According to a company press release on Business Wire India. Cranes Software International, a developer of statistical analysis and simulation products, has signed an agreement with L&T Finance, the financial division of Larsen & Toubro ,an Indian conglomerate, to implement a microfinance lending solution.
L&T has identified microfinance as a natural extension to its agri-loans business. The lending solution, Banker’s Realm. or BR.net, will be implemented over the next three months across 20 branches of L&T Finance. BR.net is a web-based comprehensive banking solution specifically catering to the needs of non-bank financial institutions (NBFCs) and microfinance institutions (MFIs). L&T will consider a larger rollout once the software meets its initial scalability requirements and works seamlessly with L&T’s existing systems. There is capacity to expand to up to 100 branches although the current agreement does not cover such.
A company spokesperson commented “MFIs, in particular, have faced issues in processing the large number of micro-credit issuals, which often lead to clogging of the core banking systems. A web-based microfinance solution can help
support these processes, increase productivity and boost the efficiency of the system as a whole.”
Cranes, with a global base of 350,000 users, has been implementing BR.net in India with the help of Craft Silicon. a Kenyan-based banking software developer. BR.net is currently being used by Indian microfinance institutions such as Equitas Microfinance, Nirman Bharati. Indian Association for Savings and Credit (IASC ), and the Rores Foundation.
Other MFIs, such as SKS Microfinance. have also started to utilize the power of sophisticated web-based software to reach out to the poor. As recently reported on MicroCapital.org. SKS entered into a contract with Compulink to link all 650 SKS branches using web-based applications.
Cranes Software shares are quoted on the National Stock Exchange of India and the Bangalore Stock Exchange. The company’s GDRs are quoted on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. As of December 31, 2008 Cranes’ total market capitalization was USD 91 million .
By Laura Anderson, Research Associate
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