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Microfinance is a very young and growing sector in the financial market. In contrast to the formal financial sector, it provides small financial services (Rs. 500-50,000) to assist the poor both financially and socially. Microfinance aims to target the rural and urban poor who own micro-enterprises that work in agriculture, dairy, poultry, grocery, tailoring, broom making, and pottery, among others. Microfinance practitioners, as a whole, aim to target almost 500 million people.

There are various organizations involved in microfinance. They are government banks like NABARD, SIDBI, SBI Associates, Oriental Bank of Commerce, private banks like ICICI and HDFC, and funds like Lok Capital and the Bellwether Fund. Besides there are a new generation of microfinance practitioners like BASIX, SHARE and various social development agencies which has adopted microfinance as an effective tool to fight poverty and empower women. They are largely known as Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs). The involvement of various public, private and other NGOs shows the value and scope of growth in this sector. To serve such a huge population, the sector requires a large talent pool with myriad educational backgrounds. It starts from intermediate students with local knowledge of social, economic and cultural conditions. It also requires professionals who have PhDs, MBAs, CAs, CSs and CFAs who can provide high end services at the middle and senior management level. Thus microfinance sector provides job opportunities to all; starting from matriculates to all kinds of professionals.

Graduates may consider employment in MFIs in their home state. College graduates who are interested in exploring the field may seek entry-level positions in an NGO with a microfinance mission. There are many volunteer opportunities available in this sector, which can increase an ordinary graduate's potential for obtaining future employment. People with a strong commitment to a career in international microfinance should possess a solid grasp of microeconomic and finance principles, training in streams such as public administration, policy monitoring and evaluation.

If a student is more interested in working in the for-profit sector of microfinance, any type of banking and finance experience an MBA degree, in addition to development experience will be helpful. There are opportunities for graduates, retired/VRS professional (bank, defense any other government sector), corporate sector and NGO sector personnel at various levels in the MFIs.

Different players in Microfinance sector attract employment with different educational backgrounds. In case of MFIs, they are open to people with varying degrees of education. A person with matriculation, intermediate or graduation can work as Field Officer, Community Organizer or Accountant (mainly for commerce graduate). Graduates with technical education (Agriculture, Livestock etc.) can work as a Field Supervisor, Branch Manager etc. The following is a view of the job hierarchy in an MFI:

Typical Organization structure and an indicative qualification requirement at each position

 
 
Top Management and Board
           
  • Should have vast experience in an NGO/ Bank/Corporate sector.       
  • Should have a relevant educational qualification or the experience in the banking or financial sector.       
  • Should be visionary.      
  • Have great leadership and motivation skills.     
 
Middle Managers
           
  • Professional degree with 5-7 years of experience as a Manager in the business such as Business Development, Technology, Accounts & Internal Audit, Sales and Marketing, HR etc.        
  • Hire professionals through lateral placement from the B-Schools.       
  • Professionals with fair experience in banking and finance can work as an employee or as a consultant.        
  • Area Managers with quite a consistent and outstanding performance can be graduated in the middle management.       
  • Closely associated with the top management.     
 
Area/ Zonal/ Regional Managers
           
  • Professional degree like MBA, Agriculture, Rural Development preferable.       
  • Generally hired from B-Schools like IRMA, IIFM, XIM, IIRM, and other rural development/Social Development Institutes.      
  • Regional language desirable.       
  • Bank professionals with 2-3 years experience in accounting and cash management desirable for Area Managers.       
  • Fairly long experience being at Area Manager can be qualified for head of operations.     
 
Branch Managers
           
  • Post Graduate or Graduate with Commerce or Sociology preferable.       
  • Generally promoted from Credit Officer.       
  • Regional language desirable.       
  • Can be promoted up to Area/Regional Manager.       
  • Promotion based on performance.     
 
Credit Appraisal Officer/Accountants
           
  • Graduate in any subject for Credit Officer and in Commerce for Accountants.       
  • Regional language desirable.       
  • Generally selected from the neighboring districts of operational areas.      
 
Field Officer/Community Organizer
           
  • 10-12th pass to undertake group promotion activity.       
  • Should have a good command over the local language.       
  • Generally chosen from the existing operational areas.     
 

Retired Professionals

Someone with years of clerical experience would be a good person to train the branch managers in accountancy and record keeping. Someone with years as a bank manager at a middle management level would qualify to be in the second line of leadership, and in some cases the person could turn out to be an entrepreneur cum CEO.      


If you are interested in joining the Microfinance sector then apply online after building your profile on 
Microfinancejobs.com

Source :
MicrofinanceJobs
 
For more information on Microfinance Click here
 
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