MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Nandan Nilekani, Ratan Tata, Vijay Kelkar, R.Venkataramanan Announce the Start of New Microfinance Company, Avanti Finance

Nandan Nilekani, Co-founder of Infosys Limited; Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons; Vijay Kelkar, Chairman of India’s National Institute of Public Finance and Policy; and R. Venkataramanan, Managing Trustee of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, recently announced the launch of Avanti Finance, “a technology enabled financial inclusion vehicle.” Mr Nilekani and Mr Tata have also announced that the investments will come from their philanthropic capital, with any gains reinvested back into the firm. The amounts invested have not been disclosed. Avanti plans to start operations during March 2017, pending authorization from the Reserve Bank of India.

The microfinance company will use technology platforms such as India Stack, an “application program interface” providing features including Aadhaar authentication, electronic document storage, Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and digital signatures. These features are intended to minimize operating costs, allowing for the provision of loans at lower costs for underserved segments [1].

By Sharanya Madhavan, Research Associate

Sources and Additional Resources:

[1] LiveMint: Ratan Tata, Nandan Nilekani to start microfinance company

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