Our story begins in the slums of Bangalore

Janalakshmi has its roots in an incubated initiative called Sanghamitra Urban Programme (SUP), housed in an outstanding microfinance institution called Sanghamitra Rural Financial Services (SRFS), set up by one of India’s most respected rural NGOs called Myrada (Mysore Resettlement and Development Agency).

Our first group loan, in October 2000, marks what is possibly the earliest instance of urban microfinance in India.

In 16 months we had loaned one crore rupees. All the while our small core team was trying to understand the aspirations and challenges of the urban poor, and also the role financial services could play in enabling them to script their success.

What we learnt in those early years continues to shape Janalakshmi today as we move into this phase of our growth. The large urban underserved want more than loans. Like all of us they, too, want a place to keep their hard-earned savings, they want health and life insurance, pensions and retirement plans, financial support to expand micro enterprises, loans to put children through English-medium schools. In short: a full-service financial institution to fuel their dreams.

By continuing to strengthen the key pillars of the organisation, and by partnering with leading global institutions, Janalakshmi is closer to being exactly such an institution for the growing and aspirational urban underserved.

We tell them: Likho apni kahaani.

The janalakshmi story




Suno Meri Kahaani

After I lost my father at the age of seven my mother faced a lot of hardship. We moved from Raichur to Bangalore. One day, through a colleague, I heard of a job opportunity at Janalakshmi and decided to take up the post of Collection Executive. Janalakshmi strengthened me financially. We built a new house in Bangalore. I am able to support my friends and brothers financially, and make my mother happy. I worked hard for this, but it could have never been possible without Janalakshmi.

Bheemaraya M.K.
Sr. Executive (Products & Services)


Not many of our customers are well educated, and most have just started climbing the socio-economic ladder. As a company it makes us feel especially
protective of their interests and responsible for their well-being.

In May 2015 Janalakshmi was officially recognised for this customer-centricity when we received the Smart Campaign Client Protection
Certification from Micro-Credit Ratings International Limited (M-CRIL).

The Smart Campaign is a global initiative to incorporate strong client-protection practices into the microfinance industry in India and other
countries. M-CRIL is a licensed certifier of the Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Program in India.

The certification underlines the fact that we follow globally acceptable principles and ethical practices and meet the required 30 standards in
customer protection and care. It is an acknowledgment that our systems and processes, products and work culture are all in alignment with
customer needs and demonstrate our respect and commitment to these millions of underserved individuals.

The Certification tells our customers what they already know and experience:

  • We offer them a range of products for different stages in their life and consult them regularly to understand changing needs and wants;
  • We ensure they never borrow more than their ability to repay;
  • All costs, terms and conditions are communicated clearly so that they can make informed decisions;
  • Our interest rates are fair and competitive and any price advantage is passed on to them;
  • We have strict policies which ensure they are always treated with respect;
  • Their personal information is kept confidential;
  • They can contact us anytime through a multi-layered grievance redress mechanism, including a toll-free helpline.

Janalakshmi meets the certification standards of care in implementing all of the Client Protection Principles (CPP) through its operations, product offerings and treatment of clients, demonstrating its commitment to keeping clients at the heart of its work, and contributing to a more responsible and stable microfinance sector.

Alexandra Rizzi, Director, Smart Campaign

The Certification is a recognition of the institution´s alignment of management systems, policies and processes with Client Protection Principles and of the strong commitment from management to promote growth and institutional development within a client protection framework.

Shraddha Jha, Senior Analyst, M-CRIL


We are simultaneously a for- profit and a non-profit company

How to harness the power of the market to provide value for the poor, while at the same time protect ourselves from some of the market’s more corrosive effects?

This potential dilemma was taken care of at the very start by creating a unique two-tier structure: A non-profit Section 8 company, Jana Foundation, which holds the promoter’s shares; and a for-profit Janalakshmi Financial Services, which raises capital from investors and is run as a financial services institution for the underserved.

Chairman Ramesh Ramanathan explains how it came about. ‘Having spent a large portion of my career in the global banking industry, I was acutely aware of the need to raise capital to fuel growth. I knew such capital would only come if investors were confident of the company’s profitability and continuing growth prospects, along with well-established controls and highest standards of ethics and corporate governance. Such a company would also be able to attract and retain the necessary human resources, and deliver consistently on innovations and value to customers. Hence there was a strong argument to establish the company as a for-profit NBFC. However, the for-profit structure also came with the limitation that it was fed by the essential motive of profits, which could sometimes work at cross-purposes to the idea of helping the poor. This was not an issue of individual morality, but rather of designing an institution with the correct checks and balances.’

Thus was created a happy balance between head and heart.


Jana Urban Foundation is a non-profit section 8 company for Janalakshmi Financial Services Pvt. Limited (JFS), Jana Capital Limited (JCL), Janaadhar (India) Pvt. Limited (JIPL) and Jana Urban Services for Transformation Pvt. Ltd (JUST). The Foundation undertakes various activities that deepen our own understanding of financial inclusion and its many challenges. It addresses policy issues and – through its financial advisory services; education, skills and livelihood initiatives; and community connect activities – helps customers to improve the quality of their lives.

Jana Foundation aims at ensuring holistic urban change by: developing actionable customer insights, incubating viable and scalable social business models, undertaking research and championing policy initiatives.

The Foundation has also crafted JFS’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy and curates the annual CSR giving program, including monitoring, evaluation and reporting of activities of the beneficiary agencies funded by JFS’ CSR monies. It must be highlighted that Jana Foundation is neither a beneficiary under JFS’ CSR program, nor does it charge a fee for administering the program.

Annual CSR Impact Report for FY 2016-17


Janalakshmi plans to achieve its goal through a two tier institutional set up: Janalakshmi Social Services a section 25 company which initially held the entire capital of an operating subsidiary and Janalakshmi Financial Services (P) Limited (JFS). JS will operate at the social end of the financial services spectrum, providing capacity building investments to the poor. JFS on the other hand, is built on the unique concept of harnessing the strength of a market-oriented business strategy catering to the customer segment that has traditionally been outside the mainstream financial services sector.


Janalakshmi has always attracted investors as we have demonstrated excellence in corporate governance. We also ensure that all shareholders receive regular communications such as quarterly newsletters and company updates.

To maintain healthy investor relationships, the Janalakshmi team follows a few core principles:

Stay visible & build relationships

Answer concerns of investors

Focus on the long-term story & balance sheet strength

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors at Janalakshmi performs its duties full time and holds formal and executive sessions regularly. The Directors supervise Janalakshmi’s financial statements, approve its administrative budget, and review and approve all policy documents and all loan, equity and technical assistance operations.

ramesh ramanathan

Ramesh Ramanathan


The Founder and Chairman of Janalakshmi, Ramesh Ramanathan has a proven track record in


Ajay Kanwal


Ajay Kanwal is a senior consumer and commercial banker with 27 years’ experience across Asia.


S Viswanatha Prasad

Investor Director

Viswanatha Prasad has over 10 years of operating and senior management experience in microfinance


Uday Chitale

Independent Director

Uday M Chitale joined the Board of India Infradebt Limited on February 23, 2015. Uday is a member of Audit


Narayan Ramachandran

Independent Director

Narayan Ramachandran is the former Country head-India, Morgan Stanley. Narayan has also served as the Head


T S Sivashankar

Investor Director

T. S. Sivashankar is a banker with two decades of experience in Citibank across treasury operations,


Vikram Gandhi

Independent Director

Vikram Gandhi is on the Board of Grameen Foundation. He is a founding member of Harvard University’s


Anil Rai Gupta

Investor Director

Anil Rai Gupta is CMD of Havells India Ltd, which he joined in 1992. Over the years he has helped transform


Ling Wei Ong

Investor Director

Ling Wei Ong is an Executive Director of Morgan Stanley. He joined the firm in 2005 and monitors the group’s


Nirav Mehta

Alternate Director

Nirav Mehta is an Executive Director of Morgan Stanley, and is the co-head of the group’s


Akhil Shriprakash Awasthi

Investor Director

Akhil Shriprakash Awasthi serves on the Boards and Audit committees of Star Health Insurance and Home


Vijayalatha Reddy

Independent Director

Vijayalatha Reddy joined the IFS in 1975. She was India’s Ambassador to Portugal in 2006 and to Thailand


Puneet Bhatia

Investor Director

Puneet Bhatia is MD and Country Head of TPG Capital India. Prior to this he was Chief Executive of the Private


V Narayanamurthy

Nominee Director

V Narayanamurthy is presently General Manager at IDBI Bank. In a career spanning over 26 years, he has handled


Mr. R. Ramaseshan

Independent Director

Mr. R. Ramaseshan has wide experience in the Government as an officer of the IAS and in the private


Management team

Janalakshmi develops and delivers quality programs and services to attract, develop, motivate and retain a skilled, diverse workforce. We do this with an emphasis on sustaining our most valuable asset, our employees.

C P Rangarajan

CEO - Retail Financial Services

Rangarajan is a veteran Banker with a rich and successful legacy and experience of nearly four decades in Banking.


Rahul Mallick


Rahul Mallick is a Retail Banking professional with over 25 years of global experience in the Banking & Financial Services


N S Rajan


Rajan is a veteran in the field of microfinance and banking, including Lease/ Hire Purchase & Public Deposits of NBFC,


Bidhan Chaudhuri


Bidhan Chaudhuri is a seasoned banker with over 25 years of international and domestic experience in banking and business process


santanu mukherjee

Santanu Mukherjee


Santanu Mukherjee is a banking and payments industry professional with over 25 years expertise




Sumit has over 20 years’ experience in HR, spanning country, regional and global mandates.