Opening Markets through Strategic Partnerships: The Alliance Between ICICI Bank and Cashpor

  • Date Posted: February 22, 2011
  • Authors: Robin Bell
  • Organizations: DAI
  • Document Types: Case Study or Vignette, Primer or Brief
  • Donor Type: US Agency for International Development

To increase its provision of microfinance and establish its leadership in this last sector, ICICI Bank of India developed a partnership model. ICICI's motivation was twofold: the bank needed to meet government requirements for priority sector lending and it had a very limited branch network and wanted to take advantage of the infrastructure of the MFIs that were operating in more rural areas. In addition, market research conducted by ICICI revealed that many MFIs operating in the rural areas could not expand their operations due to poor capitalization and lack of funds for on-lending. This was the foundation for the partnership with CASHPOR, one of the largest MFIs operating in India. Under the agreement, CASHPOR acts as a service agent on behalf of ICICI to set up and manage self-help groups (SHGs). This case study analyzes the origins and operations of the partnership, and identifies key success factors and lessons learned for other financial institutions and donors interested in replicating this model.