SFPL is registered with the Reserve Bank of India as a Non-Banking Finance Company – Micro Finance Institution (NBFC-MFI). It offers customized lending and financing solutions to low-income and to those having little access to formal financial avenues, who use the credit to run small businesses, renovate their dwelling units and educate their children. Having presence in the five states of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Gujarat, Sambandh is widely known in the industry as a client centric organization, with its dedicated Financial Well-being Branches that offer personalized credit and wealth management solutions to its clients. Over the years Sambandh team has engaged with Its clientele In providing door step service.
Mostly the poor tribal segments in the Chhotanagpur region, replicating the same in its new operational geographies. The economically backward women from the region over the years have taken the benefit of doorstep financial services from Sambandh to engage themselves in pursuing different income-generating activities.
Apart from providing affordable financial services, the organisation takes the client-MFI relationship to the next level. The clients are also upskilled in managing their expenses and given technical input on individual’s/group’s economic activities to scale up and diversify their sources of income. Financial Literacy Trainings are organized under its different branch locations spread across the operational states. This has been taken upon more systematically with the success of the SIDBI-PSIG Financial Literacy and Women Empowerment (FL & WE) program. What follows, were more interesting and informative financial education initiatives with the support under Asian Development Bank (ADB) Technical Assistance (TA) project.
The years of commendable work of Sambandh has been appreciated in National Level, and it has received the IFI Award – as MFO of the Year 2017 (in Small & Medium Category) at the Inclusive Finance India Summit in New Delhi, one of the most acclaimed awards in the financial inclusion spectrum jointly constituted by ACCESS and HSBC.
The Board received complaints from CSO and four Sr. Management about the AUM being deliberately inflated, fake clients and siphoning and diversion of fund of the company. The Board understanding the grievous nature of the happenings at Sambandh, appointed E&Y, one of the big four audit firms, to undertake a forensic audit of the company. The Board also, after the allegations have seized all the powers of the MD & CEO and CFO in the day-to-day affairs of the company. Simultaneously discussing with all the lenders who have extended different kinds of debt funds, appointed Mr. Anadi Charan Sahu a retired General Manager of SIDBI as the Administrator from November 06, 2020 to take charge of the company affairs. He has stationed at Corporate Office, Rourkela and discharging his duties as mentioned in the engagement letter. Soon after his appointment, the Board then directed to defreeze all the bank accounts of the company, which were frozen after the allegations came into light. The Board also initiated the process of quickly changing the authorised signatories of some specific accounts. In the turmoil situation, one of the independent directors of the company Mr. Kuchibhatla Prasad retired from the Board after completion of tenure of 10 years. The Company has appointed Utkal Law Chambers, Bhubaneswar, as the legal advisor and executed a collection agreement with NOCPL on November 13, 2020.
Mr. Uma Shankar Lal was appointed as Independent Director on November 17, 2020. Soon after the Final Report of EY, where it was revealed that Mr. Vinod Kumar Jha, Independent Director was allegedly involved in the financial irregularities of the company and after receiving a Special Notice from Promoters, the shareholders removed Mr. Jha from the post of Independent Director on December 02, 2020. On December 14, 2020, the Board submitted the Final Report of EY at EOW, Bhubaneswar. The Company has received letter from Dia Vikas Capital Pvt. Ltd on December 11, 2020 for withdrawal of their Nominee Director from Sambandh Board. Mr. Akshaya Kumar Parhi has appointed as the Independent Director w.e.f. December 17, 2020.
Consequent upon appointment of NOCPL as the collection agent, the Administrator as well as Board of Directors of SFPL undertaken nos of Initiates towards cost control and measures have also taken for rationalisation of all other activities of SFPL.