Ratan Tata, Dr. Vijay Kelkar, and Nandan Nilekani have joined hands to start MFI (microfinance Institution) called Avanti Finance. The venture will be providing timely credit to underserved and unserved groups of the country.

Ratan Tata is chairman emeritus of Tata Sons. Vijay Kelkar is an Indian economist and Chairman of the Forum of Federations. Nandan Nilekani was the Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India and co-founder of Infosys.

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Avanti Finance is termed to be a “technology-enabled financial inclusion vehicle,” a Tata Trusts statement said.

“Avanti will be a platform to impact the poor through credit at individual and community levels to create a lasting improvement in their livelihoods and standards of living, ushering prosperity,” Ratan Tata said.

I am thankful to Dr. Kelkar and Nandan for agreeing to be part of this purpose-driven initiative.” He added.

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According to sources, they will apply for registration to Reserve Bank of India and begin the operations once the permission is granted.

The aim is to leverage on the social sector presence of Tata Trusts and other like-minded partners and the rapidly evolving India Stack (Jan Dhan-Aadhar-Mobile), UPI (unified payments interface) and payments bank ecosystem. Avanti would use this ecosystem and will innovate on product design in consonance with the indigenous needs, to deliver seamlessly for the end consumer”. Tata trust statement said

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“Access to credit at an affordable cost is still a challenge. I am honoured to be part of Ratan’s initiative that leverages on the Tata Trust’s rich legacy and aims to make a significant shift in achieving financial inclusion to the common man,” said Dr. Vijay Kelkar.

Both the investors Tata and Nilekani will get the investments from their respective philanthropic capital and the gains will be reinvested in the humanitarian cause.