Islamic Microfinance in India: A Quantitative Approach
August 5th, 2020
By Huma Mahmood, Rusni Hassan Syed Ahmed Salman
Islamic microfinance institutions (IMFIs) have had their roots in India originating as far back as 1918. It is founded on the principle which prohibits interest and hence is a form of non-interest microfinance to the poor. It also provides micro-credit services through Shari’ah compliant structures to small dealers and traders who have limited to no access to the formal financial services. Islamic microfinance offers a more sustainable and successful microfinance which not only creates financing but also blends in empathy for the poorest of the poor. In the Islamic perspective, poverty alleviation is more comprehensive than the conventional one. It flags equity and cooperation-based models in contrast to models that create and perpetuate debt. However, the past of IMFIs in India depicts an unfortunate tale. The IMFIs established during the eighties, rose and matured quickly. Nevertheless, over the course of time they encountered numerous hurdles that lead to their closure in many places. Therefore, it becomes vital to study the factors that caused the IMFIs downfall in India. The objective of this research is to know the challenges of Islamic microfinance in India and give suggestions and possible solutions to resolving the issues. This study adopts the quantitative approach. In this research the population is known and hence probability sampling or random sampling is selected. The data gathered from the 303 responses received is analyzed using SPSS22 software. The findings of this research show that the majority agrees that there is lack of government support, no proper marketing of Islamic microfinance products, no effective Islamic microfinance products in India, lack of human capital in microfinance, high interest rates that make the poor financially unstable and lack of microfinance institutes in rural areas. This study offers robust recommendations on the challenges of Islamic microfinance in India and henceforth, it will be of interest to regulators, stakeholders, as well as the existing and potential customers.