Talk by Astha Aravind

Prof. Ashta Aravind, Banque Populaire Chair in Microfinance, Burgundy School of Business, France   delivered a talk on various facets of microfinance. He initiated the talk by highlighting his research orientation which initially was in the area of hard core finance, subsequently moving to behavioral finance and CSR. During his visits to various countries, particularly in Africa, he realized that the poor have to be helped to become entrepreneurs to emerge from the poverty trap.
One mechanism of doing this is by providing quality credit. But the poor often face the problem in accessing the same due to their inability to provide collateral coupled with their limitation in repayment of loan in large installments. There are three institutional approaches that provide credit to the poor- Mainstream financial institutions, money lenders and microfinance institutions. Prof. Ashta Aravind highlighted the advantages and constraints in each of these modes. Giving the example of Mohammed Yunus of Bangladesh, a noted pioneer in the area of microfinance, he highlighted how microfinance can help the poor. In this context, he also mentioned the SKDRDP initiative. He also spoke on various dimensions of providing quality credit to poor, managerial issues in these institutions and dimensions of micro-lending.