HDFC Bank launches online market link for SHGs

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Mumbai, Aug 01 (UNI) India's second largest private sector lender HDFC Bank today launched an 'online market linkage programme' for self help groups (SHGs), involved in microfinancing in the country.

Aiming at greater financial inclusion at lower level, this facility will not only make available a huge captive market comprising its employees and millions of customers to SHGs, but will also lead to a higher price realization for them for their products, keeping aside the middlemen, HDFC Bank said.

The bank also claimed it to be the first such initiative by any bank in India, taking an initiative to help the rural industry and artisans to improve their incomes and livelihood by offering them an ''online, readymade and hassle-free market.'' In the first stage, the facility will include artisans engaged in Chikan embroidery work on garments from Lucknow, the Applique work in Pipili (Orissa), Silk Saree and materials from Thiruvarur, Kanchipuram, and Sambalpur, terracota toys from Cuddalore, Tanjore art paintings and art plate from Thanjavur, and stone carving from Puri, the bank stated.

Announcing the initiative, bank's Senior Executive Vice President Rajender Sehgal said ''We realised that women running small micro enterprises and SHGs from their homes, besides timely and adequate credit, required support by way of market linkage.'' This online market linkage programme promises to offer SHGs direct online access to a wider market by crunching the sales chain and getting both the SHGs and their members a better value proposition, Mr Sehgal added.

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