British International Investment

SEWA Grih Rin Ltd

South AsiaFinancial services

SEWA Grih Rin, based in New Delhi, is a start-up affordable housing finance company set up by the Self Employed Women’s Association. It aims to provide funding to women in lower income categories.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

We signed a senior unsecured loan of INR 1.2 billion ($15 million) to Sewa Grih Rinh Limited ('Sitara'). Sitara is an affordable housing finance company, headquartered in Delhi, India, which primarily focuses on providing housing finance solutions for women.

Our facility will be used to: 1) grow Sitara’s lower-income portfolio; and 2) provide capital for Sitara to scale its loan book in other income segments and diversify risk. The facility will direct a percentage of the funds towards promoting ownership of properties for lower-income households (defined by BII as a monthly household income of INR 28,000 or less).

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.



Improving physical safety, living conditions, financial resilience, and overall quality of life for low-income households in India.

  • Formalising land titles for low-income households thereby abating risks (such as eviction, harassment, conflict, rival ownership claims), and intensifying opportunities (such as revenue generation, economic gain from property, improved access to financial services) for low-income households in India.


Primary Secondary

Enabling access to affordable housing finance, which is used for home construction/extension (25 per cent), home improvement (28 per cent), home purchase (20 per cent) and other 'loans against property' (17 per cent).

Undertaking customer education programme that provides financial education, access to lawyers and connects borrowers with local government bodies.


Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Housing loan borrowers


30 per cent of the households are low-income, earning a monthly income of less than INR 28,000, implying they are living on less than $6.85 per day [2017 PPP]. One-third of the borrowers are new to credit.

Housing loan borrowers


30 per cent of the households are low-income, earning a monthly income of less than INR 28,000, implying they are living on less than $6.85 per day [2017 PPP]. One-third of the borrowers are new to credit.

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

Expect to reach more than 1,200 borrowers through our facility across 61 branches in nine states. Expect to help about half of the borrowers in formalising their land titles.

Depth: Owning a home tends to improve access to basic amenities, e.g. electricity, sanitation. Mortgage penetration for India (excluding Maharashtra) is less than 15 per cent (Deloitte AHF report).

Sitara’s focuses on lower ticket size, lower-income customer segments than competitors suggests it serves a more underserved customer base.

Impact is likely to be deepest for lower-income segments (target at least 30 per cent), customer with informal land titles (47 per cent) and borrowers where the asset is co-owned by women. Due diligence has corroborated there is a high correlation between income levels, progressive land titles and assets in the name of women. Impact is expected to be deep and long lasting.



Financial additionality: Capital for lending to lower-income segment in the affordable housing finance category is neither available in sufficient quantity, nor available at favourable terms.


Execution Risk

Consumer protection risks, given the vulnerability of Sitara’s target segment.

Impact score

Impact score (at point of investment)

The Impact Score is a tool to help us manage our performance against our strategic impact objectives. It is designed to incentivise investments that support our productive, sustainable, and inclusive objectives. You can find out more here.

The Impact Score is published for investments made from 2022 onwards. The Impact Scores are calculated at the point of investment. We publish the Impact Scores of new investments annually, once the information has been externally assured by an independent third party.


Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

We agreed an ESAP focused on the development and implementation of an ESMS, strengthening of policies and procedures on OHS and emergency preparedness and response, and inclusion of safeguarding considerations in the Code of Conduct.

Environmental and social risk


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

    First published

    When the investment was first published on the website database.

    March 2024
    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    June 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

    The countries where the investment delivers impact. Where impact is delivered in multiple countries, this is indicated.


    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 :
    November 2023
    Amount :
    Currency of investment :

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    2X Gender Finance

    Indicates whether the investment is ‘2X qualified’ using the 2X Challenge criteria. You can find out more here. It only applies to investments made from 2018 onwards, when the 2X Challenge was first launched.

    Fully qualified

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