We are a bank focusing on the life cycle needs of our members. Our products reflect their needs.
We are 35, young and growing - both in monetary and real terms. Much has been done, but a lot more has still to be accomplished.
Sewa Bank is focusing on providing integrated financial services to keep poor women to come out of vicious cycle of poverty + build their business. Asset + capital.
People ask us how it works; working with poor self employed women, many of them daily wage earners. Our answer is they are bankable and in the same tone we also say we are not only a bank, but focusing on the life cycle needs of our members. Our products reflect the needs of these people.
Thinking of tomorrow and even beyond, we design a product, keeping in mind the behavioral patterns, attitudinal changes and such other traits of poor self employed women. Much research and home work goes into it. Our procedures are simple so that women feel comfortable banking with us. Very often we go to them rather than them coming to us.
Pension is a word which comes into play in the formal sector, but here at5 Sewa Bank the poor self employed women also get pension with the introduction of Micro pension initiative by Sewa Bank and UTI. This is only a step further in our mission to provide our members financial assistance right from birth till old age. Innovation has been our other strength with poor being given access to invest in open market.
Another introduction has been the energy loan which helps our members to increase their productivity and income through use of solar energy the same is specially designed for different occupations and products from operating a sewing machine to the urgent need of a midwife in far flunked areas. We have always believed in looking at life cycle needs and then work on new products.
Capital formation at individual and group level is our main goal and women banking with us have gradually built their capital by coming out of the clutches of money lenders, building savings and business, buying business equipments, can proudly call their homes, the goal is achieved by promoting women's organizations which are owned and managed by women, and building their capacity. As compared to what is still needed to be done for millions of our sisters, what we have achieved is little. There is a need to increase our outreach both in the urban as well as rural areas. There is also need to further improve their knowledge base about financial and business management. With three new branches and vigorous training and capacity building exercise we are contributing our bit.
When we started the bank, exclusively for poor women workers, we did not have nay blue print to follow. Clues were few, encouragement little and doubts plenty. This only motivated us to move on. We learnt from every woman we have banked with and are thankful to them for giving us an opportunity to work with them and thus build a sustainable financial organization they can proudly call as their own. These years have only proved that poor self employed women are reliable, sincere and bankable. Mutual trust has always remained our guiding force.
Financial Literacy, we have always believed is there very foundation if the poor self employed women have to move ahead. Towards that ten organization from across the country have recently come together and decided to take financial literacy as a movement under the National Alliance for Financial Literacy (NAFiL). We feel privileged and happy to be a part of this initiative.