Bandhan Bank–An Inspiring Story | Bandhan, as an MFI, extended loans to small entrepreneurs
Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, the son of a small sweet-shop owner from Bengal, began a microfinance institution, Bandhan Financial Services Ltd and grew it to a private bank in less than 15 years.
Bandhan was set up in 2001. They started with 3 staff (including Ghosh) and 1 branch office in Howrah district in the state of West Bengal. Since then, there has been no looking back! Today they are operative in 22 States & Union Territories through a network of over 2,022 branches with more than 6.5 million customers.
They have disbursed Rs 5,07,008 million till date and our loan book stands at Rs 1,02,424 million. They have a dedicated and a committed workforce of 13,067 employees.
Bandhan was set up to address the dual objective of poverty alleviation and women empowerment.
While delivering microfinance services, Bandhan realized that it is not the last word for the development of the poor. There is lot of other support that the poor need for their holistic development.
Keeping this in mind, Bandhan has a separate wing for development programs and made intervention in important areas viz. education, health, unemployment, horticulture, livelihood and the like. Bandhan also have a specially designed grant based program for the poorest of the poor, those who are by passed by microfinance. These development initiatives are now being scaled up.
FirstPost reports that Ghosh was born into a family of Bangladeshi refugees. Since his father had just his tiny sweet shop as the only source of income, Ghosh was raised with limited resources. Ghosh’s father struggled to give him good education, but some how managed to send the boy to Dhaka University to study statistics.
It was in 1985, Ghosh started working for BRAC, an international development agency based in Bangladesh. The organisation trained him and appointed as a field officer in one of the most poverty-stricken areas of Bangladesh. Later, Ghosh involved himself with several NGOs working with the poor in West Bengal.
That period also initiated Ghosh to the world of microfinance. In the following days, he learned the nuances of microfinance and formed Bandhan in West Bengal. Ghosh started out as a worker in a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in 2001, giving tiny loans to help the poor in Kolkata’s suburban town of Konnagar.