DDFC from Sarvodaya enters financial services sector
DDFC will offer the much-needed financial support to those who strive to succeed through hard work and determination – Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne
By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
Deshodaya Development Finance Company Ltd. (DDFC), coming under the Sarvodaya umbrella, entered the financial services sector this week as the 47th licensed finance company in the country.
DDFC, an extension of the microfinance company Sarvodaya Economic Enterprise Development Services (SEEDS), was inaugurated on 28 January 2013 at its city office in Nagarodaya where the occasion was graced by Founder/President Lanka Jathika Sarvodaya Shramadana Sangamaya Inc. Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, who also made the first deposit, officially declaring the company open.
Following the inaugural ceremony was a celebrative launch of DDFC which was held in the evening at the BMICH. Chief Guest for the event was High Commissioner of India Ashok K. Kantha, while the gathering included nearly 1,500 representatives from the Sarvodaya Shramadana Samithi.
Extending gratitude to the Government for the support rendered in establishing the DDFC initiative, Dr. Ariyaratne said: “Having the legal framework in place, as a finance company DDFC will offer the much needed financial support to those who strive to succeed through hard work and determination.”
“With 25 years of experience in the SME sector, microfinance and project management acquired from SEEDS, DDFC is fully geared to deliver personalised and simplified financial solutions to the deserving farming community of our country,” added DDFC Chairman Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne.
The High Commissioner of India expressed confidence in DDFC during his speech, stating: “I have no doubt that DDFC will make immense contribution to the disadvantaged and marginalised people in the rural and urban areas of Sri Lanka and I am certain it will help enrich and uplift the economic development of this country.”
Having recently received authorisation from the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, DDFC will disburse financial services to its audience through its 30 branch offices and 32 service centres located islandwide. The company’s diverse portfolio of financial solutions include products such as; savings, fixed deposits, pawning, housing loans, microfinance, project finance, and term loans.
Sarvodaya was the first NGO to operate a micro-financing arm which was established in 1986 under the name SEEDS. Targeting the poor population of the nation, SEEDS has encouraged savings for over 1.5 million Sarvodaya members and this has resulted in the loan portfolio to stand at Rs. 2.7 billion while the cumulative loans tops US$ 1 million.
While SEEDS offers a wide range of financial and non-financial services to poor enterprising clients who have no access to credit to capitalise their small ventures through formal banks and financial institutions, Sarvodaya conceptualised DDFC to help bridge this gap. The newly-launched company focuses on uplifting the standard of living and development of those mainly in the agriculture sector.
|Representatives from Sarvodaya Shramadana Samitis across Sri Lanka at the launch celebrative launch of DDFC|
-Pix by Sameera Wijesinghe