etc.
The students of the college largely comprise of those belonging to economically backward communities. The library will benefit over 2,600 students.
Pinki - enrolled for the Arohan skill training programme in partnership with NSHM Udaan in the Month of September 2018. A graduate by qualification, Pinki enlisted for the Retails Sales Associate course to help her pursue a career in sales jobs. She wants to be financially independent and support her family’s expenses. "I always wanted to work and earn, somehow I did not feel confident enough earlier. But, I started this course 15 days ago and have already learned a lot! I have learned how to communicate effectively with customers, factors influencing communication, techniques to improve communication, different types of listening and how to improve the listening process. I want to read books, work on my communication skills and get a job," says Pinki.
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