UPMA 2nd State Micro Finance Conclave, Lucknow - 2017

The UPMA State Micro Finance Conclave was organised by Microfinance Association of Uttar Pradesh in association with The Times Group and Federation of Indian Chambers of commerce and Industry (FICCI). It was held on 21st August 2017 in Lucknow and mainly highlighted the initiatives of Microfinance Corporation in small industries development.

The event was marked with the presence of some biggest names from the world of banking and finance who came together to discuss and debate critical issues pertaining to the MFI sector and chart the road map for the future. The event witnessed largest gathering of CEOs from MFI sector, CFOs, senior representation from regulators like SIDBI. The conclave highlighted the significance of microfinance and the necessity to ensure its easy accessibility.

The event was divided in three sessions, the first session was "Governance in Microfinance", where the panel discussed observance of best Corporate Governance Practices and Building public image. The second session, "MUDRA Yogna Behind the Numbers" where the panel discussed the way forward for MFIs in engaging with MUDRA (Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Ltd.). The last session, "Demonetisation: Impact, Learning and Way Forward", was to encourage financial sector to develop systems and procedures to combat any such eventuality.

While discussing about changes brought in finance sector after demonetisation and the role of Microfinance institutions in providing finance to SMEs and small entrepreneurs, Mr. Sudhir Sinha, CEO, UPMA stated that, "We should work towards providing small loans of 50 thousand and help towards women empowerment in small and medium business sector." He added that, "We should encourage people to make use of cashless transactions in their business so as to achieve the goal of making India Digital which is the road to nations development."

The CEO of Nelito Systems Ltd, Mr. Punit Jain was the panellist for discussion on Demonetisation: Impact, Learning and Way Forward where he averred, "Digital is the need of the hour and to have both high tech and high touch is the necessity in today's world. Currently every business should know the customer value, have strong technology and take steps towards making their business agile, so that they can adapt to the changes quickly and cost effectively."

He also stated that, "After demonetisation some of the MFIs which had strong IT Systems managed to react faster but many of the large microfinance companies took time to stabilize and have reasonable IT systems in place. As per the present scenario cashless transactions is mandatory, quick and cost effective. For this we need to upgrade ourselves according to the latest trends and technology to survive in such a competitive world."

This event also focused on how financial service providers must take efforts in increasing financial self-sufficiency and expanding client reach and should also have ability to meet high performance standards. This forum was a melting pot of futuristic ideas for the Microfinance sector.

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