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Whose Sustainability Counts?

Whose Sustainability Counts?
Basixs Long March From Microfinance to Livelihoods

First Edition

August 2012 | 296 pages | SAGE Vistaar
Several recent events have undermined confidence in microfinance and microfinance institutions (MFIs). These events range from the collapse of the microfinance industry in Andhra Pradesh to the Bangladesh government's dismissal of Grameen Bank President Muhammad Yunus—Nobel Prize laureate and venerated father of microcredit—to the increasing publicity about micro-loan debt bondage and debt-induced suicides of MFI clients.

What do these crises signify for the future of microfinance? Are the basic principles of finance for the poor salvageable? Can the model be improved?

From its inception in 1996, BASIX—one of the largest microfinance institutions in India—has realized that focusing solely on loans will not improve the lives of its poor clients. Recognizing that the complex problems of poverty require complex solutions, it has melded financial services with livelihood development and institutional sustainability to achieve its goals, all the while maintaining impeccable ethical standards and practices of social inclusion.

The BASIX experience presents a vital model for a revamped microfinance organization of the future, one that responds to clients' diverse needs equitably and effectively.


The Origins of BASIX

The Evolving Context From 1995 to 2010, the “Crisis” Year

Financial Supporters, Subsidies, and the Bottom Line

The Livelihood Triad

Sustainable Livelihood: For Clients and for BASIX

Institutional Architecture and BASIX’s Governance


Information and Communication Technology Innovations In and From BASIX

Basix’s Offspring

KBSLAB: India’s Only Microfinance Bank

Finding People to Perform

Leadership With Head, Hands, and Heart

Building the Sector: Policy, Advocacy, and Networking

Doing Well Versus Doing Good

How BASIX Ticks, and What Makes It Tick

What Can We Learn From BASIX? What Does the Future Hold?




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Malcolm Harper

Malcolm Harper is currently an independent consultant. He was educated at Oxford, Harvard and Nairobi Universities. He first worked in marketing in England, and then taught at the University of Nairobi. He was Professor of Enterprise Development at Cranfield School of Management, and since 1995 he has worked independently, mainly in India. His work has in general focused on the application of business management tools to the alleviation of poverty, and he has published extensively on enterprise development, micro-finance and inclusive livelihoods.He was Chairman of Basix Finance in India for 10 years, and is Chairman of M-CRIL, the... More About Author

Lalitha Iyer

Lalitha Iyer is currently an independent researcher and social consultant. She began her career in the banking sector, joining SBI as an officer in 1976. She left SBI in 1998 to head Vidyaranya, a leading school in Hyderabad. Since 2001 she has been a researcher and consultant in the social development sector. She has been a board member in the Basix Livelihoods group across India, and is now the Chairperson of Sathi. More About Author

Jane Rosser

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ISBN: 9788132110088