Expense Account, Mint
’ve written in this space before asking why my BlackBerry stayed on the grid in a remote mountain village where basic banking was missing. A few years earlier I had argued for a model that would make financial services as ubiquitous as paan masala, glucose biscuits and shampoo sachets in remote rural India. So now when this comes to pass in the form of an initial public offering (IPO) from a microfinance firm that has made capital available to hundreds of thousands of poor Indians, what’s the discomfort? The SKS Microfinance Ltd public issue opens on Wednesday for subscription. The lender is offering 16.7 million Rs10 face value equity shares in a price band of Rs850 to Rs985 apiece. And the debate has just begun in the marketplace: Is it justifiable for a firm focused on social goals to make supernormal profits?