for two years now, a quiet experiment on how to deliver financial services to india’s rural masses has been underway in and around the ancient temple town of thanjavur, tamil nadu.
travel through the villages of pattukottai, thanjavur and kumbakonam and you will see branches — 57 of them — of a local “bank” called pudhuaaru after the local river. it is a recent entrant to this area. the first branch came up in june 2008. these branches, each occupying roughly 500 sq ft, with bright orange walls, with three youngsters sitting behind counters, with four or five rows of bright green wooden benches before the counters, offering loans, insurance and savings products with remittances slated to follow soon, are surprising rural finance professionals with their results.
the complete story here.