We are in the process of completing our staff Covid vaccination program wherein each staff is provided with vaccination free of cost across locations..
MRS. SALEENA GEORGE
The year 2020-21 was the most challenging one for humanity owing to the Covid pandemic. Our institution also had to face the brunt of the pandemic. Being the leading business correspondent of ESAF Small Finance Bank, our core activity is largely interweaved with community connect, social gatherings, doorstep collections and on any given day, millions of human interactions are happening at the field level, which was in a stand still due to the indefinite chains of lockdowns, containment zones and other restrictions.
We have aligned our growth plans in line with the broader macroeconomic situation prevailing in the country and the specific needs of our stakeholders. I am extremely proud to see that our organisation is in a tremendous growth phase and emerging as a leading institution supporting low-income rural women across India.
Even during the Covid pandemic and resultant lock downs, we have been successful in opening Customer Service centres across the rural landscape and has reached 221 outlets. Further, as a Business Correspondent of ESAF Small Finance Bank, we are operating in 315 Banking outlets and providing the last mile services to the customers of the Bank. Through our subsidiaries we got a highly skilled staff strength of more than six thousand, which acts as our core strength. This year we plan to cross five hundred customer service centres which will add to our geographic reach and will be an opportunity to serve more people.
During the last year we started partnering with ESAF Small Finance Bank in creating a vast network of Micro Agents having Micro ATM services to our members in locations wherein we don`t have any brick and mortar outlets. Micro Agent locations will be acting as Customer Service Points and in the long run will be taking the financial and digital literacy awareness to the bottom of the socioeconomic pyramid by offering rural population the same products and services of ESAF Small Finance Bank at the same quality and same service levels expected from larger branches. Through this vibrant and ever growing channel, we shall also be able to arrange other services like payment of utility bills, doorstep delivery of nonfinancial products/ services and lot more.
Being an Agro co-operative, we give special attention to agriculture and allied activities, community farming, promotion of organic cultivation etc. We emphasize on capacity building of Farmer Producer Organizations. This helps them in strengthening their partnerships with formal financial institutions and get a better price for their produce. Also, ESAF Co-operative has tied up successfully with various Government and multilateral agencies for the implementation of projects, especially in the sectors of rural/ entrepreneurship and skill development of women and youth. During the year in association with Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA) we have started managing warehouse facilities at KINFRA Mega food park, Kanjikodu, Palakkad, which will be an effective platform for marginal farmers and Farmer Producer Companies to avail storage facilities for their produces at reasonable rates. We have further started forming Farmer Interest Groups in various locations and are providing Agri Loans in association with ESAF Small Finance Bank. Our subsidiary Rhema Dairy is actively involved in the dairy supply chain and is in the process of bringing out more value-added products. In association with Cedar Retail, we are in the process of opening Common Facility Centres (CFCs) to impart training to women members in food craft, agri-processing and allied sectors. Through our facility management services vertical, we are providing direct employment to more than seven hundred semi-skilled staff in the field of housekeeping and security.
We are in the process of completing our staff Covid vaccination program wherein each staff is provided with vaccination free of cost across locations. This will ensure their health and safety and further we made provisions for the vaccination of family members of employees at various locations. Our Society is partnering with ESAF Foundation is providing vaccination support to half a million populations through a project from Opportunity International. This is apart from our services to Covid warriors throughout the last year. Since online education turned out to be a norm, we were in the fore front of providing free laptops, tablets and mobile phones to students belonging to deserving background. Further through Vidyajyothi loan product of ESAF Small Finance Bank, we were able to provide easy loan support for buying laptops for thousands of students from rural households.
We are always remaining as a responsible and socially conscious organisation with a focus to triple bottom line. We have mapped our sustainability initiatives with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Our aim is to efficiently adopt these goals and address the global challenges, which includes poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. We are committed to ensuring that the corporate governance framework, policies and practices are of a high standard and is aligned to emerging governance trends and meeting stakeholder expectations.