Ratan Tata, Nilekani, Kelkar come together for micro-finance company


ratan-5Having put his stamp on the country’s start-up space, Industrialist Ratan Tata is now setting up a micro-finance company in a move to offer credit to the unserved segments.

The venture — Avanti Finance — will apply for Reserve Bank of India registration in the “coming days”.

Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani  and former Finance Commission Chairman Vijay Kelkar have also joined Ratan Tata in the new venture.

As the company will start operations before the financial year-end, Tata and Nilekani are bringing investments from capital they earmarked for philanthropy. Their plan is any gains will be reinvested for philanthropic causes.

According to Ratan Tata, 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”.

But the investment details were not disclosed.

Among other things, the firm has also put in place a senior leadership team with experience in technology, micro-finance, enterprise risk management, credit operations and customer service

R Venkataramanan, a Managing Trustee of Tata Trusts, has also joined as founding-director of the firm.