500,000 people in India have been able to expand their businesses and support their families using savings accounts and loans from our partner Swadhaar. That’s because Swadhaar has made it their mission to create a financial sector that works for everyone — building products and services to reach vulnerable and underserved people.
Swadhaar was one of our first partnerships in India, and we’ve been proud to stand by them as they’ve grown from 6,000 clients a decade ago to half a million today. Our Global Advisory Solutions team has provided Swadhaar with technical assistance as they’ve expanded geographically, launched financing products for small and medium businesses, and even started an agency banking partnership with co-investor RBL Bank in 2014 — one of the first of its kind in the country. Swadhaar serves as a ‘banking correspondent’ for RBL, responsible for sourcing clients, evaluating creditworthiness, and monitoring repayments for RBL while leveraging the bank’s balance sheet and infrastructure.
Swadhaar’s partnership with RBL Bank enables shops and other small businesses to bring banking services directly to people in underserved locations. This allows the program to reach people who don’t have access to local bank branches. Thanks to the success of this initiative, the relationship between these two companies continues to grow. RBL Bank has now increased its investment in Swadhaar. With this move, RBL Bank will help the agency banking program scale across India and provide high-quality financial tools and services to still more customers.
With hundreds of millions of Indians left out of or poorly served by the formal financial sector, we hope that Swadhaar and RBL Bank’s growing partnership gives even more people the tools they need to build better lives.