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					   Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank,
           Ltd., Mhaswad
                             Founded 1997

Whenever you are in doubt or when the self becomes too much with you,
apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and weakest man
whom you may have seen, and ask yourself if the steps you contemplate
are going to be of any use to him. Will he gain anything by it? Will it
restore to him control over his own life and destiny? In other words, will it
lead to swaraj for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you
will find your doubts and yourself melting away.         - Mahatma Gandhi
Meet Vanita Pise

India’s 2006 Woman Exemplar

Vanita Jalindar Pise was always embarrassed to invite her wealthier sister to her own mud hut.
Born into a comfortable middle class family, Vanita was married at the age of 18 into a seemingly
prosperous family that ran a poultry business. Within three weeks of her marriage the mirage of
plenty was shattered when Vanita’s husband brought her to his poultry barn. She assumed he
wanted to show her his wealth; he assumed she would clean the shed three times a day. As the
unhappy years of increasing poverty, debt, and hard physical labor wore on, she tried to hide her
roughened hands from her parents and sisters, but instead became the object of her family’s pity.

Although she still lives in a mud house, 36-year old Vanita has come a long way from hanging her
head at family events. In April 2006 she was declared one of two national winners of the CII-
Bharti Woman Exemplar Award, sponsored annually by the national Confederation of Indian
Industries. The woman with the calloused hands and bright smile shook hands with Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh as he congratulated her on her accomplishments. The Exemplar
Award is designed to honor “grass-root, poor, under privileged community level women who have
excelled in their contribution in the development process….The main duty of the person who
receives the award is to empower others.” Vanita has been doing just that for years.

Vanita has organized 35 SHGs and began coordinating the women in her SHGs to buy goats and
buffalo for their own milk-vending businesses. In 2004 Vanita decided to take a 15,000 rupee
($330) loan for a machine to make paper cups for prasad, or prayer offerings. She bought the raw
material and made and sold 5,000 cups each day. When she realized how successful her
business was, she started a dealership of the machines so other women could also profit.

In starting the SHGs, Vanita had to overcome her deep-rooted fear of taking a loan and falling
further into debt. In addition, despite her poverty and Backward Caste, Vanita came from a
middle class family, and had to build relationships with lower-class women and gain their trust.
She says, “Whenever you work with women, the most important factor is how you develop the
trust and confidence. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor; if you develop trust, they will have a
confidence in you.”

For Vanita, winning the Woman Exemplar Award provided her the confidence and pride that she
had difficulty finding in her day to day life, despite providing inspiration to hundreds of women
who received guidance, encouragement, and training at her hands. She says, “After the award, I
feel that if you do anything and work hard seriously, nothing goes in waste, you do get a reward
and it can come in money or appreciation. I was always very much ready to do everything but
after the award it was the first experience in my life that I could see the returns. I feel even now
this is a dream that I got the award. I never could have imagined this would be the result of my

Our Mission

It is our mission to provide women in poverty-stricken areas of Maharashtra with the tools
necessary for achieving financial independence and self sufficiency. We aim to improve the lives
of women holistically, by providing a unique and innovative combination of financial and non-
financial services.

It the mission of our partner NGO, Mann Vikas Samajik Sanstha, to promote the development of
poor and vulnerable women in Maharashtra and fight injustices based on gender, caste, and
class. Our programs are designed to empower our women and improve their quality of life by
promoting education, health, property rights, leadership, and technology.

Who are we?

The Mann Deshi Mahila umbrella of operations encompasses three distinct organizations – Mann
Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank, Mann Vikas Samajik Sanstha, and Mann Deshi Mahila Bachat Gat

The Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank (Mann Deshi) is a regulated cooperative bank run by and
for women. Founded in 1997, it is India’s first rural financial institution to receive a cooperative
license from the Reserve Bank of India.

Mann Vikas Samajik Sanstha (Mann Vikas) is a non-profit organization that provides a variety of
non-financial services to our clients. Mann Vikas is responsible for promoting girls’ education and
providing our women with HIV/AIDS health education camps, student scholarships, and
vocational skills training.

Mann Deshi Mahila Bachat Gat Federation (Self-Help Group Federation) is a non-profit
association aimed at organizing rural female entrepreneurs. The Federation currently consists of
more than 1560 self-help groups. These groups are made up of self-employed women such as
vegetable vendors, milk sellers, and weavers. It receives loans directly from the Bank and, with
additional support from the Indian government, conducts lending activities.

Who do we serve?

100% of Mann Deshi clients are poor women with annual incomes averaging 22,000 rupees
($490). An astounding 70% of our clients come from backward castes. Mann Deshi Bank is
proud to have become the first bank in the country to have more than 2000 members from
backward castes. Roughly one-half of all Mann Deshi clients are street vendors or day laborers.
The other half owns small enterprises, including tailoring, rope making, and dairies. The average
age of our clients is 36 and most of them live in large households consisting of at least two
children and both of her in-laws.

Our experience has shown that when women control the household finances, more money is
spent on children, education, healthcare, and other important domestic items. We believe that
the financial empowerment of women will hasten the growth and development of rural India,
thereby creating a better life for future generations.

To this end, we have encouraged hundreds of women to become confident, capable leaders in
their families and local communities. We have trained our women to lead Self Help Groups,
manage accounts, and keep financial records.

          Goat & sheep rears   Vegetable Vendor
             19%                  10%

 10%                                              Milk
   Workers                      Cane
    12%         Sole Traders
                    7%         Workers

Meet Laxmi Shellar

The Struggle of a Seventeen Year Old Widow

At the age of 13 Laxmi Shellar’s father abruptly pulled her out of 7th standard and married her to a
65 year old man as his second wife. At the ripe old age of 17, when most girls only begin to think
of marriage, the heavily pregnant Laxmi was widowed. She says, “When I was 17, I was so
alone. My life was so bad that I had two choices: forget everything and start again or commit

Laxmi chose life with vigor, catapulting herself into a role of importance and respect in a
community that had already brushed the young widow aside as a social outcaste. It is clear that
there is no room for emotion or sentimentality in Laxmi’s life, but the spark of pride that appears in
her eyes when she talks about her leadership in the local Self-Help Groups (SHGs) is

Becoming involved with SHGs was a turning point in Laxmi’s life. After her husband’s death, her
life had consisted entirely of constant work to make ends meet. When she started organizing
SHGs, she suddenly discovered a newfound confidence in interacting with the outside world,
realizing that she relished leadership and had a natural knack for inspiring confidence in others.
As she gained self-assurance handling money and doing interest rate calculations, she
encouraged the women in her SHGs to take loans and save money.

Laxmi is extremely sensitive to the vulnerabilities of the illiterate women whom she leads. To
help mitigate the risks of their circumstance, Laxmi has started her own literacy school, which she
holds from 9-10 pm every night, all year. As a bright student deprived of her own education,
Laxmi feels that other women deserve the opportunity to read and write. For Laxmi, the happiest
moment in her life came a few months ago when she accompanied a new SHG member to the
bank who had been a student in her literacy class. The bank clerk asked the woman if she
wanted to sign with her thumb print or her signature. The woman replied with pride, “Laxmi has
taught me my signature. I can sign my own name.”

Laxmi’s story is unique in that her involvement in SHGs and microfinance revolves almost entirely
around training, advising, and leading others; income generation is merely a sidelined occupation
dictated by necessity. The women of Mann Deshi have become her family, and she gets up at
dawn everyday to work hard on their behalf.

Innovative New Programs

Establishing a Business School for Rural Women
The Business School for Rural Women (BSRW) is a new program that will provide training in
technical, financial and marketing skills to women without formal education and girls who have
dropped out of high school, allowing them to start and improve their own small enterprises. The
Business School will offer guidance on business start up, including loan options for seed capital.
The business school will create entrepreneurial opportunities for women to assimilate to rural job
markets and strengthen economically-weak communities. The Busines School will also feature a
mobile classroom to serve women in the most remote areas. We have recently established a
partnership with HSBC Bank to fund the start-up capital for this innovative and exciting program.

Creating Kiosk Centers for Farmers
Mann Deshi has recently established its first Kiosk Center, intended to give farmers the
opportunity to strategically plan and manage farming activities and wisely market their products.
The services offered at the Kiosk Center include the provision of the government-announced
prices of various agricultural products, fertilizer and pesticide compliances, and crop diagnosis.
Functioning as an agricultural market information clearing house and farmers’ social hub, the
kiosk center will enhance the existing local farmers’ organizations as well as their farming and
marketing skills. We have recently established a partnership with the Portland, Oregon chapter of
AID to fund the seed capital for this groundbreaking new initiative.

Incorporating New Technology

     Mann Deshi Mahila Bank is constantly looking for new technology to bring to our clients. As our
     customers grow with the changing business environment, our Bank must work hard to meet the
     increasingly sophisticated demands of our clients. As the women of Mann Deshi gain exposure
     to technological advances, we find that the cycle of empowerment is perpetuated. As women
     adopt new technologies, not only are their businesses faster and more profitable, but the women
     also gain confidence in themselves and their importance in the community is enhanced. Despite
     our rural location, Mann Deshi Mahila has found that the continued utilization of technology
     provides for the maximum empowerment of our women.

     The first technology we introduced to our women was the calculator. Surekha Chourumle
     remembers learning to use the calculator for her work as a collection agent:
     “I did not trust the calculator for several days. At first, I only trusted my head to do the
     calculations correctly, so I would refigure each calculator calculation by hand, to make sure it was
     accurate. After time, I realized that it was accurate and it was also extremely fast! Using the
     calculator has allowed me the speed to increase my clients from ninety, to three hundred. My
     business is now very successful and I am able to earn much more since I started using the

     Sonale Awade, a street vendor, has also benefited from incorporating technology into her
     business. She explains the benefits cell phone technology brought to her business: “As a street
     vendor, I vend on the road all day, from morning until night. Having easy access to a phone
     allows me to place orders for additional fruit without leaving my business. It is also important that
     I be able to keep in touch with my family through they day and that my children can reach me if
     they need me. I have also heard of other women in villages who are earning extra money by
     lending their cell phones to other street vendors who need to make personal calls.”

     These technologies have helped women run their businesses and keep in touch with their
     families. Mann Deshi will continue to incorporate appropriate technologies as they become

     Ongoing Successful Programs

     Supporting Women’s Property Rights
     The Mann Deshi Bank won a victory in 2004 when it convinced the Revenue Department of
     Maharashtra to include women’s names on stamp papers. Stamp papers are duties levied on
     transfers of immovable property. By including the names of women, the papers recognize a
     woman’s right to household property. Women can now use these papers in court to prevent their
     husbands from selling or divesting household property.

     The Bank has also found more innovative ways of getting women to own property. In 2003, the
     Mann Deshi Bank helped one village to win a state government-sponsored “Cleanest Village”
     competition by convincing all the men in the village to share the legal title to their property with
     their wives - some even volunteered to transfer all of the property to their wives. The men agreed
     to the transfer because they wanted the financial reward as well as the coveted distinction that
     their actions brought to the village. The women, in turn, took extra care to keep their newly
     acquired properties sparkling clean. In the end, the village won the cash prize.

     In addition, the Bank encourages home ownership among our clients. Mann Deshi has created
     an incentive for women to become homeowners by giving them a 1% rebate on interest paid on

     Encouraging Girls’ Education
     The Bank, along with Mann Vikas and the Self-Help Group Federation, provides low-interest
     loans and some scholarships for girls to attend school. Mann Deshi also gives loans at 0%

interest for families who want to buy bicycles for their daughters to ride to school. We also have a
special fund allocated for those who cannot even afford a loan but show a strong commitment to
education, and we donate bicycles to these girls. As of October 2006, the Bank has given loans
for over 500 bicycles under its Bicycle Program.

Following the success of the “Cleanest Village” competition, the Mann Deshi Bank is now
sponsoring a similar competition to encourage villages to achieve 100 percent enrollment of
young girls in school – the Savitribai Phule Gram Puraskar Award.

Promoting Women’s Health
Since 2003 Mann Deshi and Mann Vikas have been sponsoring regular Health Camps which
provide rural women with professional testing for uterus and breast cancer, regular health check
ups, and health and medication awareness, including HIV/AIDS advocacy and education.

Continued Opportunities and Challenges

Incorporating Smart Card Technology
Mann Deshi is undertaking an initiative to become one of the first rural banks in India to utilize
cutting-edge SMART card technology for its banking operations. These plastic ‘credit cards’ will
display women’s names and photographs, utilizing micro-chip technology to store financial
information. The cards instantly allow the Bank’s field agents and clients to view savings account
balance, loan account status, and repayment history. The use of SMART cards will increase the
efficiency and business capacity of the Bank and provide clients with enhanced security and
service. The card benefits the clients by discreetly keeping her account information free from
unwanted inquiries and alterations. However, it has been challenging to find an appropriate
vendor to supply the technology and the hardware for this innovative new idea.

Establishing the Mann Deshi Marketing Center
Mann Deshi has recently established a mobile marketing center, designed to bring products and
services to clients in the most remote and rural areas of Maharashtra. The Center sells
enterprise related products and personal consumption items that were previously unavailable to
our clients. For example, the Center sells local street vendors oversized umbrellas. This is one
simple yet effective way to protect one of a woman’s most important assets – her health. The
umbrellas reduce a woman’s risk of falling ill, which directly affects her ability to earn.

The Marketing Center also strives to stock the products of our clients and sell them on the
broader market, with the goal of increasing their distribution and income capabilities. However,
this has proved to be challenging due to local limitations of scale, packaging, and advertising; we
are still searching for innovative ways to promote the products of our clients.

A unique and innovative feature of the Marketing Center is its credit linkage with the Mann Deshi
Mahila Bank. By offering our clients an instant credit link, we are further empowering our female
clients to have control not only of their savings, but also of their expenditures. Reducing the need
for a large cash transaction ensures that a woman’s money is spent only where she intends to
spend it.


Conducting our first Impact Assessment

Over the summer of 2006 we conducted an impact assessment with 60 clients in all four of our
branches. We examined our economic and social impact on clients; the results we found
exceeded our own expectations.

Almost three-quarters of our clients cited an increase in their income levels since starting their
own micro-enterprises with loans from Mann Deshi. They have consistently invested that extra
margin of income in the health and education of their families. Clients cite improved meal quality,
increased ability to purchase household and luxury items, enhanced confidence, and greater
respect within their families and the community as a result of their interaction with Mann Deshi.
Our clients also evaluated Mann Deshi’s services. Our status as a women’s bank is a strong
draw for clients and 100% of clients said that it was easy to take loans from Mann Deshi because
we require less documents than other banks and provide immediate loan disbursement.
According to our clients, when compared with other banks, Mann Deshi is much more efficient
and our staff provides better, friendlier services. We also asked our clients for suggestions for
improvement and are already at work taking their suggestions into account.

Improved Meal Quality

        Typical Meal Before Intervention (Respondents 23)                            Typical Meal After Intervention (respondents 23)

                                                            classficcation of
                                                      poor/standard/wealthy                                poor
               wealthy                                                                                     0%
                                                    poor: 1) bhakri, vegetable
                13%                poor
                                                       2) vegetables, chapati
                                          standard: 1) rice vegetable,chapati                                              standard
                                                2) chapati, bhakri, vegetable                                                39%

                                          wealty: 1) rice, chapati, ghee, fruits,
                                                                    pickle, milk
                                                 2) chapati, bhakri, dall, fruits,     wealthy
                                                                     vegetable          61%


Increased Ability to Buy Household and Luxury Items

Our clients have invested in cooking ware, tables, refrigerators, chairs, beds, toilets, floor tiling
and roof repair. Some have even been able to purchase luxury items such as bicycles,
televisions, mobile phones, two wheelers, vans, and CD players.

Improved Confidence

                Change in Confidence Level after Intervention

                                             not applicable decrease
                                                  8%          2%

                              no change


Greater Leadership and Respect in Family and Community

                     How did clients' position in family change?                                How did clients' position in community change?

increased respect/better                                                       SHG is serving the
                                                                       9   betterment of community.
       position                                                                                                   3
                                                                             SHG increased social
                                                                                  cohesion                                              "I got in touch with women
                                                                                                                                          in other classes and my
                                                                                                                                             view towards them
     increased decision
                                                    5                                                                                             changed."
       making power
                                                                            more active role in SHG               3

    capable of making
  independent decision
                                                                           assist other people in the
     family is more
  knowledgeable about               2
    banking services
                                                                           increased respect/higher
       increased family
                                                                                                                           number of people

        Assessment of Mann Deshi’s Services

                                 Why Did You Come to Mann Deshi?                                                                         Comparison with Other Banks - What Mann Deshi Offers

            Proximity            2                                                                                                   SHG Linkage         1
                                                                                 Although not mentioned explicitly,
                                                                                  most respondents did approach
                                                                                      bank for loan puposes.
   Comfort with and                                                                                                        Genuine focus on women                                    7
encouragement of staff

                 Loan                Most loans for business purposes          11                                              Lower Interest Rate                                       8

    Low Interest Rate                                                                    13                                    No other experience                                                          12

            Efficiency Quick loan approval and disbursement: 7 Less Documentation: 6          14                           Good Service from Staff                                                                              16

       Women's Bank                               Often tied into comfort with staff                                  19                Efficiency   Quicker Loan Disbursement: 11 Less Documentation: 3 Simpler Processes: 3        18

                                                              Number of Responses
                                                                                                                                                                                     Number of Responses

        Recognition of Our Work: Recent Awards

        We have recently won first prize in social sector of the international 2005 Ashoka Changemakers
        Innovation award, which promotes market-based strategies that benefit low-income communities.
        The award drew applications from 128 institutions in 28 different countries, and popular online
        voting selected the award winners from among the finalists.

        Our founder and chairperson Chetna Sinha has also recently been honored with the Jankidevi
        Bajaj Puraskar award for rural entrepreneurship. This national award honors a woman who has
        made an outstanding contribution to the uplift and welfare of women and children, particularly in
        rural areas. The award honors a woman who has promoted the advancement and empowerment
        of women in the fields of education, rights, and enhanced social status; Chetna has been a
        leading innovator in all of these fields.

        Mann Deshi Mahila Bank has also won the 2006 Microfinance Process Excellence Award,
        sponsored by ABN AMRO Bank and PlaNet Finance India. The goal of the competition is to
        foster the adoption of process management practices and improve the visibility and transparency
        of microfinance institutions. The competition also ranked quality of services and impact at the
        client level. Mann Deshi embarked on extensive training and institutional capacity building and
        placed first in western India, as one of six national winners out of 96 total applicants.

        Mann Deshi Self Help Group leader and bank client Vanita Pise has been declared one of three
        winners of the national CII-Bharti Woman Exemplar Award 2006. The Exemplar Award is
        designed to honor “grass-root, poor, under privileged community level women who have excelled
        in their contribution in the development process….The main duty of the person who receives the
        award is to empower others.” Vanita received her award from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in
        recognition of her extensive work organizing and empowering poor rural women and providing
        them with innovative business opportunities.

Meet Nandini Lohar

“Building Dreams, Frame by Frame”

Nandini Lohar’s home doubles as her workplace, with the tools of her trade lining the blue walls of
her rickety corrugated tin house. The 29 year old woman is a member of the Otherwise Backward
Castes and has used microfinance loans from Mann Deshi to finance her growing business
making frames for small posters of Gondavle Karmaraj, the local deity of Gondavle, in order to
sell them to the 750 pilgrims that visit the temple town each year.

Nandini comes from a caste whose members are traditionally blacksmiths and welders.
Members of this caste typically live hand to mouth, earning little more than a few rupees each day
sharpening farm equipment and building metal fences, subject to seasonal demand. There are
traditionally high rates of alcoholism and abuse and low rates of education within this caste that
works so hard and earns so little. Nandini and her husband are extraordinary in the
entrepreneurial vision they brought to the decision to convert their existing skills to make framed
deity posters for the steady stream of pilgrims. Their story is one of both struggle and success,
as they have been able to earn enough to send their children to school and live a life of relative

Nandini used her initial loans to buy the raw materials, tools, and machines necessary for her
business. Every year she travels to a neighboring city to buy wood, glass, plywood, glass cutting
instruments, and posters, and returns home where she cuts them to size, and nails them together
into frames. Her husband operates the larger plywood cutting machine they bought with one of
her loans. Nandini has invested extensively in the infrastructure for her business over the last few
years, slowly building her capacity to meet her long term visions of expansion.

However, because of her recent expenditures, Nandini has been forced to choose between
repaying her loan and buying the additional raw materials she needs for her growing business
demands. She says, “When there is season of business and I don’t have money for material I
become upset and can’t sleep wondering where I will manage to get the materials.” As the
festival season drew nearer, Nandini was able to borrow additional funds from friends and family,
and obtain a temporary loan repayment waiver from Mann Deshi, allowing her to capitalize on the
festival season and her new infrastructure.

Although her slow but steady upward mobility has isolated her from her caste, she believes it has
shown her a better alternative. She says with pride, “My life is not like other blacksmiths who
earn daily and eat daily.” She has surrounded herself with a community that values education
and discourages drinking, and she intends to instill those same values in her young children.

While the women of Mann Deshi have certainly benefited from the Bank’s services, we
have also learned a great deal from them. Our clients take the initiative to request new
savings and loan products, share their successes and failures, and constantly push us
to be more innovative and responsive to their needs.

The stories of these remarkable women are just 3 among the 50,000 that are served by
Mann Deshi. All the women of Mann Deshi have their own story to share. Each has
overcome her own set of struggles and triumphs, joys and sorrows. Our Bank is
proud to help these inspirational women who dare to dream big and work hard to
realize their potential.

Geographical Coverage Area

The Mann Deshi Bank is headquartered in Mhaswad, a village in the district of Satara, south of
Pune. Its operations cover parts of Satara, Solapur, Sangli, Raigarh, and Ratnagiri districts. The
Bank has three branches in Mhaswad, Vaduj, Gondavale, and an extension counter in Dahivadi.
Mann Deshi’s affiliate Self-Help Group Federation has five additional outreach offices.

Located on the Deccan plateau, the area is prone to drought and has one of the lowest annual
rainfall rates in the country. The economy is largely agricultural and relies heavily on the
production of millet, wheat, onions, and cotton.

Note: The stars represent branch or extension offices of Mann Deshi Bank.

 Financial Services

Individual loans
Individuals can receive loans of less than Rs15000 ($333) with the signatures of two other women,
who serve as guarantors. Those requesting more than Rs 15000 must put up some form of
collateral - a house, farmland, or livestock. Individuals may also take out loans using gold or their
deposits as collateral (Loan Against Gold and Loan Against Deposit, respectively). The Bank gives
70% of the gold’s value and 80% of an individual’s deposit as loans.

Self-Help Group Federation
The Mann Deshi Bank lends directly to our Self-Help Groups. The Groups then re-lend the money
to their members.


                   Clientele/          Maximum
Type of Loan                                               Terms                % Of Loans
                   Loan Type           Amount
Short-term         Street vendors      Rs 5,000-           Rate: 12%*          34%
1 Year             Small shop          10,000 ($110-       Fee: Rs 25
                   owners              $220)               Repayment:
Long-term          Working Capital Rs 30,000               Rate: 12%*          46%
2-5 Years          / Machinery     ($666)                  Fee: Rs 100
                   Agricultural                            Repayment:
                   Home Repairs /                          Monthly

Loan Against       Emergency           80% of deposit      Rate: 2%*           12%
Deposit                                                    Fee: None
1 Year                                                     Repayment:
Loan Against       Emergency           70% pure gold       Rate: 14%*          6%
Gold                                   value               Fee: Rs 25
1 Year                                                     Repayment:
Gold Loan          Asset               Value of 10         Rate: 15%*          2%
1 Year             Development         grams of gold       Fee: Rs 25
                                       or less (approx.    Repayment:
                                       Rs 9000 or          Monthly
* To encourage ownership of property among women, borrowers who own household property or
farmland receive a one-percent discount on rate of interest. An additional 3% is added if clients
choose to avail themselves of our doorstep agent services for loan repayment collection.

The Bank requires all of its borrowers to open savings accounts and to save regularly -
daily, weekly, or monthly. In addition, it has created a long-term savings account for
those wishing to save for old age.

Type of Savings Account          Description                      Interest rate
Regular Savings                  Maximum 2 withdrawals per        3.5%
Term Deposits                    Held for 15 days to 3 years      3.5% – 8.0%
Weekly and Monthly               Held for 6 months, 1 year,       5.5%*
Deposits                         or more
*A portion of the interest serves as the commission for the field agents

Mann Deshi provides Life and Accident Insurance for all its clients. Women receive a
lump sum payment of 25,000 rupees ($555) if they suffer from a debilitating accident,

and their families receive a lump sum payment from 5,000 to 25,000 rupees ($110 to
$555) in case of death.

Mann Deshi’s newest financial service is a pension scheme, designed to ensure
continued financial security for our clients. We have established a partnership with UTI
Mutual Funds to provide this important old-age security to our clients.

Financial Sustainability and Growth Strategy

The Mann Deshi Mahila Bank continues to prove that microfinance can be a viable and
effective financial tool for reaching the poorest of the poor. We pride ourselves on being
a financially sustainable enterprise. Our long-term goal is to move beyond the rural
areas to include the urban centers of Pune and Mumbai and to extend financial services
to the many migrant workers and street vendors in these areas.

                                        DEPOSIT AND LOAN GROWTH




 Rupees (lakh)






                       1997   1998   1999   2000       2001           2002   2003   2004   2005

                                                   Deposits   Loans

                                                       CLIENT GROWTH




  Number of Clients







                              1998   1999       2000   2001     2002          2003       2004      2005      2006


                                            Growth Trends and Projections*

                      2002  2003   2004                          2005         2006      2007      2008      2009
Branches                  1     1      2                             3            3         4         7        10
Extension Counters        0     0      0                             1            1         1         2         2
Members               2108  2350   2613                          3058         4567      6220      7492    104445
Clients              8700   9740 11020                          24244        48260     61062     81214    102101
Share Capital        23.82 30.54 35.22                              43        69.19    102.40    150.70    202.61
Reserves              1.78   3.75   1.46                             9           13     18.12     30.42     58.85
Total Own Funds      25.67 34.59 36.68                              52        82.19    120.52    181.12    261.46
Total Deposits      269.36 367.9 500.03                        630.75       826.26    1475.35   2672.40   4069.89
Total Advances      203.21 264.2 352.33                        433.53       619.60    1062.00   1924.00   2929.19
Working Capital     303.01 404.78 545.63                       686.88       914.13    1620.00   2903.52   4411.35
NPA                 1.00%     3% 3.84%                         2.99%        2.63%      1.96%     1.60%     1.32%
Total Income         43.76 58.97 77.44                            83.3        96.94    185.85    246.18    381.18
Total Expenditure    43.04 58.97 76.11                           81.83        94.63    171.69    222.96    349.99
Profit                 0.72  0.89   1.33                          1.48         2.31     14.16     23.22     31.19
CRAR               12.70% 12.62% 11.60%                       13.04%       14.60%     15.26%    15.40%    15.86%
CD Ratio              75%    69%    65%                           61%          68%       69%       68%       69%
* Note that all figures are in lakhs of rupees (100,000).

A Note from our Founder

Throughout Mann Deshi Bank’s nine year journey our women have taught me many things. I
gained strength and energy from our clients who were not only solving their own problems but
also going out of their way to help other women. When we started the Bank I never could have
anticipated the range of products and services which we now offer. I still remember that when we
started, some of our future clients asked for two doors so that those who wanted to enter
discretely from the back would be able to. As the Bank has grown I have realized that we are not
only providing financial services to women but we are also helping them control their income and

When we started the bank we initially provided our clients with saving boxes that they could fill up
at home and deposit in their savings account at the bank when they had filled them up. The
instinctive reaction of the women when they saw the box was fear that their husbands would
break the box and snatch away the money to spend on alcohol. Our challenge has always been
to design products in such a way that the income and expenditure remain in women’s hands.
Today we have many innovative and unique products like gold and goat loans, a pension
scheme, and education loans, all of which were designed by our women. For example, Laxmi
Shellarbai designed our goat loan and insisted that repayment be in Equalized Weekly
Installments (EWI) rather than our typical monthly schedule.

Financial engineers like Shellarbai have been able to attract the attention of the policy makers
and the financial institutions at the national and global level who now take the microfinance sector
seriously. Many bankers ask me if it is possible to recover the money with legal procedures in
case of unsecured loan default. My reply is that in Mhaswad legal procedures are less effective
than social procedures.

Mann Deshi not only faced the challenge of designing financial products for our women but we
were also determined to have additional services designed to help women own assets and
improve their lives in all areas. As a result, today Mann Deshi is starting a Business School for
Rural Women and is still striving to set up a marketing center to sell our women’s products.

Over the last few years, it has been interesting to see the way formal institutions have been ready
to partner with Mann Deshi and I am thankful for that. We are facing the challenges of scaling up
and expanding the scope of our services as we have decided that if we really want the families of
our clients to benefit than just credit is not enough. I am proud to share the accomplishments of
our women with you.

                                                                         - CHETNA GALA SINHA

Contact Us

Mann Deshi Mahila Sah. Bank Ltd.,                        Telephone: +91 02373 270119
Mhaswad                                                  Fax: +91 02373 270788
Tal – Mann, Dist – Satara                      
Maharashtra, India                             

Chetna Sinha, Founder and Chair                          Rekha Kulkarni, CEO                         

                        Prepared by Michelle Rosenthal, Fulbright Scholar
                           Pamela Sporborg, Portland State University


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