Inditrade (JRG) Group of Companies, based on micro-finance and agri commodity industry in Kerala, is planning to disburse a total of Rs 100 crore in the state by the end of the current fiscal, a top official of the Company said.
''Our Micro Finance business will start operating from Thrissur and Palakkad districts in Kerala and over the next few months, we will have at least ten branches and will be targeting a total disbursement of Rs 100 crore in Kerala by the end of the current fiscal 2018-19,’’ Inditrade (JRG) Group of Companies Chairman Sudip Bandyopadhyay disclosed in an interview with UNI.
Informing that the company had launched their Micro Finance business through a subsidiary, Inditrade Micro Finance in April last year, he said after successfully running the business in parts of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu during the last financial year, we are now planning to launch the business in Kerala, in the month of April itself.
Replying to question on how his company would help the farmers to get good return as well as to free from the clutches of middlemen, Bandyopadhyay said it was unfortunate that banks were not able to provide support to farmers (post harvest) and micro borrowers due to structural reasons and the company hope to make some difference in this area by providing post harvest agri finance and Micro Finance to small entrepreneurs.
''By providing post harvest financing for agri commodities, we are seeking to improve the price discovery mechanism for it and facilitate increasing of farm income,'' he further stated.
When pointed out the difficulties of getting loan to small farmers and the exploitation of private money lenders, he said ''while number of micro finance institutions are definitely increasing, our experience on ground demonstrates that even today almost 80 per cent of the demand of this segment is met by informal sources (money lenders etc.). Thus, only 20 per cent of their requirements are met by organized sector including Micro Finance companies.''
Regarding the operations of the company, he said ''we have been providing complete personal financial services for the last 25 years in Kerala. This includes equity, commodity, currency and insurance broking and distribution of financial products through our vast network of branches and franchises in Kerala. Apart from these, we are into agri commodity financing in the state. As explained, we will also soon launch Micro Finance business in Kerala,'' he added.
Asked about demonetisation, he said ''while demonetization and GST implementation did create some issues for various businesses, we are now witnessing steady growth in all our businesses, on the expected lines. Demonetization created problems for our agri commodity financing business as during the period November 2016 and January 2017, the commodities arriving at the mandis drastically came down. This affected the volumes and led to suboptimal financial results. However, the situation has improved and is expected to improve even further. Stating that the GST implementation didn't have much impact on their businesses, he said the impact whatever, was only operational and not financial.
Asked about the reason behind concentrating business more in Kerala, Bandyopadhyaysaid '' Kerala being our home state, we look at Kerala for launching all our new initiatives. We finance agri commodities like rubber, pepper cardamom etc. in the states of Kerala,’’Bandyopadhyay said. (UNI)