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Vikram Gandhi to represent GAWA Microfinance Fund on Janalakshmi board

Vikram Gandhi is the founder & CEO of VSG Capital Advisors and holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

GAWA Microfinance Fund (GAWA) has appointed Vikram Gandhi as its nominee on the board of Janalakshmi Financial Services Private Limited. GAWA is one of the lead investors in Janalakshmi’s recently concluded Series C top-up capital of Rs 80 crore.

Europe-based GAWA Microfinance Fund invests in debt and equity instruments of organisations that focus on promoting financial inclusion in Latin America, Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. GAWA currently manages € 21 million raised by Ambers & Co., Capital from large family offices, institutions and high net worth individuals who are looking for risk-adjusted financial return while generating a visible direct social impact on poor communities worldwide, the company said in a release.

Gandhi is the founder and CEO of VSG Capital Advisors and was formerly vice chairman of investment banking and global head of financial institutions business for Credit Suisse, in New York and Hong Kong.

Prior to his tenure at Credit Suisse, Gandhi worked at Morgan Stanley, where he was co-head of Global FIG in New York. At Morgan Stanley he headed the firm's institutional strategy area, its global e-commerce committee and was also country head and president of Morgan Stanley, India.

“I have known the founders of GAWA for many years and highly respect the work they are doing in the microfinance. I look forward to working with the board and management to achieve its social and financial objectives,” Gandhi said on his appointment.

Luca Torre and Agustin Vitorica, founders of Ambers & Co., Capital and directors of GAWA said “We believe his exceptional knowledge and experience will be key to help us support the company to achieve its ambitious social and financial objectives. As part of our value added strategy, we will work closely with Vikram and the management team, leveraging in particular our understanding of microfinance drivers internationally and experience with financial markets.”

Ramesh Ramanathan, chairman and promoter of Janalakshmi, said, “Vikram brings significant financial and international experience which will be very useful to Janalakshmi.”

Janalakshmi Financial Services is a for-profit NBFC-MFI with assets of more than Rs 500 crore.

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(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

VSG Capital Advisors Pvt. Ltd. is investment banking firm. It offers strategic, financial and investment advisory services for both private and social sectors. The company was incorporated in 2012 and is based in New Delhi, India.

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Vikram Gandhi

GAWA Microfinance Fund, a $28 million private equity fund managed by Ambers and Co. It invests in microfinance institutions with the objective of providing financial return for its investors and a measurable social impact for low-income communities. It invests in debt and equity instruments of scalable and sustainable microfinance and small and medium enterprise that focus on promoting financial inclusion in Latin America, Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The fund expects to deploy 65% of its raised capital in debt such as senior or subordinated and convertible debt for 2 to 5 years and remaining 35% in preferred and common equity for up to 7 years for minority stake and board seat in the target companies. The fund is based in Madrid, Spain.

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Janalakshmi Financial Services Pvt. Ltd. is a non-banking financial company. The firm offers various types of loans to individuals like small batch loans, nano loans, home improvement loans, jana kisan loan and education loan. It also provides loans to enterprises such as super nano loan, micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) loan, long-term business loans, equipment and machinery financing. The firm also provides credit, savings, insurance, retail financing services and enterprise services. It also provides other services such as savings and pension schemes in association with third parties like badhti bachat, micro pension, loans for life insurance and livestock insurance. The company was incorporated in 2006 and is based in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

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