SKS Microfinance: Managing Growth and Continuity of a Social Enterprise

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Second Prize in Baylor-USASBE Student Case Research Competition organized by The Baylor University Entrepreneurship Program and United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE).

Case Details:


Case Code : LDEN073 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 600;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 600 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Entrepreneurship / Social Entrepreneurship / Venture Financing

Case Length : 25 Pages
Period : 2009-2010
Pub Date : 2011
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : SKS Microfinance.
Industry : Microfinance
Countries : India


This case study is about SKS Microfinance (SKS), the leading Microfinance Institution (MFI) in India. SKS, driven by the mission to eradicate poverty from the face of the country, serves millions of poor people by offering them micro-loans. The case introduces the concept of microfinance and focuses on the various issues and challenges involved in operating a microfinance program. It also highlights the business principles followed by SKS to overcome those hurdles. In the end, the case study facilitates a critical discussion on the apparently conflicting goals of profit vs. altruism in case of social entrepreneurship and how to strike the right balance between them.

SKS was established in 1997 as an NGO MFI by Vikram Akula who identified three major constraints as impediments to serving the 150 million poor in India - Capital constraints, Capacity constraints, and high Cost of operations. In 2003, SKS became a Non Banking Financial Company following a for-profit business model and started attracting funds from some top venture capitalists. By 2009, SKS had reached out to more than 5 million customers and was growing at the rate of 200% per annum.


Understand various issues and challenges in managing the growth and continuity of an entrepreneurial venture, especially a social venture.

Understand the issues and constraints in financing a venture at various stages of its development, especially a social venture.

Understand the environment in which the microfinance institutions (MFIs) operate in India.

Understand the various issues and challenges faced by MFIs operating in India, and how SKS Microfinance overcame these challenges.

Understand the challenges faced by SKS Microfinance going forward and explore ways in which it can overcome the challenges.

Analyze and evaluate the issue of profit vs. altruism in case of a social entrepreneurship and suggest ways for striking the right balance between the social mission and financial sustainability of the organization.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Evolution of Micro Finance in India 2
Vikram Akula - an eEntrepreneur with a Vision 4
SKS- the Genesis 5
SKS Microfinance - the Business Philosophy 6
SKS's Business Model 9
SKS at Crossroads 11
The IPO Controversy 12
The Road Ahead 15
Exhibits 17


Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship, Venture Financing, Financing continuum, Managing the growth and continuity, Ethics, Ethics and economic trade-offs, Profit Vs. altruism, Initial Public Offering, Microfinance, Financial inclusion, Inclusive development

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