CreditAccess Grameen Limited (formerly known as Grameen Koota Financial Services Pvt. Ltd.) was born out of the need for timely and affordable credit to India's poor and low-income households.
Grameen Koota was visualized by Mrs. Vinatha M. Reddy in December 1996, inspired by the book ‘Give Us Credit’ by Alex Counts, President and CEO, Grameen Foundation USA. The book detailed remarkable stories of Bangladesh's poor who raised themselves out of poverty through the use of micro-credit during the microfinance movement, spearheaded by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.
Grameen Koota was founded in May 1999 as a project under the T. Muniswamappa Trust (TMT), an NGO in South Bangalore. Grameen Trust, Bangladesh, provided seed capital funding to TMT to replicate the Grameen Bank Bangladesh microfinance model.
Grameen Koota adapted the Grameen Bank's group lending methodology of microfinance to the Indian setting and launched operations in Avalahalli on the outskirts of South Bangalore. It offered collateral-free loans as well as other services to women from poor and low-income households with the aim of creating equal opportunities and inclusive development of both urban and rural poor. The loans intended to help customers raise their standard of living and break the cycle of poverty. Grameen Koota steadily groomed a class of mature and financially literate women entrepreneurs who began to outgrow the group lending model.
Grameen Koota targets women because they are an integral part of the family, community and country's socio-economic environment. It has been observed that women tend to use resources more productively, so improving financial access for women may increase their participation in the family's and the community's development.
In 2007, the microfinance activities of Grameen Koota was transferred from NGO to a well-regulated and registered Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC), which subsequently got reclassified into a regulated and governed Non-Banking Financial Company - Micro Finance Institutions (NBFC-MFI) entity by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2013. Grameen Koota continues to be the operating brand name of CreditAccess Grameen Limited (formerly known as Grameen Koota Financial Service Private Limited).
Grameen Koota offers a multitude of both financial and non-financial products and services to cater to the life cycle needs of its customers. Grameen Koota products are subject to periodic modifications based on feedback from customers and input from staff.
Our financial services include :
1. Microcredit which includes Income Generation Loan, Family Welfare Loan, Emergency Loan and Home Improvement Loan. Income Generation Loans are offered to establish a new enterprise or expand an existing business. Family Welfare Loans support activities that improve the quality of life. These loans are disbursed for education needs, medical needs, lifestyle improvement products (solar lights, cook stoves, etc), celebration of festivals and livelihood improvement expenses. Home Improvement Loans fund home repairs including extending or adding rooms, constructing toilets, availing water connections and rain-proofing homes. Grameen Koota also offers the Emergency Loan which aims to address short-term cash flow constraints of customers. The loan may be used to pay utility bills, for medical emergencies or to purchase ration.
2. Pension: As an aggregator of the National Pension Scheme ("NPS") of the Government of India, Grameen Koota collects contributions from the customer’s doorstep to encourage them to enrol in the Pension Scheme. Customers have to contribute a minimum of Rs. 1,000 and a maximum of Rs. 12,000 in a year to become eligible for the Swavalamban benefit of Rs. 1,000 from the Government of India.
Our non-financial services consist of training, education and awareness creation programs promotion of financial literacy; basic health/nutrition education; basic medical services; special medical services for women and children; women's rights/gender issues education.