SKS Microfinance, one of the world’s leading microfinance companies has entered into an alliance with IT majors Compulink, HCL, Microsoft, Tulip IT, and Wipro InfoTech.
The new IT infrastructure is aimed at helping SKS achieve its ambitious goal of expanding outreach from its current base of 650 branches serving 17 lakh poor households to 1500 branches serving 40 lakh poor households by March 2009.
Under the agreement, Compulink would covers areas related to micro-credit, micro-insurance, health insurance and accounting systems. The company would also integrate the activities of SKS branches across India through a centralised web-based set of applications, while Tulip IT would help support connectivity across all branches.
Wipro Infotech would host its data centre at Bangalore and act as a single contact point for SKS. The organisation has partnered with HCL for desktops, printers, multi-functional devices and UPS and with Wipro Infotech for laptops.
The company claims that the initiative would reduce costs, enhance the speed of data, strengthen security, enable real-time data analysis and accelerate scaling and provide conveninient services to poor.
SKS Microfinance presently operates in 15 states and has disbursed over Rs 1,700 crore in credit apart from life and health insurance products to poor households. It plans to disburse an additional Rs 5,200 crore to clients in nearly 4,000 villages and slums in FY 2008-09.
The company also plans to add new financial services, ranging from other micro-insurance products to remittances. It is currently adding 50 new branches and 1.5 lakh new clients per month.
The new IT backbone is expected to be in place by July 2008. The deployment and testing phase will be through by May 08.