CHENNAI: On 20th September, 2013, IFMR Rural Channels and Services Private Limited (IRCS) raised INR 320 million of equity funding from Tata Capital Special Situations Fund (TCSSF). TCSSF is the third external equity investor in IRCS. In March 2012, IRCS raised funding from Lok Capital II LLC, a venture capital firm, and Proparco, the private sector investment arm of Agence FranÃ§aise de DÃ©veloppement (AFD).
IRCS is in the business of origination and distribution of financial products and services with the goal of complete financial inclusion in remote rural India. IRCS operates through a business model called Kshetriya Gramin Financial Services (KGFS), which follows a unique wealth management approach that focuses on tailoring products to the specific needs of each customer, provides access to a complete suite of financial products and services to customers in remote rural parts of India through its wide network of branches. These products and services include loans, insurance, pensions, savings, remittances and investment products from the Company's subsidiaries as well as its business partners which are amongst some of India's large financial institutions.
At present, the KGFS network has more than 185 branches that cater to around 350,000 individuals across Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Uttarakhand state, covering around 4200 remote rural villages.
TCSSF is registered with SEBI under the SEBI (Venture Capital Fund) Regulations 1996 and is focused on investing in turnaround opportunities. The fund is sponsored by Tata Capital Limited and its investors include eight large PSU banks.
The TCSSF investment will help IRCS scale its business in its current areas of operation, in addition to expanding its reach to newer geographies.
S. G. Anil Kumar (CEO - IFMR Rural Channels and Services Private Limited):
"We are delighted to invite Tata Capital Special Situations Fund as an investor. This is a validation of our KGFS Model being able to focus on adding value to the remote rural household, while building the capability to scale in a viable and sustainable way. We envisage utilising this capital in expanding our operations to newer regions in other parts of the country while growing the existing KGFS' to their full capacity."
T.A. Ramkumar (Head - Tata Capital Special Situations Fund):
"We believe that the IRCS model, with its emphasis on customer centricity and transparency will help bring customer confidence and build loyalty towards the service provider (IRCS), thereby creating a profitable business, tapping the bottom of the pyramid. This makes the model unique in this space and can be scaled up significantly in a short period of time and with a potential to bring about a major impact in the rural financial landscape. We look forward to this partnership with the IFMR Trust in this interesting journey towards financial inclusion."
About IFMR Rural Channels and Services (IRCS)
IFMR Rural Channels and Services Private Limited (IRCS) is a private limited company set up by IFMR Trust as part of its larger mission of financial inclusion. As part of its business, IRCS has partnered with various financial institutions, including banks and NBFCs, whereby it distributes complete suite of financial products and services by creating network of branches under a KGFS.
The KGFS is a full service local financial institution model exclusively focused on the remote rural households in few contiguous districts representing a population of five million and delivering a comprehensive suite of financial products through a highly automated branch based delivery structure.
IRCS, for the purpose of executing the KGFS model, has so far set up Sahastradhara KGFS (Uttarakhand)), Dhanei KGFS (Odisha) and Vellaaru KGFS, Thenaaru KGFS, ThenPennaiaaru KGFS and Pudhuaaru KGFS (Tamil Nadu) and plans to set up more KGFSs across other geographies in the future.
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