Here’s one of the inspiring stories of a great entrepreneur with a vision of providing basic banking services to the unbanked in villages of India.
Manish Khera– the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Financial Inclusion Network and Operations (FINO), which operates as one of the world’s largest branch less banking channels through a network of over 30,000 business correspondents. Like any bank, FINO Paytech wants people to save, borrow and use financial services. Just that FINO is not a bank, and its clientele is not the kind of people you run into at the teller machine. The company’s clients are rikshaw pullers, maids, paanwallahs, chauffeurs, casual laborers and other odd jobbers who barely manage to make a living. Khera believes that FINO’s business model will transform the traditional approach of serving the undeserved and will bring about deeper penetration in the customer base and improve operational efficiency as well as drive economic growth. Fino is now valued at close to 700 crore bolstered by an equity investment of 150 crore from private equity giant Blackstone.
Khera and FINO engaged with millions of customers and saw the potential in the saving power of the poor when banks shied away. Where the government and the RBI want every citizen to hold a bank account, banks don’t see the sense in serving the below poverty line segment. FINO believes these segments are a good business case. At present, FINO has around 50 million customers and has brought financial inclusion to millions of people across 26 states.
- The World Economic Forum honoured FINO with a Technology Pioneer Award in 2011.
- Forbes India awarded FINO as the “Startup of the year” in Forbes Leadership Awards,2012.