Janalakshmi Financial Services Ltd

South Asia Financial 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

In 2015, CDC provided $49 million of Tier 2 debt to Jana to help it expand its offering to the country’s unbanked population.

Expected 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.

Environmental and social aspects

CDC played an active role in developing Janalakshmi's environmental and social policies, helping the institution implement a code of conduct and join the Smart Campaign that promotes responsible lending among micro-finance institutions.

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 2015

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