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RBS with Planet Finance launches 3rd Microfinance Awards
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group ("RBS"), together with Planet Finance India has announce the launch of Microfinance Process Excellence Awards (MPEA) 2008 - an award to recognize and reward Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) for their excellence in process optimisation and management.

The awards will be categorised under the names Flint, Flame and Fire which will be based on the MFI sizes. The winners will be identified regionally North, South, East, West and the North East, thereby ensuring that each organisation has the opportunity to compete in its own asset class and geographic space.

In its third year, MPEA 2008 has been enhanced to keep in stride with the dynamic microfinance market. Unlike any other award, it is not a standalone event but a 6-month long process that is built around rigorous training. The training is designed for MFIs to acquire or sharpen their skills in process mapping and optimisation, before submitting their entries for the award. These training sessions, which are conducted by an international consultancy, across the country, are the hallmark of MPEA.

According to Meera H Sanyal, Country Executive Designate at RBS India, and jury panelist, "The concept of the MPEA emerged in 2004, a time when the microfinance industry in the country stood poised for scale-up, but was not adequately conversant with the systems and processes needed to support growth. The MPEA was therefore a pioneer in sensitising the microfinance sector on the importance of standardisation and optimisation of business process. Over a period of time MPEA has seen increasing response and this year 67 MFIs have submitted their entries for the award across all categories."

The jury for this award comprises eminent people such as Vijayalakshmi Das (CEO, FWWB), Sandip Ghose (Principal, College of Agricultural Banking, RBI), Sandeep Farias (Managing Director, Unitus Equity Fund), MS Sriram (Professor, IIM Ahmedabad), Matthew Titus (Executive Director, SADHAN), KC Ranjani (CEO, DIA Vikas Capital, Opportunity International), Tony Fernandes (Regional Head for Credit Programmes, CORDAID) and Meera H Sanyal (Country Executive Designate at RBS India.

Winners will be announced on 11th November 2008 in New Delhi, in an Awards Ceremony which will be held during the country's largest Microfinance conference "Microfinance India Summit".
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