British International Investment

Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Limited

South AsiaFinancial 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

Description of the 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.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.



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).





How much?

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.


  • Financial additonality: Capital is not offered on same terms.
  • Value additionality: We 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

Grid score

Grid Score

To help us direct our investments, we previously used a tool called the Development Impact Grid. It scored investments out of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in a country and the propensity of the sector to generate employment. This tool was used for investments until the end of 2021. Since 2022 it has been replaced by the Impact Score.



Unexpected 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.
Unexpected Impact Risk
  • Good customer protection practices are also required when lending to lower-income people.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    March 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.


    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).


    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    South Asia

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    Financial services

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Start date :
    December 2019
    Amount :
    Currency of investment :

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.


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