Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Now, banks eyeing on rural consumption!

There are more that 60 lakhs villages in India and now the main focuss of the industrail players of India and multinationals who working in Indian, is the rural market. They eye the speedy growth of the rural India now.Rural Market Figure:India's 742 million strong rural population, outsizing the US and Europe, is moving towards branded products. Education for women is more than a politician's promise; it's a marketer's delight. Television, cable TV and FMCG products have penetrated the south far more than any other region in India. Research says, “Penetration driving strategy better for east and north, while for south the question is how to get value from consumer already using your product and brand.’Big future in small loans in India for BanksMicrolenders have been helping farmers buy a buffalo and women set up weaving businesses for nearly three decades in India, most successfully in the wealthier southern states.Now, rapid economic growth and the entry of more foreign banks and private equity firms, coupled with improving infrastructure and new technologies, is encouraging large Indian and international lenders to enter the space.Even wealthy private investors are looking at microfinance, where in addition to the halo of a do-gooder, returns can be as much as 2 percentage points more than from conventional products."Time was when banks didn't take microfinance seriously, when they regarded it as corporate social responsibility rather than a serious commercial opportunity," said Siddhartha Chowdri of Accion Technical Advisors, a technical partner of Yes Bank India's for microfinance."They realize now that the poor are good credit risks, and that they have a need for capital their whole lives."India's microfinance market is estimated at 130 million homes, with money lenders and other informal sources accounting for more than 80 percent of borrowings.Informal credit in rural India is estimated at $5.4 billion, according to the All India Debt and Investment Survey. More than 40,000 bank branches have lent nearly $3 billion in the 10-year period to 2006, mostly to groups of poor women, it said.MEGA MARKETState lenders including leader State Bank of India have a long record of lending to the poor to help meet a priority lending requirement, or 40 percent of all lending.Private lenders ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, UTI Bank and Yes Bank have launched microfinance arms recently. Global heavyweights, including ABN Amro, Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC Holdings and Citigroup are also eyeing the space."We were the first organised lender here ... the moneylenders used to threaten my staff," said Anil Jadhav at Hindustan Cooperative Credit Society Ltd. in Kurla, a Mumbai suburb.

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