BASIX Sub- K iTransactions: The New Innovation in Livelihood Promotion

BASIX Sub- K iTransactions: The New Innovation in Livelihood Promotion

Sasidhar N Thumuluri,CEOPost 71 years of Independence, India has finally completed the electrification of all its inhabited villages. It’s such an aesthetic sight that the country is carrying on with this purple patch of rural development through livelihood promotion, fostering other basic amenities essential for leading a better life like Financial Inclusion. India’s financial inclusion index, CRISIL Inclusix’s readings for fiscal 2016 (the latest for which figures are available) boast of a significant improvement, surging to 58.0 against 50.1 in fiscal 2013.

While the sector with plethora of opportunities calls for innovative contributions towards financial inclusion, BASIX India Group, a livelihood promotion institution established in 1996 caters to this need of the hour through its new venture - Sub-K iTransactions. A phenomenon that has inspired innumerable professionals and made an enormous impact in the field of rural development and livelihoods, BASIX has always been a repository of ideas driven by innovative minds. Its new generation offshoot, Sub-K is no different, as it takes the organization’s endeavors in microfinance to the next level - micro-banking, in a much organized way.

Marshaled by Sasidhar N Thumuluri(CEO), the new venture is designed to bridge the financial divide, especially among low-income and rural communities by effectively deploying a mix of human and technological capabilities to connect with the last mile. Formerly started his career with BASIX group as a management trainee in 1999 (with a degree in Agri Sciences and MBA from Indian Institute of Forest Management), Sasidhar is now on his second stint in the organization. In the mesial epoch, he pursued his higher education and professional career overseas, owing thanks to the advice and encouragement from his mentors, especially Vijay Mahajan(Founder, BASIX India). Having gained impeccable global
exposure through organizations like Microvest Capital Management, Habitat for Humanity International, and World Bank, Sasidhar rejoined BASIX in 2014 to lead Sub-K. Exploring more of Sub-K’s vision, CEO Insights had indulged in a conversation with Sasidhar.

The platform is capable of seamlessly acquiring customers, processing loans, distributing insurance and enabling Aadhar as well as card based payments or collections

What is Sub-K? Acquaint us with the strategies imbued in the initiative to drive livelihood promotion.
A multi-service financial intermediary, Sub-K, which means ‘below one thousand’ in English and 'for everyone' in Hindi,strives to enable ‘micro-transactions’ for everyone who needs them. It currently works as a business correspondent or service provider to 12 banks (or NBFCs) across 300+ districts and caters to more than two million customers, helping with their banking and payment needs. Sub-K offers three services broadly-basic banking, credit facilitation (microfinance & MSME loans) and government to citizen services.

Linking several banks with our agents and field staff who facilitate transactions for customers is an in-house mobile phone based fin-tech platform. This makes financial inclusion easier and broader than ever before. The platform is capable of seamlessly acquiring customers, processing loans, distributing insurance and enabling Aadhar as well as card based payments or collections. Putting it in a nutshell, the solution delivers a large number of financial products to even larger number of customers in an impressive turnaround time.

How does Sub-K help banks in scaling up their profitability?
In RBI parlance, we are a Business Correspondent to multiple banks. We facilitate their services in the last mile. In this model, we offer distribution infrastructure, market knowledge, product & process expertise, and technology capabilities, while banks provide financial products, funds, and backend infrastructure. This model is highly efficient & scalable, and helps banks reach untapped markets profitably.
How do you leverage your international exposure and expertise in efficiently operating Sub-K?
My global exposure coupled with local field experience comes extremely handy in current role. Be it the professional networks, global insights about the industry, negotiation skills, understanding of deal-making or knowledge of competitive landscape gained in the past two decades, this know-how plays a crucial part in making my job successful. In addition, familiarity with BASIX group by virtue of long term association helps in managing internal complexities.

I also serve as Vice-Chair on the board of Business Correspondents Federation of India (BCFI). This role helps me understand industry policies & practices better. BCFI’s aim is to ensure coordinated and orderly development of financial inclusion sector, which is of paramount importance for long term success of Sub-K.

What is the future roadmap set for Sub-K?
With advent of digital solutions and renewed interest among policy makers, banks and new age Fintechs alike, the opportunity seems unlimited, especially in payments, lending and insurance. I believe, we are well positioned to take early mover advantage as we have been focusing on this segment since inception. Being highly determined in keeping abreast of trends, a knowledge management team has been constituted recently to focus on industry research, under my direct supervision.

On the other hand, we are lucky to have highly committed promoters and forward looking investors such as Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Accion International and Nordic Microfinance Initiative. With such a brawny supporting structure bolstered by a seasoned and talented team, we will continue to explore right partners and technology solutions to leverage this opportunity. Our goal is to lead the pack as the preferred financial intermediary for base of the pyramid. Having innovation in our DNA, we will not hesitate to make investments in new ideas/technologies in order to achieve the goal.

Key Management:
Sasidhar N Thumuluri, CEO
A professional with more than a decade of global exposure, Sasidhar is a wizard in leading the company with new age business strategies

Headquarter: Hyderabad

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