About Us

Sarala Development and Microfinance Private Ltd. (Sarala) is a Microfinance company headquartered in Kolkata, Eastern India. Our focus is underprivileged women micro entrepreneurs. We provide microcredit to women micro-entrepreneurs largely in the Indian states of West Bengal with presence in Bihar and Assam. Our loans range from INR 15,000 to INR 30,000 (USD 230-460) repayable over 6 to 12 months. 60% of our borrowers are located in rural areas.

Sarala was first established in 2006 as a not for profit entity, constituted under Section 25 of the Indian Companies Act 1956, (now Section 8 of the Indian Companies Act 2013) with the name of “Sarala Women’s Welfare Society” (SWWS). The purpose for setting up the organization was to provide Microfinance and other related welfare services to women in the state of West Bengal, India. Co-promoted by Dr. Arabinda Sinha, a retired professor of Physiology of the New Jersey School of medicine, USA, and Pranab Rakshit, a finance professional based in Kolkata, SWWS modelled its operations on The Association of Social Advancement, Bangladesh (ASA). The co-promoters visited, received orientation in Microfinance from ASA as well as technical inputs for commencing operations in the state of West Bengal India.

However, the not for profit model, faced scaling issues with limited access to bank and institutional finance because of its constitution as a not-for-profit entity. Meanwhile, in 2010 Reserve bank of India announced new regulations on Microfinance and created a new category of financial institutions called Non-Bank Financial Companies – Micro Finance Institutions (NBFC-MFI)

In 2010 SWWS acquired an NBFC called Unnati Trading and Fincon Pvt. Ltd. The entire Microfinance business of SWWS was transferred to Unnati against 94.5% equity. This company was registered as an NBFC-MFI in 2014 and as of September 2015, it changed its name to Sarala Development and Microfinance Pvt. Ltd. (Sarala)

Shareholding Pattern as on March 31st, 2017

  • Sarala Women Welfare Society
  • Sarala Healthcare Pvt. Ltd.
  • Individuals*

*Individual Shareholders consist of Mr. PranabRakshit (0.84% shares), Ms. Arka Mukherjee (0.15% shares), Mr. Subhayan Sinha (0.07% shares) and Mr. Kuntal Banerjee (0.05% shares)

Board of Directors

Name Designation Qualifications Experience Additional Role
Arabinda Sinha Chairman MS. Ph.D.

A USA based Non-Resident Indian and an US Medical College Professor with experience in managing rural development projects. He is also the promoter and co-founder of Sarala Women Welfare Society

Member of the Audit Committee.
Pranab Rakshit Managing Director M.Com

A Master in commerce with long experience in the field of Finance and Accounts in different corporate houses. Currently on the Board of SA-DHAN, a Self-Regulatory Organizations for Microfinance Institution in the country and Secretary, AMFI-WB an Association of Microfinance Institution of West Bengal.

Day to day Operations. Member-Finance and Risk Management Committees.
Biswabandhu Mohanty Independent Director MA

A career Banker retired as Chief General Manager, NABARD. Wide ranging experience in microfinance operations and rural development in India and abroad, visited 15 countries in connection with various study visits, training programs; currently associated with studies concerning the strengthening of microfinance activities in India as well as countries in Africa.

Member Audit and Risk Management Committees
Ganesh Chandra Modak Independent Director B. Com

An experienced Microfinance Practitioner; over 20 years in West Bengal and Bangladesh. He is the CEO of Society for Model Gram Bikash Kendra, a reputed and successful NGO engaged in microfinance for more than 11 years in Bengal.

Member Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committees
Kuntal Banerjee Finance Director B.Sc. MBA

10 years in Banking and Finance

Member Finance and Audit Committees
Gautam Mukhopadhyay Nominee Director B.Sc., PGDBM

A former Asst. General Manager, State Bank of India; assignments – Asst. General Manager (Advance Monitoring Cell), Asst. General Manager (Centralized Credit Processing Cell) and Regional Manager of 42 branches under his control.

Representative of Sarala Women Welfare Society.
Mrs. Setu Das Roy Independent Director B.Sc., LLB

13 years of experience including practice in Kolkata High Court, Founder of a Non-Profit Organization named as Association for Benevolence of Children Development.

Management Team

Position Person Background
Managing Director Pranab Rakhsit

Pranab is a co-founder of Sarala. He holds a Master’s Degree in Commerce and has over 10 years’ experience in the field of Microfinance. Prior to commencing work for Sarala, he held several positions in accounting for organizations such as the Tea Board of India. Pranab has had several stints as an entrepreneur as well.
Pranab is the Chief Executive Officer of the organization responsible for all functions. His motivation is to grow and sustain a world class organization capable of delivering measurable social impact.

Head of Finance Manab Sen

Manab is an honors graduate in Commerce, and a CAIIB. He is also an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad as well as the Rutgers Business School USA. More than 40 years’ experience predominantly in Banking and Financial Services, including Private Equity Management, and Cross border M&A. Manab has successfully worked in 6 start-up situations, leading companies to successful IPOs or other exits. His role includes sourcing financial resources, managing a team of 4 finance professionals, advising on strategy as well as implementing Sarala’s Capitalization plan

Chief of Operations Subrata Singha

An MBA, Subrata has spent more than 7 years in the field of Microfinance. His experience covers field level work as well in regional/head office functions covering credit and risk management. Subrata leads the Operations function with the largest number of direct reports. His work involves setting up of branches, credit deployment, recoveries, data capture as well as keeping the field staff highly motivated.

Finance Director Kuntal Banerjee

Kuntal joined Sarala in its early days. He is an MBA and has over 10 years’ experience in the field of credit, banking and microfinance. He has been an entrepreneur in the field of leather products. Kuntal’s role is to manage existing lender relationships as well as provide back-up services towards proposal submissions for funding, repayment management and submission of returns to Banks on a periodic basis.

Head of HR Swagata Sarkar

An HR professional with 16 years’ experience covering Manpower Planning, Recruitments & Selection, Performance Management, Compensation Management, HR Operations, Training & Development and People Management to support overall business strategy.

Company Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh

A qualified Company Secretary, Rohit has 2 years of valuable experience overseeing legal/regulatory compliances as well as board related matters.

Head of Accounts Surajit Ghosh

A qualified Chartered Accountant, with 12 years of valuable post qualification experience in India and overseas covering accounting, compliance, financial analyses, budgeting and controls

Special Recovery Officer Santosh Roy

20 years’ experience in leading Microfinance Institutions in Bangladesh and India such as Grameen Bank and Ujjivan, across various functions. At present on a contract assignment with Sarala, responsible for managing recoveries for now.