Amid Covid-19 Second Wave, Microfinance Firms Find Economic Activities in Rural Areas
In the midst of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, microfinance companies are witnessing a reasonable number of economic activities in rural areas where the number of cases is low, especially in villages. Also as a spinoff in semi-urban areas, the MSME sector is going through a major shift towards digital payments.
“While Covid 1.0 was largely limited to urban areas, Covid 2.0 has spread to semi-urban areas in various states. However, in rural areas the cases are relatively low in the villages where the majority of our activities are located, ”said Udaya Kumar Hebbar, Managing Director and CEO of CreditAccess Grameen. Activity area.
“Considering that 85% of our customers are in rural areas and mainly in essential services, the economic impact on them will be comparatively smaller,” he added.
Hardika Shah, Founder and CEO of Kinara Capital, said: “Our business model is to support underserved small businesses, especially MSMEs, by providing them with unsecured loans to grow their businesses. We have done it digitally and have issued over 60,000 loans to date. “
As Covid-19 spreads to semi-urban areas, companies have started to prepare new strategies and are preparing to deal with them. CreditAccess Grameen, for its part, has not changed its business model. But he is managing the situation effectively, based on the lessons he received during the first wave.
“In the event that various states declare closures, we adhere to the regulatory guidelines of the respective states and manage our branch and field operations accordingly,” Hebbar said.
Shah said, “Since the pandemic started in 2020, our business model has not changed, however, our customers have changed. The MSME sector is undergoing a shift in accelerating its digital adoption. They wanted more digital payment options, so we are now available on over 400 payment platforms. “
“In addition to our convenient customer service, we have implemented an online loan application process for our customers. And we run free online learning workshops for our clients – that was something that was not possible before, ”he added.