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Past Issue • Oct-Dec 2013

A Microfinance Journey

In their case study of Krishna Bhima Samruddhi Local Area Bank (KBSLAB), a microfinance institution, the authors take us through the journey of microfinance in India. After two decades, the industry is still a fledgling − one in whom its parent, the Reserve Bank of India, appears to have lost interest. Operating in an atmosphere of mistrust and indifference, KBSLAB has shown mixed results – considerable initial success, some recent failures and plenty of hope. Looking at the year ahead, the bank faces a quintessential strategy question: How should it stoke its commercial engine with social good being its available fuel?

Outside Managing Director, Manmath Kumar Dalai’s office, the staff of Krishna Bhima Samruddhi Local Area Bank (KBSLAB) waited patiently for their boss to complete his final evaluation of the bank’s performance and call them in. April 7, 2011 in the Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh was a typical, hot summer day, but as Dalai, with the help of his team, finalised his presentation for the board meeting, the heat seemed to be intensified by a heavy gust of palpable anxiety, and trepidation. With KBSLAB completing a decade of operations in the microfinance business, the bank’s board had called for a meeting on April 9, 2011 to review its performance during the last 10 years.


  • Rajesh-Chakrabarti

    Rajesh Chakrabarti

    Clinical Associate Professor of Public Policy and Executive Director of the Bharti Institute of Public Policy at the Indian School of Business (ISB).
  • Nupur-Feb7-2014

    Nupur Pavan Bang

    Senior Researcher at the Centre for Investment at the Indian School of Business (ISB).
  • KaushikB

    Kaushik Bhattacharjee

    Associate Professor at the Institute of Management Technology, Hyderabad.
  • PuranS

    Puran Singh

    Research Associate at the Indian School of Business.
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