Gautam Ivatury

From 2003 to 2008, Gautam led CGAP's efforts in microfinance and technology, including establishing and managing the CGAP Technology Program, which was co-funded with a $24 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He was also responsible for CGAP's work in South Asia. Gautam continues to write about microfinance and technology for CGAP's website and has authored a number of CGAP Focus Notes on foreign investment in microfinance.

Before joining CGAP in 2003, Gautam helped manage SKS Microfinance, India's largest microfinance institution, and founded a company to connect U.S. universities and foreign students through the Internet. He has worked in the investment and commercial banking industry at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette (now Credit Suisse) and the International Finance Corporation. Gautam is a founder of Signal Point Partners, an investment and advisory firm that promotes mobile phone-enabled services in emerging markets, and is on the Board of the Society for International Development (Washington). He holds a master of arts and a bachelor of arts in international affairs from Johns Hopkins University.

By Gautam Ivatury


Jipange Kusave: A Mobile-only Attack on the Kenyan Mattress

When we launched Jipange KuSave – a mobile-only savings product – in Kenya in early 2010, our goal was to out-compete the mattress. Back then, Safaricom’s M-PESA service was in hyper-growth phase and ramping up to become the de facto national retail payment system. But even more exciting was M-PESA’s potential as a pervasive and low-cost delivery channel for a wider set of financial services.

The Early Experience with Branchless Banking

Branchless banking has great potential to extend the distribution of financial services to poor people who are not reached by traditional bank branch networks; it lowers the cost of delivery, including costs both to banks of building and maintaining a delivery channel and to customers of accessing services (e.g., travel or queuing times).

Sustainability of Self-Help Groups in India: Two Analyses

This Occasional Paper reports on two separate studies of SHG programs. Part I looks primarily at the financial viability of SHG programs. Part II proposes a methodology for designing SHG programs to ensure their sustainability.

Use of Agents in Branchless Banking for the Poor

For poor people, “branchless banking” through retail agents may be far more convenient and efficient than going to a bank branch.

Using Technology to Build Inclusive Financial Systems

Innovative use of information and communications technologies to inexpensively process a large volume of small transactions and deliver a wide range of financial services may help to make microfinance institutions (MFIs) more efficient and commercial banks more interested in serving poor people.