On posturing by MFIs

MS Sriram has an article on MFIs, where he insists on the importance on ‘modesty’ as an important personal and organisational attribute in general, doing business, but especially when working with the poor.

When Mexico’s Compartamos, one of the largest MFIs in Latin America, was a not-for-profit, it was not really questioned much on its “sustainability” issue. The moment it became a bank, and particularly after it issued shares in the secondary market, several eyebrows went up. Fundamentally nothing had changed with regard to Compartamos vis-a-vis the clients. In case of Bolivia’s BancoSol, the differences between the profit orientation and the social orientation became very sharp, with those with a social orientation moving back to a not-for-profit model leaving the people with commercial orientation to continue the mainstream banking operations.

Does hit home, with microfinance in India. However, we need to see ‘modesty’ not just in terms of lifestyle, but also in terms what we think we have achieved, especially in development

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