Bangalore: Microfinance institution Janalakshmi Financial Services (JFS), founded by former Citibanker Ramesh Ramanathan, has named former Morgan Stanley India head Narayan Ramachandran to its board of directors.
JFS, which focuses on the urban poor and counts over 100,000 clients, plans to start offering housing loans of up to Rs5 lakh, to cater to the potentially vast demand in the segment. It has outstanding loans of Rs85 crore, which it intends to expand to Rs300 crore by 2011.
Ramachandran will focus on the execution of JFS’ financial inclusion plans. “There is a need to connect and catalyse change to address the issue of financial inclusion by microfinance institutions (MFIs),” he said.
He will also take a minority stake in JFS and invest in its next round of funding. JFS now has three investors—the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Lok Capital Llc and Bellwether Microfinance Fund.
“Bringing in a well-established personality from the financial services sector enhances comfort of banks with the MFI,” said Samir Bali, partner, financial services, Ernst and Young.