S.M.I.L.E Microfinance Ltd (SMILE) was set up by Dr. N. Sethuraman in 2004 and is the first urban MFI to set up operations in Chennai in 2005. The company initially shared its member base with its parent institution, Mahasemam Trust.
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Effective April 2011, the operating agreement between SMILE and Mahasemam Trust was terminated and the two entities now operate independently of each other. The company had a branch network of 158 branches across 23 districts in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and had a loan portfolio of Rs.371 crore as on September 30, 2013.
Performance on key parameters
- SMILE, a mid-sized MFI based out of Tamil Nadu, reported CAGRs of 29 and 19 percent, respectively, in the loan portfolio and borrower base in the 3 years ended March 31, 2013. The operations are primarily concentrated in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry
- Asset quality has improved since March 2012, as evidenced by its 30+ dpd of less than 0.1 percent
- Has relationships with nearly 20 lenders comprising banks, NBFCs and other financial institutions. The cost of borrowings is comparable with peers of a similar size
- Capitalization is adequate for current scale of operations, with a net worth of Rs.76 crore, gearing of 4.6 times, and capital adequacy ratio of 24.4 percent as on March 31, 2013
- Profitability reduced significantly during 2012-13 on account of limited growth in interest income. The return on assets reduced 0.7 percent from 2.4 percent during the previous year