Muthoot Group Launches Training Programme for Women Entrepreneurs
The Hindu Business Line Bureau

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Muthoot Pappachan Group has launched “Dialogue on Business,” a set of award-winning modules focussing on building the business skills of women micro entrepreneurs.

It is an educational model oriented to potential as well as established entrepreneurs, according to Mr Thomas Muthoot, Director, Muthoot Fincorp. The initiative will train 20,000 women entrepreneurs in the next one year.

The Muthoot Pappachan Group is one of the largest family promoted and professionally managed business conglomerates based in Kerala with a presence in diversified fields such as banking and finance, hotels and resorts, real estate, automobile sales, power generation and IT Infrastructure. Muthoot Fincorp Ltd is the financial services division of the Group, and a non-banking financial company registered with the Reserve Bank of India. It has a network of 750 branches across the country and a customer base of more than a million.

While going strong with its core business of gold loan, the Muthoot Group has ventured into providing micro finance (cash flow based business loan) in 2008. The number of borrowers under the ‘Muthoot Business Loan' portfolio has now grown to 7,400, with more than 25 per cent being women entrepreneurs.

The training programme, launched in Kottayam last week, has standardised quality with all facilitators and entrepreneurs being certified by Accion, an international non-profit organisation in the private sector.

Accion's mission is to give people the financial tools they need to work their way out of poverty. To date, the Accion training programme has trained more than seven lakh micro entrepreneurs, 60 per cent of whom are women.
The programme offers benefits for Muthoot Fincorp enabling it to offer clients credit plus services, loyalty building, lower client attrition rate while also facilitating the launch of new products and services to clients as they grow in businesses.

The Dialogue on Business training is executed by certified Accion Master Facilitators, Mr Muthoot said. Accion conducts periodical impact evaluation to measure the success of the programme enabling entrepreneurs to increase competitiveness in the market to generate more income and improve their economic and living conditions.

Dialogue on Business builds on the existing knowledge of entrepreneurs and offers them an integral development vision, beyond simple administration of their business.

The training programme is extensive, participatory and reality-based, using a lot of interactive games and role-plays to solve real-life business challenges. It has proved engaging for people with little formal education who may not learn effectively in a traditional classroom setting, Mr Muthoot said.

The courses offered are self management for women, leadership, entrepreneur and the management, The feasibility of my business, from the idea to the business, communication and promotion, cash management, savings and investment and debt. Each course lasts an average of five hours and is adapted to entrepreneur's time and availability.