Disha India Micro Credit is an offshoot of Disha Social Organization, one of the leading and respected voluntary organisations of north India. DIMC has been started with the objective of economic empowerment and financial inclusion of poor and low income people in the villages. The number of self help groups in the community has increased phenomenally in the recent years, with matching increase in the demand for credit.
The nationalised banks have definitely made an entry in the rural markets, yet there is a huge discrepancy between what is decided at their policy level and what is implemented at the grassroots. The organisation realised that a chain of economic development has set in through SHGs, and unless the demand for credit is met timely, this chain would not be able to sustain. Hence the organisation launched its microfinance programme in June 2006 with its own small fund of Rs 2 lakh.
While experimenting with this small amount for a period of eight months, the organisation also initiated dialogue with banks and financial institutions for raising funs. ABN AMRO Bank was one of the first banks to visit the organisation. The personnel from the bank appreciated the strong bond that the organisation shared with the community and the large number of highly aware, empowered and competent SHGs that the organisation had formed in the community. ABN AMRO Foundation India took over thereafter for technical assistance and capacity building of the organization while it ventures into the specialised field of microfinance. Many banks and financial institutions like Punjab National Bank, SIDBI, Ananya Finance for Inclusive Growth Pvt. Ltd. (FWWB), Indian Grameen Services, HDFC Bank and HSBC Bank approach Disha for finance to poor people. Besides this Disha is also working as a business correspondent of Yes Bank. Under this programme, Rs 32 crore were disbursed during 2013-14.
With the growth in partnerships with various banks and inflow of funds, today DIMC's loan portfolio is rapidly increasing every month. With two loan products and one insurance product DIMC is catering to 32,000 SHG members across 60 villages in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. The technical assistance continues with the help of AAFI and Microsave.