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Unleashing the Power of Finance

With financial inclusion at its core, Fernandes’ company has expanded from microfinace and affordable housing loans to business and other loans

KSHAMA FERNANDES IS THE founding member of Northern Arc Capital (formerly known as IFMR Capital). She has been at the helm of the organisation through most part of the last decade. After playing the role of

chief risk officer till 2012, she set up the risk function, creating a strong data and analytics-driven risk culture. She took over as CEO of Northern Arc in 2012, leading the company into its growth phase with a team of high-cal-ibre committed finance professionals.

Beginning with a focus on microfinance, the company has expanded to affordable housing finance, commercial vehicle finance, small business loans, agricultural finance and fintech. Northern Arc today works with hun-dreds of non-banking financial companies across sectors connecting them with capital market investors in India and abroad. It is known for its pioneering work across several innovative and structured products that changed the landscape of the financial inclu-sion sector in India. Keeping with its philosophy of main-taining skin-in-the-game, the company continues to invest in debt structures.

For over a decade, the company has provided a platform for hundreds of mainstream investors such as mutual funds, pension funds and insurance funds to invest in these under-banked sectors. Backed by a set of reputed equity investors, it has over the years forged strong strategic alliances with domestic and international institutions attracting long-term debt capital into the under-banked segment in India. With over 500 capital market transactions successfully designed and implemented, Northern Arc has achieved a remarkable feat of enabling debt financing of $7 billion plus, impacting the lives of over 33 million people across India.

 Deeply respected for her commitment towards the cause of unleashing the power of finance for the greater good, Fernandes is the recipient of Accion’s coveted Edward W. Claugus Award presented to her for her outstanding lead-ership in advancing access to quality financial services to the underserved. She has been featured as a “Role model in banking” by FMO, the Dutch Development Financial Bank. She is also the recipient of the “Women in leadership” Award by Times Ascent “Dream Companies to work for”, amongst many others.

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