Dainik Bhaskar’s Financial Inclusion Conclave focuses on ‘reaching the unreached’
Dainik Bhaskar Group organized ‘Dainik Bhaskar Financial Inclusion Conclave’- a one of its kind Conclave focusing on the national priority issue of Financial Inclusion on August 29, 2012 at the Hotel Le Meridien New Delhi. Dr C. Rangarajan, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, was the Chief Guest for the inaugural session and Shri Sachin Pilot, Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and IT, was the Chief Guest for the valedictory session.
Commenting on the initiative, Jaideep Dhagat, Senior General Manager and Business Head, National Government Vertical, Dainik Bhaskar Group, said, “There are various institutions, governmental and non-governmental departments working to achieve the goal to make formal banking and financial services available to every Indian. The Dainik Bhaskar Group, being the largest spread newspaper group in India, understands the importance of this major initiative in the nation building and decided to create a platform to bring together the various stakeholders, policy makers, financial institutions, banking and non-banking organizations, IT & technology providers, NGOs and social activists to find ways and means of strengthening the country`s financial inclusion process and achieve the dream of ‘Reaching out to the Unreached’. Financial Inclusion Conclave is a new addition to the series of events conceptualised by National Government Vertical”.
The event was a resounding success with best possible representation and overwhelming participation from the various stakeholders. Twenty four experts brainstormed over five conclave sessions. The initiative was supported by leading stakeholders in the financial sector and LIC was the title sponsor of the Conclave. NCDEX was the partner exchange and India Core was the knowledge partner.
Giving his welcome address Ramesh Chandra Agarwal, Chairman, Dainik Bhaskar Group emphasized the need to bridge the gap between the urban and rural areas and to reach out to the rural masses in their vernacular language.
Dr C. Rangarajan, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister
Giving his inaugural address in the Inaugural Session, Dr C. Rangarajan while appreciating the role of micro finance institutions in providing the door step delivery of credit said MFIs must modify their business models and become responsible lenders. ‘.. A network of strong microfinance institutions can play significant role in achieving financial inclusion’. He also emphasized the need of a strong regulatory framework which prescribes a reasonable limit on interest rates and conformity of certain standards in terms of provision of credit. He made a case for introduction of new products and simplified procedures by banks to meet the needs of customers in rural areas. He also highlighted the important role technology has to play in the task of making banking services available to everyone.
In his keynote address, V. Sathyakumar, Executive Director (Micro Insurance), LIC of India focused on the aspect of financial inclusion through micro insurance. M. K. Ananda Kumar, Chief Corporate Services, NCDEX giving his theme presentation pointed out the need of empowering Indian farmer to pave the path for financial inclusion.
In Session 1, there was a very enlightening panel discussion on broad basing Financial Inclusion for inclusive growth. Shri Rohit Saran, Consulting Editor, Dainik Bhaskar expertly moderated the discussion which focused on issues like policy & regulatory framework - need of policy activism or a calibrated approach, role of banks & insurance firms in broadbasing financial inclusion, how can banks & insurance firms create financial inclusion as profitable business?, the big opportunity at the bottom of the pyramid: can banking, insurance and non-banking sector build a new business model.
The eminent panelist included Ms Sonali Sen Gupta, General Manager- Rural Planning and Credit Department (RPCD), RBI; Shri Sunil Pant, Chief General Manager, SBI; Shri Alok Prasad, CEO, Micro Finance Institution Network (MFIN); Shri Arindom Datta, Senior Director and Head - Rural & Development Banking/ Advisory, Rabo India Finance and Shri T N Jha, Divisional Manager (P&GS), LIC of India
Session 2 deliberated at length on the critical issue of creating rural entrepreneurship and business opportunities. Dr Usha Gopinath, Director - Client Education Programs - India, Accion moderated the session. The esteemed panelists included Dr Raj S. Dhankar, Dean and Professor of Finance, Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), University of Delhi; Ms Ashoka Chatterjee, Head Institutional Finance, Bandhan; Shri L V Saptarishi, IAS (Retd.), Co-Chairman of Confederation of NGOs of Rural India (CNRI); Shri Sunil Kumar, SBM (P&GS), LIC of India and Shri Sandeep Nath, Head – Empowerment, BASIX.
The panelist dwelled on topics covering social development and economic growth - two sides of a coin; challenges and innovating for inclusive growth - key focus areas & interventions; micro products - mega opportunities; how can micro-enterprises be created and funded?; setting up of rural self-employment training institutes; role of micro finance - rebuilding a stronger microfinance sector; role of micro insurance & pension in financial inclusion and how can NGOs/ SHGs help in distribution/selling of banking, insurance, healthcare, micro housing loans and other micro products.
Session 3 dwelled on the role of ICT and alternate payment methods to drive inclusive growth and financial literacy for investor protection & service delivery. The session was chaired and moderated by Shri Rajesh Bansal, Asst Director General, UIDAI, Planning Commission. The panelists focused on issues including fast tracking technology adoption to drive financial inclusion; Aadhaar based financial inclusion; will technology curb leakages, lead to higher rural demand and help in mobilising low-cost deposits?; increasing broadband and mobile penetration to reduce cost of transactions; role of digital money; incentivising mobility & electronic money transfers; pre-paid way to financial inclusion; imparting knowledge of money; setting up of financial literacy & credit counselling centres (FLCCC).
The expert panelists in this session were Shri Ambarish Datta, MD & CEO, BSE Institute; Shri Ajay Ranjan Mishra, Global Head of Industry Environment-India & Emerging Markets, Nokia Siemens Networks; Shri Abhishek Sinha, Co-Founder, Eko India Financial Services; Shri Anurag Gupta, Founder & CEO, A Little World and CEO, ZERO-Mass Foundation; Shri Vijay Pratap Singh Aditya, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Ekgaon and Shri Shekher Srivastava, Vice President Marketing, ItzCash Card. The panelists were unanimous that digital money and mobile banking will be able to reduce the cost of transactions.
Sachin Pilot, Minister of State for Communications and IT
Sachin Pilot, Minister of State for Communications and IT, in his valedictory address spoke very passionately about the need to bridge the gap between the haves and the have nots.
He mentioned that our generation will be judged by the opportunities we create for today’s youth. He felt that ICT will be the enabler to strengthen the wider agenda of financial inclusion.
He highlighted the unique initiative approved by the Government to extend broadband and communication network to every panchayat in India. He also announced that the postal department with its huge branch network is upgrading its infrastructure to start offering banking services in the interior and rural parts of India.
The concluding remarks and the vote of thanks was given by Jaideep Dhagat, Business Head - National Government Vertical, Dainik Bhaskar Group.
It was a day of very interactive discussions with the audience raising several pertinent questions. The feedback from the event has been very positive with many participants commending the initiative and finding the event both productive and informative.
For more information, please visit event archives.