CITI commits US$ 1.5 m to ISB
Citi India announced a three-year programme with the Hyderabad-based
Indian School of Business (ISB) to study, develop and recommend measures
that will promote financial inclusion and improve capital markets access
for small investors and enterprises.
Citi Foundation is committed to provide a $1.5 million grant to the
Centre for Analytical Finance (CAF) at the ISB, over a period of 3
years. Under the aegis of this grant, CAF will undertake projects on a
range of subjects in the financial domain.
The objective of this programme is to support changes that will have
a positive impact on emerging financial markets and participants,
including small investors, SMEs and micro entrepreneurs. CAF will
formulate recommendations to support regulators, practitioners,
academics, and other opinion leaders to implement financial development
in the country.
Announcing Citi's support for this partnership, CEO, Citi India,
Sanjay Nayar, said, "While India is witnessing unprecedented levels of
economic growth, two-thirds of our population is presently unconnected
to the formal banking and financial system.
Government, private organisations, NGOs and individuals have
undertaken several initiatives recently to extend financial inclusion
and to improve capital markets access for small investors and
enterprises. There exists a definite need to understand the impact these
initiatives are making and to identify key issues for stimulating
dialogue amidst all relevant stakeholders to induce the next level of
reforms to facilitate all-inclusive growth."
"With this research programme, our longstanding relationship with ISB
will be further strengthened. CAF is uniquely positioned to undertake
this project as it has prior experience of doing quality work in this
and other related areas," added Nayar.
Speaking on the need for detailed study in this area, Dean, ISB, M.
Rammohan Rao, said, "In spite of the Indian economy growing at a rate of
8 per cent, the growth in rural areas is still low. We believe that
there is a critical need to ramp up financial growth in rural areas to
make the economic growth more robust and inclusive. We are happy to be
associated with Citi for this programme which will allow the ISB to
contribute towards implementing inclusive financial developments in the
Using the grant support, CAF will organise several major projects,
international conferences, workshops/lectures, and extensive
dissemination of the project findings over the next three years.
"Our focus at the CAF is to research capital markets in emerging
economies, especially India. We expect our project findings to provide
help and support in creating a sound financial infrastructure for those
markets, and facilitate reforms to increase their global
competitiveness," explained Executive Director, Centre for Analytical
Finance (CAF) Professor Sankar De at the ISB.