MARIAM NASIR, Manager Research
May 21 - 27, 2007

Inspired by the success of the Grameen Bank, Kashf began in 1996 as an action research programme focusing, for the first two years, on understanding the key aspects of providing microfinance to poor women. PPAF, DFID and the Aga Khan Foundation provide core funding. Kashf provides collateral-free loans and savings services designed to cater for the needs of poor women. These include two basic lending products, the general loan and the emergency loan, along with a flexible, open access savings product. In addition, for the facilitation of its clients, Kashf also provides the accidental and life insurance product. The Kashf concept relies heavily on building centres of 25 women through which training on leadership, gender and reproductive health are organized.

*Kashf, one of the pioneers amongst MFIs in Pakistan, is the only MFI in Pakistan with a specific focus on women, and has been operating successfully for more than 11 years.

*Kashf, being a partner MFI of GF, follows the business model of Grameen Bank, the Nobel Peace Prize winner for 2006.

*GF has supported Kashf, not only in developing their business plan and providing technical expertise, but have also directed more than USD380,000 in direct funding for loan capital, to support ongoing operations, and to finance the expansion of new branches.

*The foundation is led by women, and initially it had 100% women clients. Its primary objective is to alleviate poverty and to economically empower women from low-income households in the province of Punjab. But as the organization has embarked on a journey to multiply its growth, the future products will cater to both genders.

*For Kashf's loan products, the main credit line comes from PPAF, at 6% p.a. Kashf on-lends at 18-20% p.a. as flat lending rate. The nominal yield on an average portfolio was approximately 35%, for the year 2006.

*The Company also possesses an Overdraft ('OD') facility from MCB, to meet ongoing operational and funding requirements.

*Initially, Kashf was located in and targeting the vicinity of Punjab, but based on the ambitious growth plans of Kashf, it has entered Sindh, and is planning to spread further in the years to come.

The table below depicts the unprecedented performance of Kashf over the last few years. All the indicators have shown double digit growth in the said period.

















Gross Loan Portfolio (Rs in million)




Assets (Rs in million)




*Un-audited accounts for December 31, 2006

Kashf's portfolio has undergone considerable growth over the last 5 years, including in terms of number of users, geographical outreach, outstanding loan amounts, as well as average loan size. As of December 2006, Kashf's portfolio consisted of a total client base of 106,932 clients, across 60 branches, in 9 districts of Punjab, and a GLP of approximately PKR1,518 million. Kashf commenced operations in 1996. However during the initial years, the management adopted a conservative strategy and focused on developing a successful business model and rigorous systems and procedures to undertake microfinance activity. Only subsequent to documenting the policies and procedures did Kashf focus on aggressively increasing the credit portfolio. Kashf has experienced substantial growth in its client base since 2001. The client base has expanded from over 7,000 clients in June 2001 to more than 136,000 in December 2006. This expansion has mostly been a result of the considerable increase in the number of branches Kashf maintains. The client base experienced significant growth in fiscal years 2002 and 2003, with clients growing by approximately three times in that period; from a little less than 16,000 to more than 45,000 clients. The number of branches has increased significantly over the last 5 years. From 10 branches in 2 districts in 2001, Kashf's client outreach has expanded to 60 branches in 9 districts of Punjab over the last 5 years, including branches in Lahore, Gujranwala, Sahiwal, Kasur, Sargodha, Sheikhupura, Okara, Khushab and Faisalabad. The most substantial increase in the number of branches occurred during 2005-06, when the number of branches nearly doubling in one year, from 41 to 72.


There are four products being offered by the Company; namely General Loans ('GL'), Emergency Loans ('EL'), Business Surmaya Loans ('BSL') and House Improvement Loans ('HIL'). Besides the above mentioned products, Kashf is also engaged in offering saving accounts and insurance facilities. Some additional details on the Company's products and services are as follows:

*Personal and Emergency Loans are primarily unsecured with no physical or personal guarantee; therefore the product carries 100% loss in case of default. Due to this reason Kashf follows the group-lending approach, whereby responsibility of loan repayment is shared by group members. This acts as social collateral, which inflicts peer pressure on the borrower to make timely payments.

*In case of Business Surmaya Loans, the loan is collateralized against two guarantors with lien over inventory and household assets of the borrower.

*House Improvement Loans were introduced by Kashf in 2006, and are presently being offered in only two branches.



Tamgha-i-Imtiaz to the Managing director


AGFUND International Prize

Eligibility for financial transparency award


Full 5 diamond status with regards to financial transparency.


Certification by Pakistan Center for Philanthropy [PCP]


Rated as investment grade [BB/A-3] by independent rater.


Social Entrepreneur for the year 2003


Grameen Foundation [GF] pioneer award.


Runner up to the Pioneer Award, Grameen Foundation USA 2001.



Over the years, Kashf has been able to attain robust growth on the back of a standardized, cost effective, sustainable model of financial services delivery. Since only 10% of the microfinance market has been serviced, Kashf expects to grow, in terms of active borrowers. The growth objectives are consistent with Kashf's overall goal of reducing poverty and increasing women's empowerment, through investments in sustainable livelihoods. This will be possible on the back of innovative products that cater to the clients' needs, an increase in the number of branches and an increase in geographical spread. For this purpose, Kashf will maintain and strengthen the research department and broaden the scope to conduct continuous product and operational research, thereby ensuring a stronger, a more formal and a more consistent process of innovation within the organization. To support this outreach, Kashf is laying out plans to expand into adjoining districts and eventually cover the entire province of Punjab. Kashf has also entered Sindh, specifically Karachi, and plans on maintaining the momentum of expansion in Sindh as well.