Build an inclusive microfinance career
Saumya Bhattacharya May 1, 2008
With microfinance institutions (MFIs) coming into focus, both at the level of policy and growth, there are career opportunities galore in the sector. While a wide-range of openings are at the level of field workers, the sector is facing a talent crunch at the managerial level, especially following the Reserve Bank of India’s focus on the sector. Says C.S. Ghosh, CEO, Bandhan, a leading micro credit company: “There are huge job opportunities in microfinance as the sector is very people-driven.”“While these MFIs come up with the aim of serving the poor, they are slowly moving to serve the category of customers who are dynamic in cash flows but not served by banks proactively,” says D. Sattaiah, Vice-President (HR), Basix India, an MFI comprising a non-banking finance company engaged in credit and an NGO engaged in technical assistance.To keep this rapid expansion on track, the sector needs graduates and undergraduates at the executive level and people with over twoto-three years experience for managerial positions. “Typically, for every client base of a million, over 3,500-4,000 persons are employed,” Sattaiah says, adding that at the entry level, local undergraduates become the target sources. In the executive cadre, fresh graduates are recruited and trained.
Hence, the need to bridge the demand-supply gap.
The problem of finding the right talent has intensified as there are very few universities and colleges that offer courses in microfinance.
At the managerial level, professionals, particularly management graduates, are needed in large numbers.
For those looking at an inclusive career, one requisite skill is a clear understanding of the customer’s socio-economic background. Mainstream bankers have also upped the hiring ante.