Sri Lanka micro lender re-branded as Sarvodaya Development Finance
ECONOMYNEXT – Sarvodaya, a Sri Lanka based charity said its micro-finance unit had been re-branded as Sarvodaya Development Finance which will also start lending to the lower end of the small and medium business sector.
The firm was earlier known as Deshodaya Development Finance Limited.
Chief Executive Ravindra Ranjith said the firm had 60 outlets and worked with 500 Sarvodaya societies. Sarvodaya is a charity working to uplift the poor through self-help.
Out of 125,000 customers of Sarvodaya Development Finance, 55 percent were women. Out of its customers who borrowed money to start economic activities 75 percent were women.
Sarvodaya founder A T Ariyaratne said the charity through its village activities had worked to eliminated differences in caste and race.
Chairman Eastman Narangoda said the firm is developing some leasing products and it wanted to be a development bank in the future.
Director Vinya Ariyaratne said the Sarvodaya organization as its main shareholder of the micro-finance did not take any dividends.
Over 81.3 percent of Sarvodaya Development Finance Limited was owned by Sarvodaya Economic Enterprises Development (Guarantee) Limited and 18.6 percent by Gentosha Total Aset Consulting Inc., of Japan.
Sarvodaya Development Finance also owned 75.5 percent of George Steuart Finance Plc, which it had acquired as part of a regulator driven consolidation move. The two firms will be merged in the future through a share swap.