Products

At the core of Light Microfinance's products is microcredit. Our loans are targeted towards income generation activities only and can range from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 3,00,000 as per member requirement and her eligibility. The product tenor can be one year or two years and is repaid in equal monthly installments. Most of the loans are provided in rural or semi-urban areas. Our customers are involved in a wide variety of income generating activities that range from agriculture, dairy, vegetable vending, floriculture and food processing to clothing, kirana stores, pottery and kite making.

Each loan is priced at 23.677% in compliance with RBI regulations.

Customers

26% of the Indian population still lives below the National Poverty Line (37% as per the International Poverty Line). Sa-dhan (www.sa-dhan.org) places poverty stricken population at 28.5% in rural areas as compared to 25.7% in urban areas.

We work with women from this population, specifically from the rural areas, to help facilitate their upward movement in the economic status and in the process improve the standard of living of their families.

Very poor Poor Boderline Non-poor
Housing
Small kuccha(Thatched) Houses Mostly small houses, Either kuccha or mixed (tin) Medium sized, usualy mixed or puccha (concrete) Mostly large, pucca house
Assets
No major assets, basic utensils only Marginal land (<1 acre), few small animals, cot, radio, cycle Small (1-5 acre) land holding, 1-2 milch cattle, small animals, B&W TV, fan, Bicycles, radio, some furniture, old two wheeler Large(>5 acres) land holding, 2> milch cattle, tube well, TV, Phone, fridge, motorcycle, car
Food security
Usually one meal a day – basic cereals only Just able to manage two meals a day- but variable 2 meals a day but sometimes face problem (afew weeks in a year) Regular family diet – (two  meals/day and quality items)
Income sources
Low paid, casual wage labour, single earner Regular wage labour, 1-2 earners Seasonal business; low paid jobs; may sometimes depend on skilled wage labour Assured regulat income e.g. established business of high paying jobs

Process

Robust operations are critical to the success of any microfinance institutions. With a sharp focus on field operations, efficiency and compliance, we take great care in ensuring the integrity of our processes, be they financial transactions or customer interactions or grievance redressal or human resource functions in the company.

Our field process starts with a diligent regional survey to understand the local economic and political environment. Our Field Executives cover multiple villages within a region to record their findings on various fronts such as per capita income, local infrastructure, basic services, competitive landscape, etc. This data is then comprehensively assessed to identify the hyper-local need and ease of operation, thereby, determining the villages most appropriate for starting operations.

The selected villages are then visited by our team to hold initial promotional events (also called Projection Meeting). At this event, we bring together local people to provide an overview of our organization and our products and services. The event generally ends with an interactive Q&A session where we take questions from members of the village.

We ensure no question goes unanswered and that all doubts of any kind are addressed on the spot and in the presence of the entire village.

The projection meeting sets in motion the group formation exercise which is closely reviewed by our Field Executives to ensure formations that encourage social inclusion and mutual trust. Groups at one location become part of a centre where all meetings are henceforth held as per their convenience.
The dedicated Field Credit Team conducts House Visit and Due Diligence of every member to understand their credit worthiness. The data collected from the field is send to Head Office for further analysis.
These groups, then, undergo comprehensive and mandatory training wherein they are provided detailed training about the Light Microfinance systems and processes. Aside from describing our products and policies, we put in great effort to also teach our members to write their names and, more importantly, also ensure to create an environment that engenders mutual trust.
The training sessions end with a very critical test to ensure our guests understand and fulfill the criteria to become members. Some key activities during this test include mutual confirmation among guests that they fulfill the criteria of being economically needy, their knowledge and trust on each other and agreement to adhere to our policies and procedures.

With the groups confirmed, the members are now ready to receive financial assistance from Light Microfinance. The loan amount is directly transferred to their bank accounts.

The loan transaction is completed with member repayment which starts a month after loan disbursal. The repayment schedule continues for one year or two years, depending on the loan size.