Award: Start Up of the Year
Name: Manish Khera, CEO, FINO
Why He Won: For setting up the largest banking correspondence network in India and bringing financial inclusion to millions of people across 26 states, and using mobile tech in a smart way. It is poised to become the country’s largest banking correspondent.
You can make a lot of money catering to the poor.
It had invested in technology, had the sales force on the ground, and was flush with money. FINO’s custom-built devices went a long way in ensuring that its customers stayed connected to the grid. Their ‘pod machines’, hand-held biometric devices that recorded customer fingerprints, reduced the risk of fraud to a great extent. Its machines function both online and offline, so money still got transferred in areas without any network. By January 2010, it had 10 million customers (across 15 banks). It added another 15 million in the next year and doubled the base to 50 million by August 2012, two-thirds of the clientele base in the sector. It’s eyeing 100 million by 2015.
See also our post from earlier today:
Biometrics + Banking → Rising incomes in Malawi which describes more of a pilot project and study, but the numbers are also very impressive.