Grameen Koota had escaped any direct impact of the crisis faced by the microfinance industry due to new legislations introduced by the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in 2010. External sources of funds had dried up for the microfinance sector thus impacting growth. While evaluating his organization’s performance during the last two years, Suresh Krishna, Managing Director of Grameen Koota was concerned about the imminent shortfall in the growth envisioned in 2010. The tumultuous industry condition was accompanied by an uncertain regulatory environment. While exploring options for growth, Krishna wanted to assess whether to expand operations to new districts and new states or consolidate and grow in the existing regions of operations. Concentrating operations implied risking too much in too few states in a shaky regulatory environment while expansion to nascent geographies could potentially erode the low margins. It was a difficult choice, so Krishna wanted to make sure that he arrived at the decision after a thorough evaluation of the opportunities, costs, and risks associated with expanding the distribution reach.
The case forces students to make hard choices by considering the top management’s perspective while evaluating options to grow the distribution of microfinance service. The options include expanding geographically by starting offices in new states or consolidate and penetrate deeper into the current areas of operations spread over three states. The key objective of the case is to stimulate understanding of challenges associated with distribution of services in a turbulent environment. It also helps students appreciate the need for a systematic evaluation of existing operations and to set up robust and holistic distribution system and processes.