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Microfinance's potential in India is immense
"The potential that microfinance holds in a country like India is immense," said chairman of Development Credit Bank (DCB), Naseer Munjee on Tuesday at Dediapada near Bharuch. DCB, one of the fastest growing private banks in India, had entered the microfinance with the launch of DCB Sahyog in 2007.

In association with Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) the bank has dedicated a whole branch to microfinance at Dediapada, near Bharuch.

During the tenure of nine months the bank has sourced 238 accounts and disbursed Rs20 lakh to 85 groups.

AKRSP (I) is aimed at providing financial inclusion to roughly 1.75 lakh households through innovative loan and deposits in economically backward districts of Gujarat. This will help to empower the local community, a large part of which is comprised of tribal groups, who have been hitherto benefiting of financial inclusion.

AKRSP(I) has contributed to the creation of an enabling ambience in which rural people can identify their needs and priorities and with professional support organize themselves towards improving the quality of life holistically.

The Chairman of DCB Nasser Munjee said "DCB has always enjoyed a significant presence in the western corridor of India. With DCB Sahyog, we will reach out to the rural self-help communities in and around Gujarat. The potential that microfinance holds in a country like India is enormous. We believe that this is a small step forward and we are very glad to partner with AKRSP (I)."

"With DCB Sahyog the bank steps into microfinance which is a significant part of the company's overall business strategy. The Bank has targeted close to 1,100 village institutions and around six village clusters of Mandavi, Sagbara, Netrang, Nasvadi, Dediapada and Umarpada," added Munjee.

Presently the bank covers around 50,000 individuals and aims to scale this up in next two years to 10 lakh individuals. Though the expects this initiative would constitute as much as 10% of its loan portfolio by 2010, which makes it a viable business option and not just isolated exercise in CSR. 
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