SAHARA UTSAGA WELFARE SOCIETY (SUWS) developed a well managed microfinance company catering to a large part of West Bengal and proud owners of India 5000 Best MSME Company  2018.

Sahara Utsarga Welfare Society (SUWS) is very popular name in the state of West Bengal so far microfinance activities are concerned. Though formally established in 1993 it came into microfinance operation effectively in the year 1998. Sahara Utsarga has been working with the objective of poverty alleviation and women empowerment through the process of financial inclusion. Their main thrust is to work with women who are in socially and economically disadvantageous position, for their social up-liftment and economic emancipation.

Women from poorest of the poor and under privilege families living in distress situation in both rural and urban areas are being provided microcredit by SUWS and the whole operation runs through its branches, located in within the close proximity. Here is a snap shot of activities at branches:

Area Selection:

After the approval of the higher management the target area selection is done by the Regional Manager (BM), Divisional Manager(DM) and Community organizer (CO). They visit the place and considered three major points for area selection and those are:

  • Number of poor households in the area.
  • Primary and secondary Occupation if any of those families.
  • Availability/ non-availability of constant flow of income.

 Group formation:

  • CO meets a large section of the community, and request to have a meeting. Female members to be present as the primary condition of the borrower are female.
  • On the meeting day CO detail on the loan procedure, why women as a borrower, loan products and the terms and condition.
  • Assist in forming the women groups.
  • CO then visits the houses of the members, collects the KYC documents and fills in the loan application forms. After verifying the loan application form and making an assessment of the repayment ability of the applicant, CO shortlists the members for the proposed group and recommends the same to the BM for loan sanction.

Loan Appraisal:

  • Loan Appraisal process starts with the judgment of creditworthiness of the proposed borrowers by Branch Manager after visiting the borrower’s residence personally and cross-checks the information given in the loan application form.
  • Branch Manager derives the final list of members who would be given loan and sends the loan proposals to Head Office for verification by the Credit Bureau.
  • Based on the clearance from Credit Bureau, the Branch Manager issues the sanction letters to the borrowers.

Loan Disbursement:

  • Loan generally disbursed on the 3rd week of Group formation.
  • At the time of loan disbursement, 1% custom mentoring charges and 1.05% insurance charge (risk Fund) on actual would be collected from the borrower.
  • Loan is disbursed in the form of transfers to Bank accounts or in cash at the Branch office in presence of all community organizers. Loan agreements stating the terms and conditions of the disbursement are signed by the borrower. Each member is provided with individual passbook and repayment schedule for tracking of future repayments.

Collection Process:

  • The collections are made at the group meetings by the CO who will collect the installment amount from borrowers and update respective pass books and CO Register.
  • After collection from 4 to 5 groups in a day, the CO hands over the money to the Branch Manager.
  • Cash collected in excess after disbursement for the day is deposited to the branch bank account on the same day or next day and the collection details are updated in the EMI (Equated Monthly Installment) register maintained at the branch level and in the online software. The Head Office takes responsibility for arranging to meet the shortfall, if any, for disbursement.