Microlumbia, a non-profit organization affiliated with Columbia University’s Business School, hosted a conference in New York City, facilitating several discussions meant to help participants look back at the past decade of microfinance, as well as plan for its future. The first decade of the 21st Century saw the microfinance industry experience exponential growth at the same time questions arose regarding how best to handle overindebtedness and maintain high standards of customer care. Participants at the conference discussed lessons learned so far, and challenges the microfinance industry may face during the next decade.
Asad Mahmood, Deutsche Bank’s Managing Director of Global Social Investment Funds, participated as a speaker on a panel entitled “Extending Horizons of Microfinance Investments,” addressing questions such as the investment environment in the microfinance industry over the coming year, the recent events in the Indian and Nicaraguan microfinance industries, and the effects of potential regulatory changes in the future. The other members of the panel were Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Microfinance, and Sebastian von Stauffenberg, Managing Director & CEO of MicroRate. Steve Wardle, Pioneer Fund Manager of the Grameen Foundation, acted as moderator. Mr. Mahmood’s contributions to the panel often centered around the importance of customer care. Because microfinance is a maturing industry currently experiencing some growing pains, recent growth has led to some issues and concerns regarding overindebtedness. By keeping the needs of clients at the forefront of the industry, the microfinance world can maximize its positive social effect while continuing to expand its services.
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For more information on Microlumbia, visit their website.