Annapurna Finance Pvt. Ltd (AFPL)
Region and country of operations: Asia, India
Jurisdiction of registration: India
Business sector: Microfinance
Date of agreement (month/year): 6/2019
Finnfund’s financing: EUR 15,000,000
Share of Finnfund’s financing: max 5%
Size of project/financing: Project company’s total balance sheet approx. EUR 340 million as of Feb 2019
Environmental and social category: FI-B
Annapurna Finance Pvt. Ltd (AFPL) was established in 2009, and is now one of the top ten non-banking finance companies providing microfinance (NBFC-MFIs) in India. It has its roots as a part of a not-for-profit entity reaching the underserved areas of the state of Odisha and addressing the economic necessities of poor women. Odisha is still an important part of Annapurna’s operations, and the company headquarters is located in Bhubaneswar.
In 2013 Annapurna registered itself with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as an NBFC-MFI. The company offers mainly group loans to women residing in rural areas of India. The gross loan portfolio of the company reached to ₹2354 crore (EUR 295 million) on December 18th, reaching 1,4 million clients. The portfolio consists mainly of microloans.
In addition to reaching and serving the underserved segment of the society, Annapurna’s objectives include providing financial and technical support to strengthen entrepreneurial skills of its clients for effective and efficient undertaking of business activities. Annapurna continues to innovate its products and delivery mechanisms to make the whole life cycle of micro-credit as relevant as possible for its clients.
Finnfund sees that Annapurna’s activities contribute to SDG5 (promoting gender equality) and, therefore, financing to the company qualifies as a gender project.
Annapurna is rated by three local rating agencies: ICRA: BBB+ (Stable); CARE: BBB+ (Stable); CRISIL bank rating: A- (Stable) and CRISIL microfinance rating: mfR1.
In addition, Annapurna is SMART certified MFI and has a social rating from MicroFinanza Rating (A+).
Main development impact
Annapurna has a strong social mission. Main development impact comes through increasing micro-lending to underserved women in rural India, which enables women’s economic empowerment and increases independence. The company strives to improve female participation to workforce by paying attention on gender when recruiting and promoting, following its own gender action plan.