Manappuram's origins go back to 1949 when it was founded in Valapad (a coastal village in the Thrissur District of Kerala) by the late V.C. Padmanabhan, father of Shri Nandakumar. Its activity was mainly pawn broking and money lending carried out on a modest scale. The principal asset of the company was the integrity and foresight of its Founder and among the people of the area it soon acquired a reputation as a safe-haven for their investments.
The expansion: Shri Nandakumar took over the reins of this one Branch business in the year 1986 when his father expired. Since then, it has been a story of unparalleled growth, with new milestones being crossed every year. Manappuram Finance Ltd. was incorporated in 1992 (the original name was Manappuram General Finance and Leasing Limited) with its registered office at Valapad, in the Thrissur District of Kerala. It is India's first listed and highest credit rated gold loan company and widely recognised as a leading wealth creator in the Indian stock market. Since inception, the Company has maintained a consistently rapid pace of growth. Today, it has around 3,300 branches across 26 states and UTs with Assets under Management (AUM) of about Rs.10,000 crores, a workforce of about 18,000 and a live customer base of 15 lakhs (Data as of 31 March, 2013).
The many achievements: Soon after it commenced its operations, Manappuram Finance Limited gathered several "firsts" to its credit. The company was the First NBFC in Kerala to receive a Certificate of Registration issued by the RBI. It was the first Kerala based NBFC to get a Credit Rating in 1995 of "MA" (current rating MA+) from ICRA, recognising the company's ability to make timely repayments of the principal and interest under its then existing public deposits programme. Manappuram Finance was one of the very first NBFCs from Kerala to go for a Public Issue of its shares in 1995. In fact, the company has been consistently making profits and consistently paying dividends from the very first full year of operations.
The company was also the first NBFC from Kerala to issue bonus shares in the ratio of 1:1 in 2007 and then, repeat the feat twice, in 2010 and in 2011 (making it three such instances in five years). Moreover, in 2007, Manappuram Finance Ltd became the first Kerala based NBFC to receive foreign Investment from FIIs, and also get the highest short term credit rating of A1+ from ICRA. In 2010, it became the very first Kerala-based company to offer ESOPs (Employee Stock Option Plan) to its middle and senior management functionaries. In April 2011, it became only the second listed company from Kerala to have its shares traded in the "A-Group" at the Bombay stock exchange.
Other activities: As part of its diversification, Manappuram Finance Limited has also ventured into the Foreign Exchange business with the Reserve Bank of India having granted an Authorised Dealer - II licence to the Company which permits it to effect outward remittances for a variety of purposes such as overseas medical treatment, higher education abroad, business travel, conferences etc. The Company has also commenced Instant Money Transfer in collaboration with UAE Xchange, Wallstreet and MoneyGram.
Human Resources: As an organization that prides itself as a pioneer and innovator, Manappuram Finance Ltd derives its strength from the dedication of its highly motivated staff. Right from inception, the company has been keen to spot and nurture the best available talent. The HR department of the company places emphasis on professionalism and in honing the skills of employees to maintain the edge in a competitive world. The company has a full-fledged training establishment where in-house training courses are regularly conducted in a professional manner to upgrade skills and to enhance functional efficiency. Moreover, the company sponsors an MBA degree programme for its employees who have completed five years of service keen to upgrade their professional skills and qualifications.
The vision: Within the next decade, Manappuram Finance Limited hopes to emerge as the largest player in the gold loan sector in India and also to expand its footprint beyond national borders. The long term vision of the company is to unlock the value of India's large stock of privately held gold (estimated at about 18,000 tonnes) to the benefit of the common people of India, most of who possess savings in the form of gold jewellery. This is neatly summed up in the Company's corporate tagline, "Energising gold, empowering people".