Dr. Ishrat Husain
Chairman Karandaaz Pakistan
Our distinct identity stems from our mission to increase financial inclusion by providing small and medium businesses (SMEs) access to finance, and increasing access of financial services to the unbanked segments of the population.
Under Karandaaz Capital we are piloting innovative products so SMEs can meet their capital needs. Our Supply Chain Finance Program, developed with financial support from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (UKAid), will provide working capital and term-finance to SMEs operating in organized supply chains of the economy without current access to formal financing. The engagement of corporations provides valuable alternate information for evaluating credit worthiness of vendors and distributors. We have invested in a wholesale microfinance platform – Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC) – which will extend credit to microfinance organizations. Through the private equity window, Karandaaz also invests growth capital in SMEs with a proven and mature business model.
Karandaaz Digital, developed with financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), is geared towards increasing financial inclusion of underprivileged communities through digital financial services and products. In this regard we are facilitating the digitization of government-to-person and person-to-government payments which will result in increased efficiency, transparency and significant cost savings for the government while enhancing financial inclusion of unbanked populations in Pakistan. Additionally, we will be digitizing value chain payments; conducting digital experiments with fintechs, banks, telcos and other industry stakeholders to increase use cases; and working on a national payments infrastructure.
Fostering innovation is another one of our key objectives, extending our cross-cutting themes of women entrepreneurship, youth and innovation. Under this, we are encouraging young start-ups to propose innovative ideas in the field of financial inclusion.
Our Knowledge Management and Communications work is focused on conducting ground-breaking research. We are also working towards enhancing the capacity of the sector in deploying digital financial services and have held well-attended workshops on some of the following topics: Digital Credit, Smartphone Mobile Money App Design, and P2G Payments Digitization. We also offer the increasingly popular Certificate in Digital Money course certified by The Fletcher School, in partnership with Digital Frontiers Institute.
I am delighted that Karandaaz Pakistan has gathered significant momentum in developing partnerships with private and public stakeholders for expanding financial inclusion in the country. Going forward, we aspire to join hands with many more entities while strengthening our existing partnerships.