Financial inclusion: Multi-pronged approach required | SupportBiz

Finance Forum

Financial inclusion: Multi-pronged approach required

It is known to all that financial inclusion has a critical role to play in India’s growth story. A Financial Inclusion Conclave was recently organized by Dun & Bradstreet and the State Bank of India, where key stakeholders of the financial industry came together to highlight the opportunities and critical challenges faced for by them in ensuring sustainable growth.

For inclusive and sustainable growth,  a well-functioning financial system is important.   Financial inclusion is the only  thing which can justify this goal.

Expressing his views on the significance of financial inclusion in the current economic scenario, TKA Nair, Advisor to the Prime Minister of India, urged the industry stakeholders to pour in more energy in this direction.  He said, “Financial inclusion should not just remain a buzz word. It should form one of the core activities of  banks and financial institutions. Financial inclusion is not  important for the government alone, but  is also extremely important for the industry and financial institutions. Although a beginning has been made in this direction,  there is still a long way to go.”

Ashish Chauhan, MD  and CEO, BSE Ltd., said, “If the telecom industry can rise from its ashes, the financial sector is in a much better shape to do so. Technology will play a key role in bringing inclusion in this sector. Awareness is very important in order to revive the status of financial inclusion in the country. BSE has made efforts through several investor awareness programs, by which we have directly touched  2,00,000 individuals,  through the media - both print and television.  However, considering its  potential, several million more individuals are required to get educated  on this subject.”

RK Das, Country Head - International Consultancy, Economic Research, Central Co-ordination, SIDBI,  highlighted  the role of policies in financial inclusion. He said, “There are sufficient policies and loans to encourage financial inclusion in the MSME sector. However, there is still a long way to go before the picture really becomes as desired. We have already created 10 dedicated branches for venture capital funds; we are building capacity at regional rural banks so that risk assessment can get better. Another important key is financial literacy for micro entrepreneurs.”

Speaking at the event, Byron C Vielehr,  President,  D&B International, and head of Global Operations, Dun & Bradstreet Corp, said, “Financial inclusion has been accorded high importance to aid the inclusive growth process for any economy. In this regard, D&B India has undertaken various capacity-building initiatives for micro, small  and medium enterprises, and has conducted over 250 programs across different clusters. In fact, D&B manages the world’s most valuable commercial database, with information on  220 million-plus companies. Of this, over 80% of the  companies  are small businesses. D&B India has over 10.3 million records in its database, of which 90% consist of  small and medium enterprises. Through seminars such as the Financial Inclusion Conclave, D&B will continue to be committed to this sector and the development of MSMEs.”

The objective of the Conclave was to understand how stakeholders co-exist to make the economy financially inclusive and effectively reach the bottom of the pyramid. At the event, industry players interacted and shared their ideas, vision and plans for financial inclusion.