FM meets financial regulators to work out framework for FSDC

New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee today met financial sector regulators, including Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor D Subbarao and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) chairman C B Bhave, to work out a framework for the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) - a body which will deal with inter-regulatory issues, reports PTI.

"They (finance ministry) have asked for reactions from all the regulators which we have given in writing earlier. Today the finance minster held a meeting to discuss our reaction on the discussion paper," RBI governor D Subbarao told reporters after the meeting.

The RBI is believed to have expressed reservations on the proposal saying that the council, which will be akin to a super-regulator, might dilute its autonomy.

Besides Mr Subbarao and Mr Bhave, the meeting was attended by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) chairman J Hari Narayan and Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) chairman Yogesh Agarwal. Finance secretary Ashok Chawla was also present.

In the Union budget, Mr Mukherjee had proposed to set up FSDC with the explicit intention of strengthening and institutionalising the mechanism for maintaining financial stability.

The minister recently at New York had said, "Without prejudice to the autonomy of regulators, the council would undertake macro prudential supervision of the economy, including functioning of large financial conglomerates, and address inter-regulatory coordination issues. It will also focus on financial literacy and financial inclusion."

Today's meeting, according to Mr Subbarao, "was very constructive. We gave our suggestion. He (the minister) said he will consider them and the finance ministry will respond."


IRDA awaiting SEBI nod to announce IPO norms

New Delhi: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) today said the guidelines for insurance companies to tap the capital market for funds were awaiting the Securities and Exchange Board of India's (SEBI) nod and would be out soon, reports PTI.

"Initial public offer (IPO) guidelines for insurance companies will be out soon.

It has been approved by the joint committee of SEBI and has to be approved by the SEBI (board)," IRDA chairman J Hari Narayan told reporters here.

Last month the regulator had said that the proposed IPO guidelines for non-life insurance firms were in the process of finalisation.

The guideline for IPO of life insurance companies has already been approved by SCADA, a body constituted by SEBI, and is awaiting final nod from the market regulator.

Currently, most of the 22 private life insurers and 17 non-life players have foreign partners. The Insurance Act caps foreign direct investment at 26%.

As per the Insurance Act, promoters having 26% stake can offload equity after 10 years of operation. However, the legislation empowers the government to reduce the mandatory period.

IRDA had already notified the disclosure norms, necessary for providing details about the operations and balance sheets on quarterly and yearly basis. The IPO guidelines will deal with norms that a company must fulfil before hitting the capital markets.

The general insurance sector has 21 players, which include four state-owned companies.

Several private sector insurers, including Reliance Life and HDFC Standard Life, have already shown interest in tapping the capital market to augment their resource base.

The private players are waiting to tap the primary markets to augment their resource base.


SKS Microfinance is the latest blow to India Inc’s corporate governance norms

This high-profile microfinance company has sacked its CEO, under a shroud of secrecy. The bigger question is whether these aggressive, for-profit organisations should be allowed to play havoc with the finances of the rural poor

A week after SKS Microfinance shocked the corporate world by sacking its CEO, the company's image as the messiah of India's rural poor is suffering from a steady erosion. One of the main reasons for SKS's damaged public image is that the company's board of directors and the glittering list of SKS shareholders have chosen to maintain a stunning silence over the way the CEO was sacked and also the swirling rumours regarding how the company was run.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has done well this time to react quickly and publicly in asking the company to explain its action. It has also done well to let it be known (through media leaks) that it is not satisfied with the answer. We learn that one reason for SEBI's quick response could be the fact that before the IPO (Initial Public Offering), some of its shareholders had complained about a preferential offer to a select group, which was later dropped.
The silence of SKS Microfinance presents an interesting case study about perceptions of governance and accountability at the board level. While there is no indication of a financial scam like Satyam, here is another case, where neither a glittering list of internationally renowned corporate achievers (Vinod Khosla, NR Narayana Murthy) and top funds such as Sequoia as shareholders nor a board packed by representatives of private-equity funds, has been able to prevent controversial and confrontationist action without explanation.

Surely the board realises that unceremoniously sacking a CEO without explanation, is a different cup of tea from maintaining a dignified distance from Vikram Akula's messy divorce and prolonged custody battle, details of which are splashed all over the Web. And if they were convinced that the CEO needed to be sacked within months of an IPO, they need to explain to the retail shareholders who are not as privileged. When asked, Mr NR Narayana Murthy sent me this text reply, "since the issue is in court, I would not like to comment on this. I am also not aware of what exactly happened for this result".

On whether he was consulted before this controversial decision he said, "It is not proper to comment," at this stage when the issue is still sub-judice. It may be recalled that Mr Narayana Murthy's venture capital company acquired a substantial stake in SKS Microfinance just before the IPO at Rs300 a share. This investment certainly enhanced the premium that the company could command and also increased retail interest in the issue significantly. We contacted the two public relations agencies that handle SKS's media relations  - Adfactors and Sampark - and both were doubtful if the company would speak. Interestingly, it is not clear how the issue remains sub-judice when the court has decided the issue, ordered Gurumani to remain on the board and asked the company to seek general body approval for its action of sacking the CEO.

Since the company and its big shareholders are keeping mum, here are a few details we have pieced together about the sudden sacking of Suresh Gurumani. It is generally agreed and believed that the central issue was a personality clash between Vikram Akula, who wanted to take charge of the company once again, after winning the protracted custody battle for his son. Meanwhile, Suresh Gurumani, who had powered the growth of SKS Microfinance over the past two years, ensured a successful IPO, helped bring major shareholders on board and was even becoming the face of Indian microfinance (due to Akula's long absences from India), wasn't quite willing to give up. The flashpoint allegedly was Akula's objection to Gurumani trying to centralise processes. Whether centralised processes are the better thing to do will be evident in the coming years, especially when microfinance companies are chasing India's rural poor in exactly the same manner as they and private banks had chased the urban poor with expensive personal loans and credit cards.

It appears that Gurumani was all set to resign quietly. There was an understanding on his severance deal, including a three- to six-month gardening leave (when he cannot join a rival firm), 1.25 lakh stock options and payment of his salary for a year (a stunning Rs2 crore a year in a microfinance company). This was apparently negotiated by directors PH Ravikumar, Sumit Chhada, Paresh Patel and Vikram Akula. However, we learn that the lawyers who drafted the severance deal inserted so many onerous conditions that Gurumani decided to reject it. He was then threatened with sacking and told that it could lead to forfeiture of his options.

Source say that Gurumani's employment terms specified that if he was terminated 'with cause', he would lose all his stock options, but if the company couldn't come up with reasons to sack him, he not only walks away with his stock options (valued at around Rs300 crore at today's prices). Given this deal, we learn that the company tired to find a 'cause' for sacking Gurumani. For a while, they toyed with the idea of questioning his frequent visits to Mumbai, where his family continued to live.

Amazing as it may seem, the high-profile SKS Microfinance was headed by two people who spent very little time in Hyderabad. Akula was in the US almost every alternative week for his divorce and custody battles; in between he even found time to romance a well-known actress. We learn that some sensible voices at the board rejected the idea of investigating Gurumani's Mumbai trips too much, because there could be equal questions about Akula's US visits.

As things stand, some dirty linen is bound to be washed at the general body meeting. But, it is unlikely that Gurumani will find the numbers to back his continuance at SKS Microfinance as CEO. Gurumani also has no option but to fight, since SKS's action in sacking him has already made his employability an issue and he will want the best exit deal. His short stint at SKS Microfinance leaves him a very rich man who has little to lose. On the other hand SKS Microfinance and the microfinance industry itself has a lot more to lose. The fracas is just the trigger that was probably needed for many of us to question whether microfinance companies need to be reigned in and investigated before they create a moral hazard among India's rural poor by plying them with onerous loans that they cannot repay.

Maybe it is time the Reserve Bank of India woke up to what Mohammed Yunus, the father of microfinance, has been saying about aggressive, for-profit microfinance companies and their operations.



K Narayanan

7 years ago

Vikram saw an opportunity to list his shares in the bourses and loot legally aided and abetted by scores of merchant bankers and other professionals.What is wrong in it?If some fools are subcribing to his issue why crib about that chap.It would be better if you you advise people to keep away from this stock.SEBI and RBI cannot and will not do much.

Shibaji dash

7 years ago

Yesterdy October 13 Business Standard 9 and also perhaps Eco. Times) carried 2 news items. First and the most alarming one is that RBI the regulator of micro finance companies has stated that it is for the state govts. to take appropriate measures to prevent malfeasance/misfeasance in these companies. If tue, it is a blatantly false diversionary tactic. Micro finance is a specie of banking activity that is a subject in the Central List of the Constitution. The State intervention would only lead to jurisdictional issue. Writs of course will be filed the recalcitrant company at appropriately convenient time and the issue of illegalities will be lost for ever public money jeopardised for ever . In any case the track record of State Govts in handling banking companies like credit cooperatives being what it is one need not be super intelligent to fathom what the state politicians would or would not do. It's no secret that that micro finance business is already the captive of the local politicians who are the same across the party lines when it comes to abetting or investigating money scams.
Responsible citizens may resort to RTI Act to verify (1) whether in case of many micro finance companies buildings owned by the relations of the company Directors are not hired by the companies paying excessive rent at the expense of the company (2) whether or not the relations of the Directors are employed by the company and paid excessive remuneration for doing precious little by way of rendering services( 3) whether or not the relation employees and the Directors are not enjoying excessive perquisites of varied types(4) whether or not in many cases written off loans were advanced to the chosen select ones.
Had posted comments 2 days ago. I will post the citation details of the relevant Tribunal case/s once i lay my hands on it.


7 years ago

If the article by itself is enlightening, the mail from readers reveals some sordid details. It is a pity one more 'Garibi Hatovo' scheme falls by the wayside,by reason of greed and unethicality in the business model followed.

Shibaji Dash

7 years ago

II entirely share the concern of Madam Sucheta Dalal on the building up microfinance bubble. I have serious reservations of the effectiveness of the supervision being exercised by the super Regulator. It's time RBI deploys the services of some tax men of investingation experience, proven track record and integrity to assist them. It's on record and in the published reports of Income tax appellate tribunals that the income of the micro finance companies are being granted exemption from tax under misconceived and erroneous interpretation of Sections 11/12/13 of the I T Act. Income of these companies are being held as charitable nature.One does'nt know if CBDT is aware of this at all.


Ramesh S Arunachalam

In Reply to Shibaji Dash 7 years ago

Dear All,
Greetings and apologies for a long posting!
As someone who has worked in the MF industry for over 23 years and in almost 550 districts of India and several countries, I want to say that the situation in Andhra Pradesh (AP) is worsening day by day and suicides are happening fairly regularly. The same problem is beginning to show up in neighbouring districts of other states also (although somewhat nascent)
Aggressive (Predatory) lending is being practiced by many MFIs and delinquencies/defaults are also mounting...and in many cases, the lack of integrated MIS (across products and geographies) means that the real extent of the delinquency problem may not be known. As I reported earlier, in several sampled portfolios, I have witnessed ghost clients and non-MF clients (being targetted) and also seen the phenomenon of broker agents who are the major cause of multiple lending - the real National extent of this problem must be accessed through a national study done by neutral non-sectoral people (to avoid conflicts of interest), using a rigorous approach and appropriate sample.
Growth is burgeoning in Micro-finance and to a great extent, growth is temporarily shrouding many problems. However, appropriate MFI systems and commensurate MFI capacity to manage burgeoning growth do not exist, especially at the field level. Cash handling and management are still nascent and as a result, frauds are on the increase (really skyrocketing!) The decentralised model has also meant that KYC documentation is very poor, MIS is inaccurate, internal controls are weak and frauds are galore!
Amidst all of this, people with 2/3/4/5 loans (in ranges of Rs 7000 - 15000 each) seem unable to make (weekly) payments and in some cases, when confronted by field workers/toughs and/or criminal elements (hired by broker agents), they are perhaps turning to commit suicide. A few such cases that I am currently looking at seems to suggest that the tactics and processes used by MFIs to recover money perhaps cannot be called, under any circumstances, as acceptable practice. This aspect is further compounded by the fact the rapid growth has meant that there is no proper training/orientation for staff - who then behave as they like
The HR function in MFIs is also very weak and staff are over worked and fatigued (6 AM to 11PM in many cases and their working/living conditions are pathetic). Hence, they are more prone to cut corners and also engage in frauds. Their frustration is also perhaps causing them to behave high-handedly with clients - who are also harassed by toughs and criminals hired by broker agents, a growing phenomenon. Staff unions have come in many districts/some states and there are few cases where unions have wanted to stop repayment to the parent MFI. There are cases where sets of branches and/or an area or regional office are threatening to break away and/or have broken away from the MFI, causing huge losses. The regulators must remember that a lot of this is loan money from banks, which, as Dr Y V Reddy, former Governor RBI said, are indeed public deposits
Amidst all of this, The Govt wants to cap interest rates, and I am not sure that this will solve the problem. Although, it is becoming increasingly clear that the effective interest rates charged by many MFIs are not what they claim these to be. I have observed EIRs in the range of 36 - 54% in several cases and the decentralised model adopted by many MFIs is permitting staff excesses in this regard

All said and done, the Indian MF bubble is getting bigger and closer to bursting, day by day...

Most importantly, the negative publicity for MFIs has meant that in many places, people are now trying to violently protest against MFI excesses, which is not a good thing (I do not justify violence of any manner and for any cause). In short, micro-finance and MFIs are slowly losing acceptability among the people...

Read on...

What is very sad is the fact that MFIs are slowly losing their creditability, both in the eyes of the people and state - who now see MFIs as formalised moneylenders and mere vehicles for making money of the poor. IRRESPECTIVE OF HOW MUCH OF THIS IS TRUE, the fact of the matter is that many MFIs have not helped their causes with poor Corporate Governance, Conflicts of interest at various levels, Inadequate checks and balances over executive decision making and behaviour, Lack of transparent reporting to the outside world, Lack of truly independent directors, Insufficient transparency about ownership/control, related-party transactions and the (group’s) overall financial position etc

I really hope that the Indian MF industry is able to wade through this crisis (unscathed)? The regulators and lenders have a very serious responsibility in ensuring this as otherwise, between Rs 20000 - Rs 25000 crores (1 crore = 10 million) could be at stake...believe me, if money supply to the industry is reduced suddenly, defaults will further mount. Therefore, I am not sure whether there is any exit route for the banks/lenders - as the Eagles song, Hotel California goes, "You can check out but you can never leave".

To tackle this crisis and clean up Indian micro-finance, the MF community in India must FIRST come out of its mode of denying that nothing is wrong...unless, we accept problems, we cannot effect changes and let us not repeat the same mistake that happened with sub-prime where most people pretended that all was well, until the crisis brought us crashing to the ground. I hope the same does not happen here in India with regard to micro-finance


Warm Regards


Sanjay Sinha

In Reply to Ramesh S Arunachalam 7 years ago

Ramesh, are you writing this letter with *increased* stress on MIS because you want to peddle your MIS software and systems to MFIs?

Ramesh S Arunachalam

In Reply to Sanjay Sinha 7 years ago

No, Mr Sanjay Sinha. I object to this and your facts are wrong - I have no MFI systems to peddle or sell for the last 7 years - MY MIS was made into an open source software, way back in 2003 and I have sold no MIS to anyone. In future, please do check your facts before you resort to making insinuations. Thanks


7 years ago

Dear Sucheta Dalal,

Further to my note below, I wanted to correct a few other factual errors in your article in that the SKS Microfinance Board of Directors and/or investors have never maintained a "dignified distance," from our messy divorce and court battles over the years and have consistently used corporate resolutions, corporate resources, and corporate staff, agents, and assigns to either initiate hostile, oppressive, and coercive legal action against me or cover up all of Vikram Akula's and his family's unethical or illegal activities to date, whether it be civil or criminal.

Indeed, SKS Microfinance's Human Resources Manager -- Vikram Akula's, maternal cousin whose father was a member of SKS Microfinance's Board of Directors at the time -- conspired and colluded in the first child abduction of our son over Columbus Day Weekend 2001 in Chicago, Illinois along with Vikram Akula's parents, brother, and paternal aunt, all of whom flew in from the East Coast to help further the plot and plan. Fast forward to Columbus Day Weekend 2009, Vikram Akula, along with his mother, and his Executive Assistant, pulled our son out of school on October 12, 2009, and took him to the Family Court of Hyderabad to obtain ex parte orders against me, with the knowledge, assistance, and participation of one of SKS' corporate attorney.

Fast forward one week later to Diwali Weekend 2009, Vikram Akula, along with his Executive Assistant and Assistant Human Resources Manager fraudulently produced and obtained Jet Airways boarding passes and e-ticket itineraries in both my son's and my name for a flight we never took and for a date on which we never even approached or entered the airport and used the same to file false criminal charges against me both in India and in the US, with SKS' then Assistant Human Resources Manager receiving a promotion shortly thereafter to Human Resources Manager and presumably a substantial increase in salary, perqs, and benefits.

It is important to note that soon after our son's abduction in Chicago, Illinois, I brought formal charges against Vikram Akula by and through the SKS Foundation Board of Directors to not only protect myself as a law student and aspiring officer of the court but to bring to the attention of the governing body all of Vikram Akula's and his family's illegal, unethical, and fiscally irresponsible methods and practices given that SKS Foundation was SKS Microfinance's funding source. The matter was investigated with certain findings made, after which every single board member resigned, and Vikram Akula's millionaire uncle along with his billionaire partner brought in their own people to serve as the new SKS Foundation Board of Directors , namely family and staff, and to protect his nephew and their investment.

It is also important to note that all documentation of said proceedings were destroyed a year later by and through corporate resolution, which I learned about when I formally requested said documentation from SKS Foundation as and for my records during the period I was completing my application to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission such that I could obtain my law license after passing Bar Exam. Thankfully, I had kept copies of all material and relevant documentation. It is further important to note that Ashish Lakhanpal was one of the SKS Foundation Board members that were brought in by Vikram Akula's millionaire uncle and billionaire partners, who abruptly resigned for unknown reasons from SKS Microfinance Pvt. Ltd. upon the sacking of Suresh Gurumani.

Moreover, Vikram Akula did not spend "almost every alternative week for his divorce and custody battles" in the US and, in fact, only returned as and when he had SKS business to conduct or was promoting himself at various speaking engagements through the country -- roughly every alternate month and at times not returning for 6-8 weeks at a time -- cancelling his visitation left and right because his primary focus and goal was to globetrot around the world and amass his fame, fortune, and coffers, all the while neglecting his one and only son. Indeed, it was me who made all of the financial, professional, and even social sacrifices to successully raise our son -- against all odds for over 8 years -- providing him with stable homes, stable schools, and a stable life that included friends, family, and a strong faith-based community with whom we maintained close relationships throughout the years only for Vikram Akula, family, and company to violently rip and tear him from his mother and from his motherland and everything he knows and loves back home, all in furtherance of SKS Microfinance Pvt. Ltd.'s IPO.

You might ask, what is the connection? The connection is that SKS Microfinance Pvt. Ltd. had to disclose to SEBI and to the public any and all criminal convictions and/or civil judgments entered against any and all Board of Directors and/or Corporate Officers as also any and all pending litigation, either in India or in the US, prior to the Initial Public Offering, and the best way to erase Vikram Akula's questionable past and all of the adverse rulings that were handed down against him in both the civil and criminal courts of Illinois was to abduct and illegally detain my son in India, obtain ex parte orders against me while I was out of the country, and proceed to bully, bulldoze, and bankrupt me with mentally, emotionally, psychologically, physically, financially, and even professionally draining litigation in two different countries with diametrically opposite time zones using corporate staff, resources, agents/assigns, perqs/benefits, methods/means to debilitate me to such an extent that I would either have a nervous breakdown or voluntarily give up custody of my son.

Finally, the public needs to know that SKS Microfinance Pvt. Ltd. failed to fully disclose all pending litigation as against Vikram Akula in their initial Red Herring Prospectus, after which I filed a formal complaint with SEBI notifying them of all undisclosed pending litigation against Vikram Akula in India and in the US. SEBI then required that SKS Microfinance disclose the same by issuing a second public notice, but again full disclosure was not made an the second public notice was fraught with factual misrepresentations as the substantive and procedural posture of the various proceedings. As such, I filed a second formal complaint with SEBI, but to no avail. Indeed, for all of Vikram Akula's public platforms and platititudes about strengthening women and children, providing economic and professional opportunities to families, increasing access to legal and financial resources, and exposing fraud and corruption, he has gone out of his way to silence, subjugate, and suffocate individual after individual in both his private and corporate life, with the greatest casualities being his own wife and child, who have been traumatized and terrorized for over 12 long months.

Malini M. Byanna
(The Former Wife)


7 years ago


Aparna Ramachandra

7 years ago

The public was made to believe that Mr Akula was a patriot who wanted to sweat for the coastal women in Andhra Pradesh. If the rates of interest were low and welfare was the objective we wouldnt've seen such a magnificient IPO, media publicity and spneding frenzy by the company.When the director's were drawing such huge salaries, andgiving themselves ESOP's where was ethics and answerability.......This whole episode is very saddening......the regulators need to take some quick action to deter more fraudsters in the garb of microfinance

s vivek

7 years ago

Microfinance by itself is a loan to poor people without security.It is promoted by politicians by forcing public sector banks to lend money to all to raise their vote bank.Also it does good to few people who use their money judiciously an repay it.With politicians involving them aggresively many loans ont get repaid.


7 years ago

Dear Sucheta Dalal,

Thank you for having the courage to write such an article, finally exposing the truth about Dr. Vikram Akula et al and the "corporate governance" issues, or more accurately "power and control" issues, that have been long-standing, dating back to our separation and divorce, which was initiatied by our then 8-month old son being abducted in Chicago, Illinois by his father, his father's family, and members of his company in an effort to preclude me from attending a previously scheduled SKS Foundation board meeting during which I was going to call for formal resolutions to be passed such that SKS Foundation and SKS Education would be under my direct management and purview and SKS Microfinance and SKS Technologies under his. I had called for the same due to stark differences in the legal, ethical, and fiscal management of the international development company that Dr. Vikram Akula claims to have founded, which in fact was established in the Fall of 1999 subsequent to our engagement, with me assembling a Board of Directors for Navariti, Inc., later SKS Foundation, at a time when SKS Microfinance was not fluorishing and the so-called founder was ready to pack his bags and move back to the United States.

Moreover, the initial seed money that Dr. Vikram Akula claims in various media articles that he and his family single-handedly raised from 350+ individual donors were in fact guests who attending our lavish $80,000 wedding, primarily paid for by my parents, during which we asked for donations to Navariti, Inc., later SKS Foundation, in lieu of wedding gifts. Our international development company initially operated out of my parents' home in Schaumburg, Illinois were we later resided as husband and wife, with said donors listed in SKS' 2000 Annual Report which can be found on the web. See also SKS Foundation Annual Report 2001. Further, Dr. Vikram Akula continues to take credit for and reap the benefits of the ideas, intellectual property, and sweat equity of countless individuals who helped take him to the "top of the mountain" because he had them convinced that only had noble and altruistic motives, only for him to push them off the cliff if they dared challenged or opposed him or as and when they no longer had any utility or purpose, myself included.

Said ideas, intellectual property, and sweat equity include but are not limited to the following: (1) replicating SKS Microfinance in the 100 poorest districts of India by and through a non-banking finance corporation wherein the beneficiaries would be the largest shareholders, which was my inspiration, (2) the Smart Card project and related software and implementation developed by a McKinsey Consultant with a grant by CGAP of the World Bank, which was the inspiration of SKS Microfinance's former Chartered Accountant, and (3) the SKS Education and Nutrition Program, for which I had secured a $300,000 earmarked grant from I2 Technologies, which was illegally dipped into while I was abroad without the knowledge and consent of the SKS Foundation Board to cover SKS Microfinance expenses because said program had been bankrupted by its so-called founder by and through unnecessary and wasteful expenditures in furtherance of his political aspirations.

Finally, I wanted to correct some factual errors in your report in that Dr. Vikram Akula and I divorced in December 2002 after a protracted 14-month custody battle following the return of our son into my custody, care, and control, just 5 days after he was abducted over Columbus Day Weekend 2001 in a plot and a plan that was hauntingly similar to that which was exacted over Columbus Day Weekend 2009, but this time in India where Dr. Vikram Akula, family, and company wield tremendous power and influence due to their money, stature, and political connections. Further, custody has never been disturbed and was, in fact, re-affirmed in August 2005 subsequent to a 604(b) best interests of the child evaluation, and the Family Court of Hyderabad's order granting Dr. Vikram Akula guardianship of our son is only interim in nature and is currently under direct appeal in the Supreme Court of India. Therefore, Dr. Vikram Akula has not by any means won custody of our son, either in India or in the US, as our case is still pending and resolved in both countries.

Thank you and God bless,

Malini M. Byanna
(The Former Wife)

P.S. Please see the recent Wall Street Journal article on the release of Dr. Vikram Akula's book, "A Fistful of Rice," and related comments for more insight into his fraudulent and all too hypocritical methods and practices:


7 years ago

This article is totally wrong and is based on conjectures. Almost all the 'facts' stated here are contradicted by today's press release by SKS. Could you please write solid articles based on facts rather than what you feel about microfinance as a for profit entity - which you are entitled to dislike.


Sucheta Dalal

In Reply to Manish 7 years ago

Please read the expensive advertisement they released and tell me one word in this article that has been contradicted. In fact SKS Microfinance is the rare company that hires two of India's expensive PR agencies simultaneously. Yet, at a press conference in Mumbai, they did not invite Moneylife which was chasing them all of sunday for answers. Does it mean they have a lot more to hide?


7 years ago

It is rediculus to see that blade finanace companies are funded by venture capitalist.Lending to poor people especially ladies at 24- 30% is an innovative and tech oriented business?

Abhiram Bhat

7 years ago

Good article.
One thing comes to mind about these micro finance companies that charge high interest rates and still have excellent collection record/low NPAs
- How is it that the govt writes off 70K crore for farmers and the same farmers pay so much to micro finance companies? Is it possible that potentially the farmers could borrow from govt (nationalised banks) and pay these companies knowing the lax collection mechanism from govt?

R Balakrishnan

7 years ago

There is perhaps a very strong case for suing the Board, including the independent directors. For this to happen so soon, looks like the issue has been simmering for some time. Maybe it was thought by the board that let the issue get over and we will then see.
Also, wonder why a CEO of a NBFC should be paid fancy salary with stock options. It is also likely that even the initial shares were funded with a co loan!
This also shows the stupidity of the venture capitalists who funded this co. ALso shows us that 'independent' directors are as crooked as others or are dumb. In either case, they have no reason to be on the board. They must go.
And the RBI is sitting quiet? Sebi of course will get in to the act and come out with something which does not punish


7 years ago

Good Story. I like it.

Put a team in place to investigate all Public Issues which have sprung up suddenly, and please break the news before the IPO's


7 years ago

pls write about ambarish baligas disgusting and illegal behaviour in recomending a buy on koutons retail the very day karvy finanacial services sold 385000 shares



In Reply to rajesh 7 years ago

many other investors are victim of Karvy SBL advices-when they sent SMS during end of 2007 to accumulate RNRL with target of 450 and RPL with target of 650 in just one year period-and then it tumbled to new losws of 32 and 61 Rs-this was specifically SMS to most of investors who work with KSBL-so this is not new with Karvy of misleading invetsors and garlanding their own dead stocks to their own clients-

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.

To continue

Sign Up or Sign In


To continue

Sign Up or Sign In



The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)