Who We Are
IFMR Finance Foundation is an Indian think-tank promoted by IFMR Trust. Our mission is to ensure that every individual and every enterprise has complete access to financial services. We strongly believe in the deep transformative power of finance in unlocking the potential of individuals, households, enterprises, and local governments.
Harnessing the power of finance will however be predicated on the development of a well-functioning financial system. Our work is focussed on the three pillars that we believe constitute any well-functioning financial system – high-quality origination, orderly risk transmission and robust risk aggregation. Within this framework, we identify and understand the challenges that inhibit the delivery of complete financial services to excluded segments of the economy. Through our core strategy of research and advocacy, we seek to systematically address and resolve these challenges.
IFMR Finance Foundation works on the themes of a) developing and disseminating financial systems design that achieve both inclusion as well as stability, b) advancing customer protection particularly for low-income households, and c) building household finance as an academic field to enrich our understanding of household behaviour in rigorous ways. We engage in extensive policy and regulatory engagements on these themes.-
Bindu Ananth, Chairperson – Bindu Ananth is currently the Chair of IFMR Trust. She is a director on the boards of all IFMR Trust group companies, is a Trustee of IFMR Trust, and has been a part of the IFMR Trust Executive Group since 2008.
Bindu co-edited ‘Financial Engineering for Low-Income Households’, a book published by SAGE. Her work has also been published in Economic and Political Weekly, the OECD Trade Paper Series, and the Small Enterprise Development Journal. She is a Fellow of the Global Economic Society, a member of the FICCI taskforce on financial inclusion, and a member of the Government of India’s High Level Committee on Women. She was a member of the Reserve Bank of India’s Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Low-Income Households and Small Businesses (2013) and she serves as a Nominee Director for the National Stock Exchange and is on the Board of Computer Age Management Services.
Prior to this, she worked in ICICI Bank’s Microfinance team between 2001 and 2005 and was Head of the New Product Development team within the Rural Banking Group in 2007. She graduated with Masters Degrees from the Institute of Rural Management (IRMA) and Harvard University’s John. F. Kennedy School of Government, and has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Madras University.
Anand Sahasranaman – Anand was earlier the Executive Director of the IFMR Finance Foundation. Anand specialises on issues of financial system design such as customer protection, institutional design of the financial system, and sustainable financing for cities. Prior to IFMR Finance Foundation, Anand was a founding member of IFMR Capital, an organisation that provides capital markets access to institutions that impact low income households.
He previously worked on the structured credit desk at Broadstreet Group, a New York-based hedge fund. His writing has been published in Economic and Political Weekly, Environment and Urbanisation Asia, and Urban India, and he has published work on banking in India, mobilising capital in emerging markets, and urbanisation. He graduated with an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and has a bachelor’s degree in Engineering.
Bama Balakrishnan – Bama is currently the Chief Financial Officer of IFMR Capital, has been a part of the IFMR Trust Executive Group since 2014, and is a director on the board of Pudhuaaru Financial Services Private Limited, IFMR Rural Channels’ wholly-owned subsidiary NBFC. Bama has worked extensively in Corporate Banking, Credit Analysis and Investment Banking with responsibility for business development and portfolio credit quality as well as regulatory reporting and compliance.
She previously worked with ICICI Bank for 10 years, starting off in the structured finance team and moving on to lead teams in corporate and investment banking in India, USA, and Singapore. She graduated with an MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and has a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Madras. She is also a CFA charter holder.
Puneet Gupta – Puneet is a Trustee at IFMR Trust, and has been a part of the IFMR Trust Executive Group since 2008. He represents the Trust as a promoter director on the board of several group companies and also serves on the board of IIT Madras’ Rural Technology Business Incubator.
He began his formal career with ICICI Bank where he worked for a period of 7 years in various roles including coordinating the work of the micro finance practice at ICICI Bank. His responsibilities at ICICI Bank included identification and development of new channels and products for reaching out micro financial and rural financial services. He has worked extensively towards the creation of facilitative infrastructure for the delivery of micro financial services. In addition he has worked with microfinance related equity funds to help them raise capital. Puneet has significant experience of working closely with NGO, academics, State Governments and donor agencies. He is a commerce graduate with a Master’s degree in Rural Management from Institute of Rural Management Anand.
Sucharita Mukherjee – Sucharita is a Trustee and Vice Chair of IFMR Trust, and has been a part of the IFMR Trust Executive Group since 2008. She is a director on the board of all IFMR Trust group companies and was the founding CEO of IFMR Capital, from its inception till 2012. She has recently been appointed as a member of the India Advisory Committee to the UNEP Inquiry into a Sustainable Financial System.
Previously, she led the origination and structuring effort in credit derivatives and structured finance for corporates at Morgan Stanley in London where her work included developing innovative asset-backed financing structures in areas such as intellectual property and health-care receivables. She was also part of the credit derivatives team at Deutsche Bank in London, structuring credit-derivatives-linked repackaged investments for financial institutions. She graduated with an MBA from IIM, Ahmedabad, and has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Delhi University.-
Deepti is the Head of Policy at the IFMR Finance Foundation, where she focuses on aspects of financial system design, financial services delivery and consumer protection. Having been at the Foundation for 4 years, her work entails policy analysis and communication to convey and bridge the gaps between regulation and business- and customer-level outcomes. Prior to the Foundation, Deepti worked with IFMR Rural Finance in the design of training systems for the Kshetriya Gramin Financial Services. She has been a member of the IFMR Trust Executive Group since July 2015. Deepti holds a post-graduate diploma in management from IFMR specialising in Finance.
Bhusan is a Research Associate with the Future of Finance Initiative at IFMR Finance Foundation. He has previously worked at corporate law firms with specialisations in handling mergers & acquisitions, acting on private equity transactions and advising on general corporate matters. Bhusan graduated in arts and laws from the National Law University, Jodhpur and was a Reserve Bank of India Young Scholar for the year 2010.
Dinesh works on the outreach initiatives of IFMR Finance Foundation in reaching out to key stakeholders through collaterals, campaigns and events. He also manages the IFMR Blog and is closely involved in leading internal and external communications. He holds a post-graduate diploma in management.
Kaliamoorthy joined IFF as Field Coordinator in 2014, with over 25 years of experience in data collection and analysis. He supports IFF’s research on Financial Inclusion and Consumer Protection, leveraging a variety of data collection methods including surveys, qualitative interviews, focus groups and audits. Previously, he has worked with IMRB International, Hansa Research Group and The Gallup Organization.
Madhu is a Research Analyst at IFMR Finance Foundation with a focus on research related to Financial Systems Design. Previously Madhu worked as a Team Lead at Latentview Analytics where his team was responsible for the portfolio analytics of the SMB lending product of an NA based payments services provider. Prior to that he worked as an Assistant Manager at ICICI Bank in their Rural and Inclusive Banking Group, where he was responsible for SMB lending in the PSL category. He has completed his PGDM from Institution for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) and has also cleared both levels of the Financial Risk Management (FRM) program conducted by GARP.
Malavika is Project Head for the Future of Finance Initiative at IFMR Finance Foundation. She is a lawyer qualified in India and in England, with experience in policy and strategy. Previously, she worked for over five years with the global law firm Allen & Overy LLP in London, in the firm’s international debt capital markets practice (focussing on securitisation). She is a fellow of the On Purpose leadership programme, through which she has consulted on policy and strategy for two innovative government-backed organisations in the UK: Big Society Capital (the UK’s social investment finance wholesaler) and the National Citizen Service (a flagship youth programme to build social mobility, cohesion and volunteering).
Malavika graduated with an MPhil in Public Policy from the University of Cambridge, and completed a five-year undergraduate law-degree at the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR).
Monami is a Research Analyst at IFMR Finance Foundation with a focus on research related to household finance. Previously Monami worked as an Assistant Manager at IDBI Bank where she undertook analysis of global economic policies with focus on monetary policy developments. She has completed her M.Phil in Development Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences and holds a Master’s in Economics from University of Mumbai.
Ranjitha works as an Admin Manager at IFMR Finance Foundation. She has a Master’s in Public Administration from Madras Christian College and previously worked with HCL as a Process Associate and Tutis Innovative e-solution as a Senior Business Development Executive.
Nishanth has been working on building mathematical models using various unsupervised learning techniques and applying these models in the realm of household finance research. His keen interest lies in understanding and analysing financial systems from a mathematical perspective. He holds a Masters in Applied Mathematical Sciences from the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK and an undergraduate degree in Mathematics.
Vaishnavi leads IFMR Finance Foundation’s Household Finance Research Initiative, a collaboration that aims to generate tangible insights on financial decision-making and customer well-being, with implications for financial inclusion policy and practice. Her recent work at IFMR Finance Foundation includes primary research on microcredit in competitive markets with specific implications and recommendations for better customer protection.
Vaishnavi brings together diverse experiences in banking, financial inclusion, data analytics and primary research and is interested in issues of access and quality in financial services and the intersection of microeconomic research, financial practice and policy.
Varun is a policy analyst with IFMR Finance Foundation focusing on the Future of Finance Initiative. Previously he was a researcher at the European Institute for Asian Studies in Brussels, where he worked on topics related to migration policy, political economy and econometrics. He holds a BA in Mathematics from the University of Washington in Seattle with a minor in International Political Economy and a MSC in Economics at Maastricht University. His thesis focused on the relationship between remitting behaviour and policies in the remittances framework. His interests further include governance in India and competition policy.-