British International Investment

Janalakshmi Financial Services Ltd

South AsiaFinancial services

Janalakshmi Financial Services, now Jana Small Finance Bank, started its operations in 2006 as an Indian micro finance institution (MFI) to provide finance for the country’s low-income and underbanked population.

In 2017, the MFI was granted a Small Finance Bank licence, and the rebranded firm began banking operations in March 2018. The Bengaluru-headquartered bank currently has 15,000 direct employees.

It plans to convert most of its existing MFI branches into full-fledged bank branches across 18 states by the end of 2019. This includes 25 per cent of rural branches to serve the unbanked.

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

Our investment

Description of the investment.

CDC provided Tier 2 debt to Jana to help it expand its offering to the country’s unbanked population.

Expected impact

Expected impact of investments made between 2012 and 2018. From 2019 onwards, we have published a fuller set of impact information, assessing each investment against six dimensions of impact.

India's finance institutions have made massive strides in delivering financial inclusion, yet nearly 20 per cent of the population remains unbanked, particularly those in rural areas.

Financial inclusion is core to Jana Bank’s operations, and the institution offers loans for individuals, including education, and home improvement loans. It also offers business loans, and loans to smallholders and agri-businesses. Increasing access to affordable business finance supports their expansion and drive wider economic growth.

Jana Bank relies heavily on digital technology to support its scalability as a business, and to help it reach its low-income customers, and provide access to affordable finance.

It has set up a network of 340 ‘Jana Centers’ across the country as well as 850 agent locations where customers can conduct basic financial transactions, such as sending money.

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.

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

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    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 2015
    Amount :
    Currency of investment :

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.


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