Sa-Dhan Board elects Paul Thomas as the Chairperson

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Sa-Dhan Board elects Paul Thomas as the Chairperson
Sa-Dhan Board elects Paul Thomas as the Chairperson

Sa-Dhan is the premier association of impact and microfinance institutions in India, having been approved by the RBI as a Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) for Microfinance Institutions.

Paul Thomas, the CEO and Managing Director of ESAF Small Finance Bank, has been named the new Chairperson of Sa-Dhan, the consortium of impact finance and microfinance organizations. Thomas had previously held the position of co-chair for Sa-Dhan.

ESAF Microfinance and Investments Pvt. Ltd. is part of the ESAF Group, which was founded by Paul Thomas. He has over 32 years of management experience, with over 25 of those years spent in microfinance. Through financial inclusion, he has made a substantial contribution to the change of communities. During his eighteen years with the Indian Farmers Fertilizers Co-operative Ltd. (IFFCO), before launching ESAF, he became aware of the potential of microfinance to benefit rural populations. In addition, he established the Kerala Association of Microfinance Institutional Entrepreneurs (KAMFI) and has served as a director on the boards of other microfinance apex organizations.

In 1992, ESAF Small Finance Bank was founded as an NGO with the goal of assisting the impoverished and disenfranchised in achieving long-term change. These days, it emphasizes inclusive banking while serving rural, semi-urban, urban, and unbanked communities. Motivated by Grameen Bank’s achievements in Bangladesh, ESAF branched out into microfinance in 1995 and established ESAF Microfinance and Investments Pvt. Ltd. to formally launch its operations in 2008.

Sa-Dhan is the premier association of impact and microfinance institutions in India, having been approved by the RBI as a Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) for Microfinance Institutions. Founded more than 20 years ago, it promotes the expansion of impact finance that is inclusive. With about 220 members working in 33 states and union territories, Sa-Dhan serves about 44 million customers with loans totaling more than ₹1,27,801 crores. The National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) has also designated it as a National Support Organization (NSO).

For-profit and nonprofit MFIs, SHG-promoting organizations, banks, rating agencies, and capacity-building organizations are among the diversified membership of Sa-Dhan. Together, they seek to improve knowledge of the microfinance industry among important parties, such as banks, researchers, and policymakers.

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