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A micro-finance primer

“The Poor and their Money” is the title of a book I recently found at our library. All the business papers talk about microfinance being the next best thing. Major Indian banks like ICICI Bank are active and have been working with NGOs. After economics and operations, finance is one subject I can identify myself with. Having my Appa as a practising investment consultant and four years of experience with personal finance (especially when the stock markets have grew almost thrice so that any fool should have made money), I am familiar with quite a few terms and know a few tips. Finance is most certainly a function with high returns. For instance globally Citibank leads the Forbes list. Financial institutions and energy companies dominate the list, in assets or profits. Of course, an MBA gets easily into the former and does not have to worry about the pay.

Microfinance is an emerging discipline. It has the charm of finance, of playing with the money and also has the nice feeling of helping the people at the bottom of the pyramid. It helps the poor to manage their money. But by definition, the poor have little money and so the discipline itself seems to be a paradox. Rutherford argues that for the very reason that they have little money, it is of prime importance to them to manage it properly. He goes on to talk about how the poor save money, what kind of institutions (the so-called MFIs) exist to serve them and how this could be best done. His experience is largely based in India and he insists that his book is not strictly academic. The book is a breeze to read and has just more than a hundred pages. You could download the book here on the net. This post is intentionally short as I am still getting used to the features of WordPress and I also have my mid-terms over the next two days. Interestingly, finance is the first of the lot!

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Categories: Books
  1. Me
    19 October 2005 at 5:11 am

    this is the first time i am hearing abt microfinance…..i know nothing abt finance as such other some financial indicators & stuff as as applied to stock markets….

    & reg ur template i think blue was good…i feel this is too jazzy…. 🙂 ….wat do u feel

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