24 Good Businesses 2012

Small is beautiful

Kinara Capital provides small ticket loans to enterprising SMEs that lack access to formal bank credit

NILOTPAL BARUAH

KM Rajendra began working at Namaste Exports in 1989 when he was just 13. “I worked for₹150 a month as I had no other option since I had lost my parents quite early,” he recalls. Over the years, he moved up the ladder to emerge as a team leader of self-help group Ashraya, run by well-known social entrepreneur Neelam Chibber. But the urge to run an independent enterprise kept getting stronger. Today, the 34-year-old is the proud owner of leather company VK Designs, which he runs from a rented unit in Bengaluru’s Koramangala. He has 23 employees and clocks a turnover of₹3.5 lakh every month. “I have achieved all this because I got an unsecured loan of ₹3 lakh at the right time,” says Rajendra.