Chennai, Aug 1: HDFC Bank on Friday, Aug 1 launched the country's first online market linkage programme for Self Help Groups (SHGs).
Announcing this at a press conference here, Mr Rajender Sehgal, Executive Vice President said the new product would not only make available to SHGs a huge captive market but also lead to higher price realisation for their products. ''This is the first such initiative by any bank in India to help the rural industry and artisans improve their incomes and livelihood by offering them an online, readymade and hassle-free market,'' he said. In the first stage, the programme would include artisans engaged in 'Chikan' embroidery work on garments from Lucknow, silk sarees from Tiruvarur and Kancheepuram, Art paintings from Thanjavur and stone carving from Puri, he said.
''The 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,'' he added.
In Tamil Nadu, there were 15,441 SHGs and the bank, through micro credit, have changed the lives of 2.31 lakh families, he claimed adding ''nationally we have provided credit assistance to 32,256 SHGs cumulatively to uplift 4.83 lakh rural households.''