Though the financial slowdown has shown its impact in the banking sector for the developing economies, micro finance institutions (MFIs) still have a long way to go as according to a study in the next five to 10 years, 20,000 middle-level managers and 150,000 loan officers will be required in India alone to serve 50 million clients.
Additionally, micro finance professionals will also be required in commercial banks, insurance companies, agri-business enterprises and execution of government-funded development programmes. However, it seems the bottlenecks for effective development of micro finance sector is the non-availability of human resource.
There are just not enough academic and training institutions to produce adequate manpower.
Also in India about 70 per cent of the rural poor do not have a deposit account, 87 per cent have no access to credit from formal sources, 85 per cent of households do not have any kind of insurance and a very few (less than 0.4 per cent) have access to health insurance and 600 MFIs have a cumulative outreach of 12.5 million poor households, representing only 5 per cent people in the country.
As the MFIs are concentrated mostly in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and West Bengal and the vision of micro finance has changed from `provision of credit’ to `permanent access to financial services’ and a time has emerged to have its dominance in newer areas, to address the availability of manpower with adequate knowledge, appropriate skill and right attitude, the city-based Human Development Foundation (HDF) organised a workshop on the subject here yesterday.
``There are a host of development and functional management issues that need to be understood to implement micro finance and related programmes. Curriculum of mainstream management schools is not equipped to this end,’’ said director of the new school on MFI management Prof. H. Panda.
Prof. Prabal K. Sen of XLRI Jamshedpur and State Information Commissioner Jagadananda spoke. Micro finance institutions, banks, development financial institutions and civil society organisations participated.