Eminent personalities from the field of microfinance and development participated in the conference and shared their views. The participants for the conference were – Prof. Malcolm Harper – Chairman MCRIL, M. P. Vasimalai – Executive Director, DHAN Foundation, Vineet Rai – CEO, Aavishkaar India Micro Venture Fund, C. P. Mohan – DGM, NABARD, Prof. Samapti Guha – Asst. Prof. TISS, Mumbai.
The topics discussed at the conference were – Microfinance and Poverty Reduction, Microfinance in India and its Problems, What is wrong with Microfinance, Inclusive Growth – Need of Convergence and Sustainable investing. The discussions brought forth the point that microfinance has mostly become a profit making venture over poverty mitigation, there is need to look beyond the debt and model of microfinance delivery, microfinance is an infrastructure and this framework can be used deliver more in terms of livelihoods – Microfinance Plus. Venture capitalists in microfinance and livelihoods domain like Vineet Rai stressed on promoting ideas at bottom of pyramid through Reinforcing Investment cycle and which would build microfinance institutions.
A round table towards the end of the conference worked as a facilitator for debate and convergence of views expressed in the first part of the conference by the participants. There were views and counter views expressed on demand, supply, scalability, profit motives, need to promote livelihoods, corporate CSR and microfinance, role of regulator and so on.