Sonata is an Indian microfinance institution specialized in solidarity loans. Its 400,000 clients are all women. Proparco's equity investment will help the company triple the size of its portfolio.
SONATA is a microfinance institution (MFI) based in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous State in India and where there are also some of the poorest people in the country. SONATA was set up in 2006 by Mr. Anup Kumar Singh (CEO), who has almost 20 years' experience in the microfinance sector. It is today firmly established in rural and semi-urban areas in 6 States in Northern India, where there is a low level of financial inclusion. The MFI is specialized in solidarity loans to women and benefits from an excellent knowledge of its market segment, with a strong capacity to innovate in order to fulfill its social mission. As of March 2015 (month for the closing of accounts in India), SONATA was serving over 400,000 clients (100% women) via a network of 209 branches, with a loan portfolio of EUR 87m.
It is a joint equity investment by Proparco and TRIODOS Investment Management in the microfinance institution SONATA, each for approximately 12.5%.
The SONATA project will contribute to improving access to credit for disadvantaged populations in India, where the rate of access to banking services is only 53%. SONATA mainly targets women, and the project is expected to triple the size of the portfolio to 1.6 million clients, who are in particular located in Uttar Pradesh, one of the most populous and poorest States in the country. SONATA is certified Smart Campaign, which gives clients a certain level of protection, particularly in terms of transparency and the prevention of over-indebtedness. This project will also contribute to creating local employment, with the recruitment of 2,450 people in the next few years to support the growth in its activities.