Hope all of you and your families are safe and doing well in these trying times.
We finished an eventful 2020/21 business year with the COVID-19 induced lockdown in March’20 to gradual unlocking, an unprecedented RBI loan repayment moratorium of 6 months and opening up in September’20. Needless to add, our clients’ livelihoods and incomes were impacted and the same is reflected in their repayment behaviour over the last 7 months.
In line with our Vision & Mission statements, we were certified as a “Great Place to Work” and were ranked 86th among the best companies to work for in India by the Great Place to Work® Institute, India in 2020. We got recertified in February, 2021 with even better scores than the last time. As a key strategic initiative of the promoter group, we also improved our gender balance ratio to a double-digit percentage by end of March 2021.
To strengthen our Net Worth, we filed our Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for a possible listing and a primary raise through an Initial Public Offering (IPO). We also raised an additional INR 168 Cr in capital between our Promoter Group, an existing HNI investor and two new investors in February 2021, just ahead of our DRHP filing.
Despite difficult times, we were able to roll out all possible interventions and pass on government benefits for eligible clients to help them re-stabilize: the 6-month moratorium on repayments, 2% interest subvention to customers and compound interest relief to customers as directed by the Supreme Court, along with the RBI relief product.
Continuing with our focus on innovation, we launched several products and initiatives: Sahbhaagi - our center reward programme, various product and credit interventions to facilitate disbursements and repayments by customers, including cashless repayments through BBPS/ PayTM/ AePS and M-POS devices.
As of September 30, 2020, we had the 3rd lowest average interest rate among the top 10 NBFC-MFIs, because of the extra liquidity from debt raised at very fine rates, in a challenging external environment.
Last financial year, we won several noteworthy awards: qualified for semi-finals of 4 SKOCH Orders-Of-Merit awards, the award for the Best Governed Company in the Unlisted Segment – Emerging Category by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) where our Company Secretary was also conferred the ‘Governance Professional of the Year’ award. Our Chief Financial Officer was conferred the “Best CFO - BFSI (Large sized enterprises)” award at the India CFO Awards, 2021 by the All India Association of Industries in 2021.
I wish to thank the Reserve Bank of India and the Government for their progressive policies, the Promoter, Aavishkaar Group for their confidence in us, the Board for their support, the lenders for their assistance, our customers for their continued trust in us and all of you for your good wishes.
While we have a demanding task ahead this year to catch up on our 20 by 2025 Vision of impacting 20 million lives by the year 2025, I am confident that with our focus, hard work, and dedication we will make it.
Wish you all a great year ahead – professionally & personally.
Manoj Kumar Nambiar,
Arohan Financial receives “Great Place to Work” Accolade
In a significant achievement, Arohan Financial Services Limited gets Great Place to Work-Certified™ [twice in a row] by the Great Place To Work® Institute and is currently listed amongst India's 30 Best Workplaces in the BFSI Sector in FY21.
Arohan’s Trust Index Score is at 88 vis-à-vis India Top 25’s Trust Index Score of 89 out of 100, and Arohan’s Culture Audit score is 3 vis-à-vis India Top 25’s score at 3.5 out of a 5-point scale.
Commenting on the prestigious recognition, Vice President and Head of Human Resources, Mr. Prashant Rai said, “Getting recertified as a Great Place to Work is, in its truest sense, our employees' testimony to the
organisation's efforts towards creating a holistic work environment. It is the acknowledgment of the personal experiences they have had in the organisation. Despite trying external conditions with the global pandemic, the organisation and its employees worked together to turn all challenges into opportunities by transitioning into a more adaptive workspace, focused on employee wellbeing and safety. I congratulate each one of you for making your organisation a great place to work!!”
Arohan conducts a second Masterclass under the Leadership Interactive Talk (LIT) series, with Shailesh Kumar
The second Arohan LEADERSHIP INTERACTIVE TALK (LIT) masterclass was in the month of March, 2021 with Mr Shailesh Kumar, Head of Credit and Internal Control and Quality, on ‘Credit underwriting and quality.’ The one and half hour session was attended by nominated employees from the cadres of Branch Heads, Branch Quality Heads, Area Managers and Regional Quality Heads, with detailed knowledge sharing on the mentioned topic.
LIT is a virtual masterclass series conducted by the leaders of the Arohan Management Team, as well as, from the Group and Industry. A one of its kind platform, it is an exclusive opportunity for the employees across locations and verticals, to learn from the experts and gain insights on some of the most crucial business elements.
How Artificial Intelligence can change Internal Audit - An article by Abin Mukhopadhyay for ISACA
Abin Mukhopadhyay, Head – Internal Audit, Arohan Financial Services Limited, writes about How Artificial Intelligence can change Internal Audit, in an article in the January 2021 Journal of the Kolkata Chapter of ISACA® (Information Systems Audit and Control Association). “While it is important to understand the application of AI as a tool in internal auditing process, we should not forget the necessity to incorporate plans to audit AI-based platforms that can impact an organisation’s functioning. With growing automation, electronic data exchange, and popularity of e-commerce, payment gateways etc. the technological challenge to internal auditors is becoming enormous”, quotes the article.
Read the full article here -
Article by Milind Nare in The Economic Times Rise on the resurgence of NBFC-MFIs post COVID-19
Milind Nare, our Chief Financial Officer, recently wrote an article for ET Rise on the resurgence of the microfinance industry post COVID-19 and the role the industry plays in ensuring confidence and credit at the grassroots.
In the article, he talks about the need for managing liquidity risks with operational efficiencies. “While any disruption of this magnitude unsettles business models, it also opens opportunities for formidable players. Unlike other businesses, the demand for microfinance is expected to grow manifold and hit the roof as most of the customers would have exhausted their meagre savings for consumption during the COVID-19 period. Due to muted cash flows they will require additional funds to restart their businesses and restore normalcy reminiscent of the pre-COVID era. The NBFC-MFI industry is there to shoulder this responsibility and support nation building with its focus on financial inclusion,” quotes the article.
E-learning inspires the student community across Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh
In its drive to strengthen one of the key pillars of its Corporate Social Responsibility, Skill Building and Education, Arohan initiated an e-learning programme, in partnership with Buddy4Study for students in the Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
The programme has benefitted many students so far. Aarti Karwal, a student of Class 9 from Madhya Pradesh learned of the programme from one of her mother’s friends, who is an Arohan customer. She availed the lessons on English, Maths, and Science. “This e-learning programme by Arohan and Buddy4Study has helped me immensely, especially during the lockdown when schools were closed. The teachers are very good and help clear all our doubts. I am confident that I will do well in my exams,” says Aarti.
The programme, in partnership with Buddy4study, assists students in continuing their education online by offering self-paced content through a digital Learning Management System, instructor-led live, as well as recorded session learnings along with interactions on career awareness. The programme is designed for students of Classes 9 to 12, of which 55% of students will be Arohan’s customer’s girl children and 45% will be community members.
Salute the Warriors!
Celebrating the spirit of Republic Day this year, employees at Arohan volunteered to salute the warriors who are at the forefront of the cause of protecting the nation and its citizens. On January 22, 2021, 14 employees of Arohan, as a part of the Employee Volunteering Initiatives, participated in the ‘Salute the Warrior’ programme to write letters of gratitude to our beloved soldiers. The letters were heartfelt and moving to say the least!
Every Step Counts!
Employees across Arohan’s operational geography participated in a volunteering activity to make their walks and steps count towards the cause of education for the underserved. Organised in partnership with Bhumi, employees were challenged to clock in a stipulated number of steps everyday which will sum up to an amount donated towards enhancing Digital Literacy and Tech Support in shelter homes. Arohan has clocked a total of 2678 volunteering hours from this challenges.
Project on Menstrual Hygiene set to spread awareness among girl students in Jharkhand
In its endeavor towards women health and sanitation, Arohan as a part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, has partnered with Veer Jharkhand Vikash Sewa Manch, a Non-Government Organisation to spread awareness on menstrual hygiene among girl students in Jharkhand. Through this project, two government schools in Jharkhand will be provided with sanitary napkin dispensing machines and incinerators. 2000 free sanitary napkins will also be made available for the students for one month. Awareness sessions on menstrual wellness and hygiene will also be conducted with students, as well as community members including parents. A total of 640 girl students are estimated to benefit from the programme.
Rajita Pegu is a customer of Arohan in Assam and is a beneficiary of its Livelihood Training programme in partnership with SeSTA, a non-profit organisation based out of Guwahati. After taking a loan from Arohan, she invested the money in farming and livestock rearing, and with the help of the training has grown her business. "I received the training on Crop Intensification and Livestock Rearing from SeSTA. I purchased 30 chicks, reared them, and sold them after 45 days. This helped me earn a profit and increase the capacity to 50, then 100, and finally 150 hens. The chicks are given ORS for 1 whole day after they come, and are vaccinated after 3 days, 16 days, and 21 days. Now I am able to sell the hens at a better cost and my income has increased. I am very happy with the progress and am grateful to the team supporting me," says Rajita.
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DP-9, Sector V, Salt Lake,
Kolkata 700 091
Phone: +91 33 40156000