British International Investment

Ujjivan Financial Services Limited

South AsiaFinancial services

Bangalore-based Ujjivan started operations as a microfinance institution (MFI) in 2005 with the aim of providing financial services to the economically active poor.

It currently operates across 24 states and union territories, and 209 districts across India, making it one of the largest MFIs in terms of geographical spread. It serves over 2.77 million active customers through 457 branches and directly employs over 10,000 staff.

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

We have now exited this investment. This is what we achieved.

Achieved impact

Ujjivan is a microfinance company in India. The company is committed to increasing financial and digital inclusion.

We made a $26 million equity investment in the company in 2015 to support its geographic and product expansion plans.
We exited the company in 2017 and fully in 2018. From 2015 – 2019, the company’s assets under management grew by 38 per cent and its customers grew by 20 per cent.

It was one of the early recipients of the Small Finance Bank Licence in India, and successfully transformed into an impact-focussed, deposit-taking lending institution. We supported the company in this journey to becoming a small finance bank.

Expected impact

In 2015, CDC announced an investment of up to $26 million in Ujjivan, as part of an equity financing round of INR 6,000m. This investment will allow Ujjivan to provide more loans across a wider geographic area.

Historically, Ujjivan has focused on group lending microfinance for groups of women on low-incomes in urban areas.

Typically, these people are vegetable vendors, maids, porters and construction workers whose annual wage is less than INR 120,000 (c$1,900). In recent years, the MFI has also started to lend to individual micro-entrepreneurs to fund expenditure such as the purchase of equipment or livestock.

It also offers family loans to low-income women to cover school expenses of children, medical care, and house repairs.
Both the business and personal loans contribute to wider economic security and stability in these under-banked communities.

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.

    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.

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    Investment type :
    Start date :
    March 2015
    End date :
    January 2018
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