Kudumbashree Goes Digital, Unveils Shreshta

‘Shreshta’, a NHG Work Management & Rating Software for Kudumbashree was launched by K.T. Jaleel, Minister for Local Self Government, Kerala, today. “Project Shreshta”, conceived by the students of executive post graduate programme at IIM Kozhikode aims to enhance the performance of Kudumbashree, by enabling easier procurement of funds. Software LaunchBy digitizing the financial data of various neighbourhood groups (NHGs) and presenting them with an efficient credit rating software, the team has aided Kudumbashree, thus contributing to the empowerment of women and development of the society.
The project has been rolled out by Executive PGP students of IIM Kozhikode, who developed a work management and rating software for the Kudumbashree as part of their Social Development Project.
The project was mentored by Prof Mohammed Shahid Abdulla Information Technology and Systems Area, IIM Kozhikode, and Dr. Rahul Krishnan, Thematic Anchor, Livelihoods, Kudumbhashree.
The project team comprises Mridul Vijay (Stark Communications), Mathew TJS (IBS Software Services), Mudit (SunTec Business Solutions Pvt Ltd), Karthik Pillai (FourNxt Consultants LLP) and Nibu Alias (Sectorqube Technolabs Pvt Ltd).
According to K.T. Jaleel, Minister for Local Self Government, Kerala, We are pleased with the launch of ‘Shreshta’ as it will bring in a welcome change in the way Kudumbashree functions. Currently, it relies heavily on manual registers for keeping records of money lending. Aligning Kudumbashree with the Digital India Initiative and introducing technology into their working will increase their operational efficiency. The system that would be put in place by the IIMK students Social Development project would enable digitalisation of data and data pertaining to each NHG would be easily accessible.”
Hari Kishore IAS, Executive Director, Kudumbashree, said in a statement that, “Shreshta Project, developed by the IIM Kozhikode EPGP students for Kudumbashree will help us in digitalization of the manual records of the working documents of NHGs. This will lead to a error free environment and the rating solution developed will be an effective mechanism in evaluating NHG performance leading to easy disbursement of loans to the performing NHGs. I thank the students of IIMK for having developed an effective tool for us in this short span of time.”
Kudumbashree, a community based organization of neighbourhood groups has been recognized as an effective strategy for the empowerment of women in rural as well as urban areas. The overall empowerment of women is closely linked to economic empowerment, which can leverage recent technological advancements.
As per NABARD’s guidelines, there are 16 scales or parameters that should be examined before providing financial assistance to NHGs. However, the incumbent system and workflow in place can assess NHGs on the basis of very few parameters. The application developed through Shreshta is capable of assessing 9 parameters, on the basis of which suitable credit rating can be given to the NHGs. This application can include more parameters in future. The rating is quite similar to CIBIL score which is given to individuals for credit worthiness.
This scoring mechanism will help in two ways. Firstly, Kudumbashree when disbursing its funds can disburse more funds to units which have a better rating. Secondly, these credit ratings can be used as an endorsement by NHGs to seek faster disbursements from banks.
The same solution can be potentially extended for generating on demand credit rating and generating formatted reports and recommendation letters. The data captured through Kudumbashree’s MIS is the input for calculating the rating system. These includes details on thrift, funds disbursemen
t, collection and bank interactions of each NHGs. Of these, the parameters that will be used to rate the NHGs will be based on the NABARD 16-point scale.
This rating is essential because digital access to funds for NHGs is a bigger challenge since demonetisation. Similarly, this solution has a higher possibility of better adoption as it directly benefits Kudumbashree’s most important and prevalent business process.

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