Swadhaar: Self-Support through Financial Services
(7 pages of text)
Swadhaar FinServe Private Limited (Swadhaar), a non-banking financial company–microfinance institution (NBFC-MFI), was set up in Mumbai, India in 2008 with the objective of providing the urban poor with increased access to financial services. Swadhaar was a leading provider of financial services to clients in several major states of India. Between 2009 and 2013, there were major changes in the regulatory environment; some of these restricted the scope of MFIs and others opened new business opportunities. Although Swadhaar was able to reach financial sustainability with its existing business model, its founder was always looking at growth strategies to achieve her mission. In late 2014, RBL Bank Ltd. offered to become a strategic investor in Swadhaar. In early 2015, Swadhaar’s founder needed to decide whether or not to accept RBL Bank Ltd.’s proposal.
The case is best suited for a graduate-level course on financial markets and institutions or strategic management. The case can also be used in specialized courses on topics like microfinance, sustainable development, developmental economics, or impact investing. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
- Describe the microfinance environment in India and the role of a non-banking financial company–microfinance institution (NBFC-MFI) in micro lending to urban poor.
- Define the concept of mission drift, and explain the trade-off between financial sustainability and the social objectives of NBFC-MFIs.
- Describe the impact of a changing regulatory environment on the strategic choices available to NBFC-MFIs.
- Identify the motivations of investors in socially responsible businesses like microfinance institutions, and analyze their impact on the investing landscape.
Finance and Insurance
India, Small, 2015
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