Shamim Banu

Impact: Shamim has been a Grameen Koota client for more than six years, providing a home for her family, employment for her villagers, and pride and respect from her husband.

Grameen Koota, one of the world’s leading financial inclusion providers based out of Bangalore, India has been using Mifos since 2006 when it was our beta customer who the original software was built around. They currently serve more than 450,000 clients. 

Shamim Banu lives in a village near the city of Mysore in Karnataka State, India.  For more than six years, she has borrowed and successfully repaid loans from Grameen Koota, a microfinance institution headquartered in Bangalore. With the loans she has received, Shamim has built a business producing small wood objects, such as candle holders and napkin rings, for export.  But success was not always assured.  When Shamim first sought to borrow from Grameen Koota, her husband would not allow it.  He feared more of the same treatment they had received in the past from village money lenders who frequently harassed them when loan payments were late. Reluctantly, Shamim’s husband finally agreed to allow her to take out a loan.

The first loan went well and others followed. But then the inevitable happened. Shamim was unable to make a payment on time. Soon the loan officer from Grameen Koota appeared at the family’s home. Shamim and her husband were afraid to answer the door, fearing what was to come. But the loan officer remained at the door, patiently waiting in the rain until the family would let him in. Respectfully and without any hint of harassment, the loan officer reviewed the family’s situation and worked with them to bring their loan current. Thus reassured, Shamim has continued as a client of Grameen Koota to this day.

With proceeds from her business she has built a permanent home for her family, provided for a daughter’s wedding, and provided employment for other villagers. But beyond any improvement to her standard of living she has gained something more.  Today, no one takes greater pride in Shamim’s achievements than the husband who so opposed that first loan.