Founded in 2009 (Operational in 2011) Swarna Pragati Housing Microfinance Pvt. Ltd. (SPHM) is a Housing Finance Company regulated by the National Housing Bank (wholly owned subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India).
SPHM provides micro-mortgage loans ranging from Rs 1,00,000 to Rs 7,00,000 primarily to families from the economically weaker sections (EWS) and low-income groups (LIG) in rural India. The housing loans are provided both for self-built new construction as well as for renovation, repairs and up-gradation of existing houses. The company’s business model is based on the principle of incremental housing, where low-income families build their houses one step at a time.
India has a huge unfulfilled rural housing finance demand with little institutional penetration. The fundamental problem for rural families is not so much any unaffordable terms of loan as the lack of access to credit itself. There are several problems that constrain the flow of housing credit to the informal sector. Risk is difficult to manage in this segment using traditional banking methodologies. Most people have no recorded financial history, since they have not used products via formal channels in the past. Members of these households typically work in the informal economy and do not receive pay slips, which makes it hard to assess their credit worthiness. Traditional Lenders are thus unable to rely on their traditional means for assessing risk. Product development lags significantly behind demand, and thus available products often fail to meet this population’s needs and perceive them as high-risk clients for long term Housing Finance. Swarna Pragati fills this void by extending its home loan product in this segment. The Company has built its own internal credit assessment parameters and process to mitigate the risks prevalent in this segment.
Swarna Pragati through its Series A & Series B rounds of funding has seen investment by reputed social impact and private equity investors like Omidyar Network, Aavishkaar Goodwell, Zephyr Peacock and Asha Impact.
The Company has received multiple awards and recognition nationally and internationally for its work in the rural housing segment. Some of the awards and recognition are listed below:
- Recognized and invited for presentation of its model at World Bank’s Global Housing Finance Conference 2014, Washington for its unique and innovative model for providing access to housing for rural families
Selected as the subject for a Case Study by the World Bank to showcase its best practices internationally.
- Selected as one of the top 20 Social Innovations in the Country based on the competition conducted by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and NITI Aayog, awarded by the Prime Minister.
- Winner of the Wall Street Journal Financial Inclusion Challenge for Asia Pacific 2016
Best Social Impact Home Finance India 2017 by London based Capital Finance International cfi.co
- Winner of Responsible Social Business Awards, Rural Action Awards, 2017
- Winner of Best Business Enterprise by European Business Assembly, UK, 2017