Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Limited

South Asia Financial services

Chola is a non-bank finance company specialising in commercial and other vehicle finance loans, business loans and home loans.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

CDC invested INR 4 billion (c. $57 million) in Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Limited (CIFCL), one of India's leading diversified financial services companies, through Rupee Denominated Masala Bonds. CIFCL caters to small and medium road transport operators for new and used commercial vehicles with over 50 per cent of the portfolio in low income states.


Support economic opportunities through access to finance (SDG target 8.5).


CDC's tier 2 investment will strengthen CIFCL's capital position supporting a growth in lending, including providing vehicle finance mainly for agri-commercial purposes and supporting agricultural productivity through tractors, intracity and final mile delivery transport and two-wheelers; providing working capital loans to SMEs supporting their operations and jobs; and providing housing finance.

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Consumers (including farmers)


Low-income and middle-income (the typical customer profile is rural or semi-urban, low-middle income and at times self-employed; 30 per cent of customers are first time borrowers of formal credit and 65 per cent are in agricultural value chains).





Scale Depth/Duration

Chola currently has c. 1.2 million customers, CDC will support growth in the loan book.

CIFCL's finance is expected to reach customers where lack of finance is a significant constraint, including SMEs where growth and employment are constrained through lack finance and customers in rural and semi-urban areas with 65 per cent of CIFCL customers in agricultural value chains. Nearly one-third of the current portfolio are first time borrowers, thereby facilitating access to the formal capital markets and promoting financial inclusion.

Grid Score Contribution


To help us direct our investments, we use a tool called the Development Impact Grid. The Grid scores every investment we plan out of a score of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in the country and whether investment in that sector will lead to jobs.

  • Capital not offered on same terms.
  • CDC will support CIFCL in piloting a driver-safety programme with the objective of scaling this as part of their core operations and support improvements in environmental and social procedures.
  • Unintended impact risk: Increasing use of vehicles while necessary for agricultural productivity will negatively contribute to climate change through carbon emissions and will impact air quality.
  • Good customer protection practices are also required when lending to lower-income people.

Environmental and social aspects

CDC is working with Chola on developing a driver safety pilot programme.

Key facts


Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

South Asia

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people.

Financial services
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

Direct Debt
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date British International Investment committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that British International Investment committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

December 2019

For direct investments, this is the total amount that British International Investment has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that British International Investment has committed to the fund.


This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.


We are now British International Investment