RMDC organized two exposure visits to the Bangladesh in collaboration with Integrated Development Foundation (IDF) Bangladesh from November 29 - December 8, 2015 and February 27– March 7, 2016. The main purpose of the visits were to provide the Nepalese Microfinance Practitioners to the best practices of microfinance in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is the birth place of modern top MFIs of the such as Grameen Bank, BRAC, ASA, TMSS and IDF. Integrated Development Foundation (IDF) a non- profit and non government working with most distressed poor people, difficult and un-served areas in Bangladesh is a long time partner of RMDC for organizing visit programs in Bangladesh.
The first group of the participants of the study visit were, Mr. Badri Dulal, CEO, Mirmire Microfinance Development Bank Ltd., Kavre; Mr. Kumar Yakso, CEO, Nagbeli Microfinance Development Bank, Jhapa; Mr. Indra Kumar Shah, CEO, Kisan Microfinance Development Bank, Accham; Mr. Tulsi Nath Paudel, Manger, Bhadrakali Multipurpose Cooperative Ltd., Rupandehi; Mr. Yadav Prasad Aryal, Chairman, Parichit Saving and Credit Cooperative Ltd., Rupandehi; Mr. Bam Bahadur Khadka, Chairman, Maitri Multipurpose Cooperative Ltd., Gulmi, Mr. Gopal Bhattarai, Senior Manager, Sahara Nepal Saving and Credit Cooperative Ltd., Jhapa; Mr. Kashi Nath Nepal, Manager, Sahara Nepal Saving and Credit Cooperative Ltd., Jhapa; Ms. Radha Pokhrel Thapa, Chairperson, Pragatishil Women Development Multipurpose Cooperative Ltd., Rupandehi and Ms. Sweta Shrestha, Junior Officer of RMDC. The team is coordinated by Ms. Sweta Shrestha.
Likewise the second group of the participants in the study visit program were Mr. Santaram Dharkauwa Tharu, Ms. Kumari Radha Chaudhary, Mr. Man Bahadur Tharu, Mr. Man Bahadur Chaudhary & Mr. Netra Bahdaur Bhandari of United Youth Community (UNYC Nepal), Bardiya and Mr. Raj Kumar Shrestha, Ms. Bijay Laxmi, Mr. Prahlad Shrestha, Mr. Shyam Kumar Singh of Shrijana Community Development Center, Siraha. The team was coordinated by Mr. Anil Krishna Joshi, Senior Officer of RMDC.
Both of the team had an opportunity to meet Nobel Luret Prof. Muhammad Yunus, the father of Microfinance at his own office "Yunus Centre".
The way of doing microfince operation have changed with the passing of time and the team got exposed to how Bangladeshi MFIs have evolved themselves through time. They got acquinted with a variety of models and methods of MF operations mainly on products and services diversification, processing of loan application, collections of payments and savings in well known microfinance institutions like IDF, Grameen Bank, ASA and BRAC.
Both of the team had observed the clients' meetings of all the four organizations and interacted with the members, visited their households and had discussion in their branch, area and zonal offices where the team learnt about different strategies adopted by them in order to differentiate themselves from each other and standing strong on their own.
The participants were delighted to meet with Mr. Zahirul Alam, Executive Director of IDF who has worked closely with Prof. Yunus at the beginning of his career. The team shared experiences about the different Centers, branches and regional/area offices they have visited with the Executive Director Mr. Alam and even gave their feedbacks. Mr. Alam appreciated that Nepal Microfinance is going on the right track and doing well. Lastly, the coordinatior on behalf of the team shared the views of the team and thanked IDF for the warm hospitability.
The team specially impressed with the Grameen Bank providing shares to its members only.BRAC for its management, ASA for its health and sanitation awanreness program and IDF for its solar and health programs. They have found that Grameen Bank is popular because it is the pioneer and biggest microfinance bank of the Bangladesh, BRAC is renowned as the biggest financial intermediary NGO, ASA is famous for its low cost management and IDF is popular for its credit plus program in Bangladesh.
The study visit has helped the participants to learn current approaches and practices of Bangladesh and acquire knowledge relating to the different strategies that could be incorporated in their own organizations so as to become competent and sustainable MFIs. They expressed their satisfaction on learning from the visit and showed their commitment to use the knowledge in their respective organizations.