New Delhi: Lending to the poor in times of financial turmoil may actually be a sound idea. This is the view Vikram Akula, CEO and founder of SKS Microfinance, wants to share with fellow investors. His firm services 3.5 million underprivileged people across the country and he says, ”We see returns on investments ranging from 25% to 100%”. Akula informs that his institution has just closed a deal for Rs366 crore investment. This is the largest in the world, he says.
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SKS Microfinance was launched in 1998 and is one of the fastest growing microfinance organizations in the world. Its borrowers range from farmers, vegetable vendors to basket weavers, potters and those in new age businesses like beauty parlor and photography. Its products range from plain loans to insurance and even investment products. At present, it has a portfolio outstanding of Rs 2500 crore in the market and has a 99.5% rate of repayment.