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Credit worthy

education Updated: Mar 07, 2012 13:04 IST

The lowdown
Microfinance is all about providing small loans to very poor families that have no access to mainstream financial institutions. These small loans help them engage in productive and income-generating activities, leading to reduction in poverty and improvement in living standards. Today, microfinance offers a variety of products and services such as credit, savings, insurance and money transfer. This is because the poor have also realised the need for a diverse range of financial products to be able to build assets, stabilise consumption and protect themselves against possible risks

8am: Meeting with prospective clients, mainly rural women. Conduct four to five such meetings
10am to noon: Collect repayments from members, update others on their accounts
2pm to 4pm: Collect loan applications from members. Talk to others interested in microfinance and make them aware of options
4.30pm onwards: Oversee the formation of new groups, conduct group training, do loan utilisation checks post disbursement
6pm: Report to branch managers

The payoff
The field staff is provided a target-oriented compensation (inclusive of incentives/bonuses) of around Rs 10,000 per month. Area managers as freshers earn around Rs 6 lakh per annum. The top management is paid at par with the mainstream industry

* Have general understanding of microfinance
* Have knowledge of RBI rules

Getting there
Commerce graduates are preferred. For a higher management position, you need to be an MBA. One can begin work as a field credit assistant, the front-end representative of a micro finance institution and move up the ladder as senior field credit assistant, manager, area manager, deputy divisional manager, divisional manager, and vice president

Institutes and URLs
* Institute of Rural Management Anand
* Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
* Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar

Pros and cons
* Positive impact on lives of poor gives you immense satisfaction
* It is a good profession to be in and it pays you well

This field holds a lot of promise for those who are passionate about microfinance. It is a great way to serve the people Jagmohan Rawat, a financial expert with a leading MNC based in Gurgaon