Madura Microfinance

Founded in 2005

Initial investment in 2008

Board member: Sandeep Farias

'Madura is a highly efficient, customer focused microfinance institution that serves economically active, rural women in Tamil Nadu'

Company overview

Madura is one of the most cost efficient microfinance institutions worldwide. In addition, Madura enhances its microfinance outreach with knowledge and information services intended to increase the positive impact of financial inclusion to raise household and small business incomes of its clients. Founded by the late Dr. Thiagarajan, a respected banker and businessman from Chennai, Madura is now run by his daughter, Dr. Tara Thiagarajan (Chairman) and an experienced management team.

Community served

Tamil Nadu’s GDP growth rate has been over 10% in recent years, but rural GDP growth in the state is less than half this rate at 4-5% per annum. Madura serves self-assembled groups of 15-20 low income, rural women who come together in local communities, guarantee each other’s loans and form a learning and support group for one another. Madura has expanded recently into other neighbouring states of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala.

Rural Tamil Nadu represents one the largest markets in India with a population of 40 million, 40% of whom live below the poverty line.


Tara Thiagarajan, Chairperson, is a scientist whose interests encompass understanding complex systems and using a science based approach to solve large scale human problems through scalable for-profit enterprise. She has brought her own ideas and knowledge of economic development in rural India to drive Madura’s customer-centric strategy with a holistic product approach. She has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management where she was an Austin scholar.

M. Narayanan, CEO, has 25 years of experience in the banking industry where he has held key positions as Head of Treasury at Bank of Madura and Head of Treasury at the GMR Group, Bangalore. His earlier career led him through a variety of roles at Bank of Madura including Head of Mumbai – Main, the largest branch of the bank, and AGM of Cash Management Services, Merchant Banking and Corporate Banking.