Business tycoon Ratan Tata, former finance secretary Vijay Kelkar and Co-founder of Infosys and the man behind Aadhar Nandan Nilekani have started a technology enabled financing scheme, Avanti Finance. The purpose of this business establishment is to focus on delivering affordable and timely credit to under-served and un-served segments in India.
This scheme aims to make use of the social presence of Tata trusts, the rapidly evolving Indian market, schemes like Jan Dhan, Aadhar , use of Mobile, presence of payments bank ecosystem. Avanti would use this ecosystem and will innovate on product design, and in practice try and help meet the end customer needs.
Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Trusts has been actively engaged in several initiatives of the Tata Trusts since his retirement. His endeavors in the last few years have been focused on creating a sustainable model for interventions which have a lasting impact on communities, especially the underprivileged and the deprived. Tata and Nilekani are bringing their investments from their respective philanthropic capital, and any gains will be reinvested in philanthropic causes. Avanti will apply for registration to the Reserve Bank of India in the coming days.
The founding directors of Avanti are Ratan Tata, Dr. Vijay Kelkar, Nandan Nilekani, and R Venkataramanan. A senior leadership team with experience Technology, Microfinance, Enterprise Risk Management, Credit Operations and Customer Service, Leadership and Strategy Consulting, Structured Finance and Investment Banking is in place.
Avanti will be a platform to impact the poor through credit at individual and community levels to create a lasting improvement in their livelihoods and standard of living, ushering prosperity. I am thankful to Dr. Kelkar and Nandan for agreeing to be part of this purpose-driven initiative”, said former chairman of Tata Trusts.
Nandan Nilekani , co-founder of Infosys stated “I am humbled by Ratan’s initiative and his inviting me to be a part of this venture. My participation in Avanti is more driven by social motivation rather than anything else – with a view to serve the underserved and unserved and make the Tata Trusts and other like-minded partners philanthropy more effective. Technology is an important differentiator and allows us to make a difference in many ways than one”.
Vijay Kelkar is currently the chairman of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), and India Development Foundation. R Venkataramanan is currently the Managing Trustee of Tata Trusts.