Initial public offerings (IPOs) are widely viewed as markers of commercial success. However, in the financial inclusion industry, IPOs are sometimes viewed with suspicion, if not alarm. This paper examines the 2016 IPOs of two Indian microlenders – Equitas Holdings and Ujjivan Financial Services – and how “hardwiring” their missions into their operations and corporate culture helped drive their success. The experience of these two companies suggests how a responsible financial services company can position itself to go public while maintaining its social mission.
The paper, sponsored by the Financial Inclusion Equity Council (FIEC), was written by Anna Kanze at Grassroots Capital Management PBC, with support from Daniel Piskadlo from the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion. Read the full report here. Grassroots’ partner, Caspian, has been invested in Ujjivan and Equitas since 2005 and 2008, respectively.