HNB recog­nised for in­no­va­tion in mi­cro­fi­nance at IFM Awards

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - FINANCE -

Ex­tend­ing a win­ning legacy that spans over 29 years in the field, HNB won the award for ‘Most In­no­va­tive Mi­cro­fi­nance Bank in Sri Lanka’, at the re­cently con­cluded In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Mag­a­zine Awards (IFM) 2017 in Sin­ga­pore.

Or­gan­ised by In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Mag­a­zine with a view to cel­e­brat­ing in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions in the in­ter­na­tional fi­nance in­dus­try that have had a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact in their re­spec­tive mar­kets through an em­pha­sis on value ad­di­tion and in­no­va­tion, this year’s awards drew ex­ten­sive par­tic­i­pa­tion from among Asia Pa­cific’s most re­spected in­dus­try lead­ers.

Fol­low­ing a strin­gent round of eval­u­a­tions, HNB was pre­sented with the award for in­no­va­tion in mi­cro­fi­nance, in recog­ni­tion of its re­mark­able, holis­tic ef­forts to ex­tend vi­brant and gen­uinely valu­able mi­cro­fi­nance ser­vices to the widest pos­si­ble spec­trum of cus­tomers in Sri Lanka.

“A sub­stan­tial pro­por­tion of Sri Lanka’s econ­omy is built on the ef­forts of mi­cro­fi­nance en­trepreneurs and SMES, and we re­main con­fi­dent in the abil­ity of this sec­tor to serve as an en­gine of un­prece­dented growth, pro­vided they are fa­cil­i­tated with the nec­es­sary ac­cess to fi­nance, knowl­edge, skills and other ad­vi­sory ser­vices for such busi­nesses to thrive. HNB’S ap­proach pri­ori­tises the early iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of promis­ing busi­nesses with a view to form­ing last­ing part­ner­ships ca­pa­ble of un­leash­ing and sus­tain­ing growth at ev­ery stage of the busi­ness.

“This award there­fore stands as fur­ther vin­di­ca­tion of HNB’S tried and tested ap­proach to mi­cro­fi­nance and we wish to ex­press our heart­felt grat­i­tude to our ded­i­cated team of em­ploy­ees and field of­fi­cers who have been at the heart of our suc­cess,” stated HNB SME and Mid­mar­ket Deputy Gen­eral Man­ager Jude Fer­nando.

Stand­ing as the very first Sri Lankan bank to en­ter the mar­ket with a branded prod­uct ex­clu­sively for the mi­cro­fi­nance sec­tor with HNB Gami Pubuduwa in 1989, the bank has utilised its in­valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence as a true pi­o­neer in the field to ex­tend vi­tal fi­nan­cial ser­vices to un­der­served com­mu­ni­ties across the is­land, while tai­lor­ing its ap­proach to suite the unique con­di­tions preva­lent in the Sri Lankan mar­ket.

Cou­pled with an ex­ten­sive em­pha­sis on value ad­di­tion, in­clud­ing mi­cro­fi­nance loans bun­dled with life in­sur­ance cover, ru­ral fi­nan­cial aware­ness build­ing pro­grammes, and the link­ing of ru­ral en­trepreneurs with ex­port mar­kets across the globe through ground break­ing ini­tia­tives like HNB Avu­rudu Pola, HNB’S in­no­va­tive mi­cro­fi­nance model con­tin­ues to set new bench­marks in the Sri Lankan mar­ket.

“To­day there is a great deal of in­no­va­tion and highly mar­ketable prod­ucts be­ing cre­ated in Sri Lanka’s ru­ral econ­omy, how­ever the main con­straints that these busi­nesses face is with re­gard to a lack of fi­nance, tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise and ex­po­sure to con­sumers. In or­der to add value we have pri­mar­ily fo­cused on these ar­eas, all based on a foun­da­tion of trust that is grown or­gan­i­cally be­tween our cus­tomers and our 150 field of­fi­cers who are in con­stant con­tact with these busi­nesses,” Fer­nando elab­o­rated.

In ad­di­tion to work­ing di­rectly with in­di­vid­u­als, busi­nesses and com­mu­ni­ties across the is­land, HNB has also part­nered with re­puted mi­cro­fi­nance providers like Sar­vo­daya De­vel­op­ment Fi­nance and Beren­d­ina Mi­cro­fi­nance to ar­range lines of fund­ing that are sub­se­quently ex­tended to mi­cro en­trepreneurs.

Sim­i­larly, the bank works with e-com­merce fa­cil­i­ta­tors like lo­cal firm We­bx­pay and in­ter­na­tional e-com­merce mar­ket, Alibaba.com, to help in­tro­duce and im­prove ex­po­sure for ru­ral en­trepreneurs among an en­tirely new and pre­vi­ously un­tapped de­mo­graphic of con­sumers while also pro­vid­ing ex­port credit fa­cil­i­ties for those en­ter­prises that suc­ceed in these new mar­kets. Mov­ing for­ward, Fer­nando reiterated HNB’S com­mit­ment to­wards de­liv­er­ing the op­ti­mal mix of mi­cro­fi­nance and value-added ser­vices, which the bank plans to fur­ther aug­ment util­is­ing new tech­nolo­gies that will help bridge the gap and un­leash a new wave of growth into Sri Lanka’s ru­ral econ­omy.

HNB De­vel­op­ment Bank­ing Se­nior Man­ager Vish­wanath Gu­nawar­dena ac­cept­ing the award for ‘Most In­no­va­tive Mi­cro­fi­nance Bank in Sri Lanka’ at the In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Mag­a­zine Awards (IFM) 2017 in Sin­ga­pore

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Sri Lanka

© PressReader. All rights reserved.