Micro Finance refers to providing access to financial services to the lower income groups usually the poor, in rural and urban areas. Financial services include loans, insurance, savings, and remittances. Practitioners estimate that demand for microfinance ranges from $10.7 billion to $30 billion, and supply is estimated to be around $822 million.
Presently there are various public and private organizations engaged with delivering microfinance services to the economically active poor. All government banks like SBI Bank Of Punjab, Oriental Bank of Commerce etc are involved into it. Besides there are almost 1000 Non-Governmental Organizations are engaged with the promotion and delivery of microfinance services. With the pace of microfinance growth, demand for competent employees at all levels of management is increasing rapidly.
MFIs provide a very reasonable and competitive salary to their staff. The salary consists of a very fine mix of fixed and variable components. The fixed salary is one which does not change as per the individual and team performance. It contains basic salary and other allowances like medical, telephone, and field and traveling expenses.
On the contrary, the variable part of salary is one which is defined based on the individual and overall team's performance. The performance based bonus is usually payable on quarterly or on a six month basis. One is also entitled for provident fund, gratuity. Some MFIs also provide loans to the employees at below market interest rate with very flexible repayment options.
Thus the salary is a medium which discriminates between the good and bad performers. Besides salary, there are different ways to give due recognition to the well performed staff. They get more work independence, more responsibilities and have a say in the policy and building long term strategy of the MFIs. In short, they get due value all across the organization.
The salary varies for the new job entrants. A person with some relevent work experience and qualification gets due advantage in the salary. The staff also gets opportunities to upgrade their knowledge and skills through exposure visits to other MFIs, training and workshops etc.
We always listen that the salary is not the only way to derive job satisfaction. There are different views on level of satisfaction. Besides salary, the nature of job also matters. It is also important who benefits from your work. Is someone getting direct benefits from you work? Has your effort made someone's life happier and easier? Has someone got a stable livelihood with the help of your financial assistance? Have you gained respect and confidence among the neighboring inhabitants? Someone gets satisfaction merely by experiencing the gratitude of the poor, who are so often left out of the benefits of economic growth
One question is often raised. What are the career growth opportunities within and beyond the circle of MFIs?
The answer is very simple. The MFIs are labor-intensive institutions. An MFI has to have a large force of field employees to serve and monitor microfinance services. Unlike other employment options, the MFIs attract the large educated unemployed population with a simple matriculate and intermediate background as well. Besides it also opens the job options for professionals like MBA, CA, CFA, and other certified professionals to manage the operations, work on the strategic business plan, and provide higher value added services to an MFI.