Sarala provides microcredit to women from poor and under privileged families in rural and urban areas. It operates through its branches. The usual branch would consist a front room that would serve as the office. In addition there would be 2 or 3 rooms for Credit Officers (COs) to stay. A kitchen and bathroom(s) would also be present. On an average the initial sunk spend for a branch is about INR 100,000. Staff complement in a branch is usually 3-5 COs apart from the branch manager. COs are provided with bicycles/motorcycles to move around. Branches are connected to HO through a desk top computer affixed with cellular toggles. Here is a snap shot of activities at branches:
1. SMART : Sarala has a user friendly and dedicated web-based softwarecalled SMART (developed by the Company with the help of Versicle Solutions) for loan processing and tracking microfinance operations.. It has been installed at all the branches and head office. All the branches have internet connectivity. All transactions at the branch level are entered in the software and can be instantly accessed from the Head Office.
The following operations are being done through the software:
The software can generate various consolidated reports including portfolio at risk (PAR), operational progress and daily demand and collection.
2. Erecon : In addition to loan MIS, branch also use reporting software called Erecon which updates on a daily basis.In this system daily general ledger totals are entered as a day end process at branch level.
3. Tally : It’s an accounting software used at the head office, where data from Erecon is transferred to configure accounting reports. All the financial reports are generated from Tally like Balance sheet, profit & Loss A/c.
Branches are connected to Head Office servers through the Internet via cellular network.
While the system may be adequate in the short run with periodic fixes to both hardware and software, Sarala plans to upgrade and implement an integrated software system that would provide: