Starting off small as a family business, Central Investments & Finance Limited (CIFL) is today in the forefront as a finance and leasing company in Sri Lanka. CIFL carries the hallmark of cohesion and steadfastness as an emerging force in the Sri Lankan commercial spectrum.
The deposit base of just Rs. 26 million in 2004 has now grown beyond measures. With main services of the company listed as higher purchase and leasing funded by deposits and savings, two new products were introduced in 2004 along with the takeover.
The two products micro credit and micro finance, which has now become its key target products with the aim of uplifting the rural lives of the people, has become a quite successful venture for the company.
Director/CEO of the company Jayanth Wickremeratne stated that the plans for the year include emphasising on providing microcredit to small producers.
“It is actually a village awakening programme where we receive consultancy from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka,” Wickremeratne said.
The programme has been tried and tested in Thalawa, Anuradhapura before where Rs. 1.5 million was disseminated among 100 agri-based villagers. This, Wickremeratne said was an immense success where all rules were adhered to by the villagers.
“Our concept is to go to the root level. We offer loans with a maximum repayment period of one to two years.” The company has six centres set up in Thalawakele, Mahiyangana, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala and Gampaha which does the necessary collection of the loans. In addition full branches have been set up in Kandy, Galle and Jaffna along with the head office in Colombo. The company also ventured into pawning business successfully last year entering the North in April 2010. CIFL hopes to further extend their presence in the newly opened areas such as Hambantota, Vavuniya and Chilaw very soon.
As at now CIFL has over 1,800 depositors. The staff strength is 320 persons. And the deposit base of the company is Rs. 1.9 billion which is distributed among leasing, higher purchase, loans and other products and services offered.
During 2011, CIFL hopes to focus further on growth whilst enhancing internal capabilities. Given the positive turnaround seen within the company in the past, the company remain extremely confident that their strategic expansion plan will be towards prudently planned expansion and outreach in order to identify problems and find sustainable solutions.