Paper

No Footsteps to Follow: The Talent Gap in the Development Finance Sector in India

Highlighting human capital issues in the development finance sector
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This report shares insights and learning from a field immersion conducted in India with a focus on MFIs.

A significant challenge facing the microfinance sector in India is a lack of adequate human capital, people who can manage and effectively scale microfinance organizations. The study, conducted in 2009 by the Grameen Foundation, ShoreCap Exchange, and Center for Creative Leadership and Continuum, aimed to understand the need to develop greater human capital capacity to support the scaling up of development finance organizations. It conducted interviews of executives, middle managers and field officers at SKS, BASIX and Mimo. Findings include:

  • MFI leaders find it difficult to balance multiple agendas of profit, growth and social mission;
  • Microfinance sector growth is outpacing its human capital capacity;
  • Talent challenges are most acute at the middle manager level;
  • Standardization and personalization are twin challenges;
  • Lack of resources hinders training and development.

The report highlights the need for better talent development, leadership development among middle managers and building organizational culture.