Scaling-up access to finance for India's rural poor presents a formidable developmental challenge in a country as vast and varied as India. Despite, it was in this context that Skoch Development Foundation undertook the first-ever nationwide multi-stakeholder study entitled "National Study on Speeding Financial Inclusion". This study sought to collate primary research based on our grassroots experiences from several project sites and field visits; and, views from all stakeholders so as to arrive at key interventions and intermediations to speed up the process of financial inclusion, and thereby poverty alleviation. The total number of no-frill accounts opened over a two-year period (April 1, 2007 to May 30, 2009) stands at 25.1 million, according to the research undertaken by Skoch Development Foundation, but only 11 per cent are operational. Apart from providing key recommendations in the form of a roadmap to speed up the process of financial inclusion, the study also sought to determine the viability and cost-effectiveness of the Business Correspondent (BC) model and has identified several options to make the BC model viable. What makes this book special?
It is the maiden attempt at mid-term performance appraisal of financial inclusion in India. It brings out viability gaps in business, technology and regulatory framework. It is the result of primary research and extensive travel over 6-month period. Additionally stakeholder group meetings, focus group discussions and a national senior level consultation make this work distinguished.
Sameer Kochhar, Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director, Skoch Consultancy Services is an industry veteran with a multifaceted career spanning over two and a half decades. He is considered to be one of the most respected independent voices on inclusive development and citizenship issues in India. Deepak B. Phatak is Subrao M. Nilekani Chair Professor at the Kanwal Rekhi School of Information Technology at Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India. He is an eminent consultant and advisor to many organisations on issues related to Information Technology. H. Krishnamurthy is Principal Research Scientist, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He has more than 30 years of experience in teaching, research and consulting. His areas of interest includes: communication and networking and internet technologies. Gursharan Dhanjal, an expert in strategic affairs, is Executive Vice President, Skoch Consultancy Services. He has over 17 years of working experience ranging from academics to research and business journalism to consulting. His areas of expertise include research, and rich media content.