ESAF Swasraya Multi State Agro Co-operative Society Ltd (popularly known as ESMACO) is a Multi-state cooperative society registered under the Multi State Co Operative Societies Act of 2002, in October 2011, with the presence in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana & Delhi. The main objective of ESMACO is to promote overall economic betterment of members through financial inclusion in accordance with co-operative principles. Even though formally ESMACO has a history of around 10 years but its seeds were sown way back in the year 1992 when Mr. K. Paul Thomas (Chief Promoter of ESMACO and Founder of ESAF Group of Social enterprises) started an NGO, ESAF Society. ESAF Society was established in Thrissur, Kerala in 1992, as a response to the social and economical needs of the unemployed youth and the underprivileged. The vision of the Forum was guided by the principle of sustainable holistic transformation of the poor and the marginalized. The founders of ESAF ventured into microfinancing in 1995, in Grameen Model by organizing self-sustainable groups, to alleviate poverty and generate employment. The Grameen Bank (GB) model is based on the voluntary formation of small groups of people to provide mutual, morally binding group guarantees in lieu of the collateral required by conventional banks. Women were given equal access to the finance for their entrepreneurial and business activities. Since then, ESAF has grown by leaps and bounds in the Microfinance sector, promoting microfinance as a viable, sustainable and effective means for creating jobs and reducing poverty, through ESAF Microfinance and Investments P Ltd from the year 2008 to 2017 and through ESAF Small Finance Bank Ltd from March 2017.
From 2011 to 2016, ESMACO was a credit Society taking care of the thrift needs of the members who are from deserving backgrounds and in the year 2016, honouring the mandate from the Reserve Bank of India in order to commence the operations of ESAF Small Finance Bank Ltd, ESMACO surrendered its credit status and is presently acting as an Agro Society (From ESCCO to ESMACO).
At present, majorly the activity of ESMACO is to act as a Business Correspondent for ESAF Small Finance Bank Ltd, managing the Micro Banking activities of the Bank and its Agency Network in rural pockets. Since the Society was earlier working as a Business Correspondent of Yes Bank and also that of M/s. ESAF Microfinance & Investments (P) Ltd., it is having considerable experience in the field.
Secondly ESMACO is largely into skill training activities through which the rural youth and women are empowered to undertake Income Generation Activities. It is partnering with ESAF NGO which is an approved nodal agency for implementing the DDU GKY project of the Government of India. ESMACO is having a vertical called Cooperative Facility Management Services which is into House Keeping and Livelihood support activities and is aiming to provide employment opportunities to half a million population. It is having a dedicated Member Services Department ensuring market linkages for the produces of SHG members and providing skill training and financial literacy programs. We are encouraging members to standardise their products with all statutory compliances and to make it compete along with mainstream products.
Further ESMACO is in the forefront of welfare activities to its members. It is working with Insurance Companies like IFFCO Tokyo, TATA AIG, United India Assurance and New India Assurance in providing coverage to its members and their families.
After the conversion from a credit Society to and Agri Society, ESMACO is in the forefront of many agri initiatives in the fields of organic farming, running of modal Agri nurseries and providing best agriculture and farming practises to its members.