Company Profile


As a rating agency, to provide effective due diligence, aligned with international standards, to assess the organisational, social and financial performance of inclusive finance institutions and other development institutions;

And to work as a social enterprise dedicated to effective research, training, capacity building, professional management and implementation services for development in India and worldwide.


In development, we are dedicated to inclusive, responsible growth for poverty reduction and gender equity.
Professionally, we are committed to integrity, quality and the highest standards of work.

We offer an environment that fosters learning, supports independent responsibility and encourages professionals to apply their education and skills to support development ideals.

M-CRIL offers the following advantages to partners and clients.

  • Professionalism: skilled teams working to deliver quality;
  • Expertise: a unique perspective for development, drawing on our skills in institutional analysis, field research and programme implementation;
  • Indepth analysis: emphasis on constructive and practical use of data with concise reporting;
  • Innovation: ability to provide new approaches and methods; we are well known for pioneering tools and methodologies in all our work areas;
  • International reputation:actively engaged with international initiatives for establishing standards in, for example, institutional ratings, value chain analysis, social performance, client protection, outcomes management;
  • Multi-country experience: country experience across S Asia, SE Asia, CEE and Africa;
  • Consistent focus: project engagement is guided by a focus on equity - working to improve the lives of low income households, and women.

Our Evolution

M-CRIL was established in 1998 in response to the need for an agency to provide a standardised assessment of governance, management and financial performance in microfinance and inclusive finance institutions. Starting as a pioneer in the development of a rating framework for Microfinance Institutions (MFIs).M-CRIL has extended the principles of rating to include social ratings, client protection certifications and other types of audits and assessments, with application to other development sectors - NGOs, affordable private schools, farmer producer organisations.

M-CRIL merged with its parent company EDA Rural Systems in 2016. EDA was established earlier, in 1983, one of the first consultancies of its kind to provide professional skills in research and management for development. EDA has over the years conducted impact studies, evaluations and policy studies, and designed and delivered training programmes, particularly in the fields of microfinance and livelihoods. The livelihoods team has been active in value chain assessments in different sectors (rural and urban) and in implementation of market based value chain models (in agriculture, honey, leather work).

From three people and a typewriter with one table in Lucknow in the early 1980s, we are now a national institution with an international standing, having a professional team working out of Gurgaon, Patna and Myanmar. We have worked across all the states of India, and in 34 countries - in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe/ Central Asia. We partner with networks, research institutions and with leading agencies supporting innovation and responsible practice in our field, such as the Social Performance Task Force, the Smart Campaign, the Rating Initiative.


M-CRIL's board includes four independent directors, each with outstanding life experience and contribution in financial inclusion and development.

Professor Malcolm Harper, MA, MBA, PhD. Chairman of M-CRIL, Emeritus Professor, Cranfield School of Management, UK

Currently a freelance researcher, writer, teacher and adviser, in livelihoods, value chains, microfinance and related issues. Much of his work- in research, consultancy and writing - has focussed on India, with multi country experience throughout Asia and Africa.

Mr Brij Mohan

Formerly Executive Director, Small Industries Development Bank of India and founder of SIDBI Foundation for Micro Credit Continues to be actively engaged in microfinance, financial services, and enterprise development, in an advisory capacity.

Professor MS Sriram

Teacher, writer, researcher and consultant in financial services and entrepreneurship. He has held professorships at the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore where he is currently Visiting Faculty at the Centre for Public Policy. He has held other teaching positions in India and in other countries. And provided advisory on various committees of the Government of India, RBI, NABARD and the World Bank.

Dr Shamika Ravi

An economist with a keen interest in development challenges in India. Dr. Ravi is a Senior Fellow of Governance Studies Program, at Brookings India and Brookings Institution Washington D.C. She leads the Development Economics research vertical at Brookings India, where the focus is on financial inclusion, health, gender inequality and urbanisation. Previously Dr. Ravi was a visiting professor of Economics at the Indian School of Business where she taught courses in Game Theory and Microfinance. She is affiliated with the Financial Access Initiative of New York University.

Ms Frances Sinha, Director, M-CRIL

MA, Oxon, M Sc (with distinction), LSE
(details in team profile)

Mr Sanjay Sinha, Managing Director, M-CRIL

MA, M.Phil, Oxon.
(details in team profile)

our team

Our professional staff have degrees from leading universities and schools of management in India, and the UK. Several members of team have been with us for more than 10 years.

Our senior management, listed below, are supported by teams of analysts working out of M-CRIL's head office in Gurgaon, and livelihood executives based in Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Sanjay Sinha, Managing Director & Co-founder
M.A., M.Phil Economics, Oxon
Key skills: Economic analysis, sectoral and policy perspective, institutional assessments, training, report writing and presentation

Knowledge and experience of over two dozen countries and over 35 years of economic and development research experience. He has specialized in the analysis of value chains of relevance to the livelihoods of poor people and microenterprise promotion in addition to financial inclusion. He was a UN Advisor on Inclusive Financial Sectors during the Advisor Group's tenure, 2006-2008.
Frances Sinha, Director & Co-founder
MA (Oxon), M SC Social Policy and Planning (with distinction), LSE
Key skills: M&E, social performance assessments and reporting, quantitative and qualitative research, poverty benchmarking, gender analysis.

30 years' experience in development based in India, working in countries of Asia and Africa. Team leader for research, evaluation and training in initiatives that support sustainability and value for low income, poor households, particularly women. Global consultant for social performance. Previously board member of the Social Performance Task Force. Member of the Social Performance Committee of AMK. Certified trainer by Grameen Foundation for the Progress out of Poverty Index.
Arpita Pal Agrawal, CEO
Nearly 25 years of work experience, twenty of which was focused on Management and Risk consulting in organisations such as PwC, KPMG, Arthur Andersen and ICICI in various leadership roles in areas related to Policy & Regulation, Ethics & Governance, Entry & Growth Strategy, Business Planning, Risk Management, Data Analytics, Operational Transformation-Process & Controls, Fraud Management, Dispute support. She has led projects in 30+ countries in emerging (Africa, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka & Middle East) and developed markets (Japan, Europe, UK, USA). She started her career with design and development of Telecom Network Management software and was based in Europe.

She is a member of the Management Board of Guru Gobind Singh IP University, visiting faculty at MDI and regularly speaks and writes on issues of her expertise areas.

Arpita is a PGP from IIM Ahmedabad and B.E (Electronics & Comms.) from Delhi College of Engineering.
Ashok Kumar, Executive Director, Livelihoods & Value Chains
MBA, Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA),B-Tech (Agriculture) Rajendra Agricultural University, Pusa, Bihar.

Key skills in enterprise development, value chain assessments, implementation of Business Development Services nd promotion of farmer producer organisations. Leads the livelihood promotion team, based out of Patna, Bihar. Comprehensive expertise in a range of economic sectors, rural and urban, farm and non-farm across India and other countries of Asia. More than 23 years' experience.
Sudhir Narayan, Executive Director, Ratings & Analytics
EGMP from IIM, Bangalore, Masters in Commerce with specialization in Statistics and Taxation, Sudhir has been in the Credit Ratings and Grading Business for the past 20 years in several capacities.

Key Skills: Evaluation and assessments of organisations, risk management practices, training, product innovation and operational excellence.
He has experience of more than two decades in SME and Social Sector Ratings. Sudhir comes with strong analytical approach and has presented views on microfinance, credit flow to SME sector and Importance of third party evaluation / assessment in many forums. Sudhir has been instrumental in developing new concepts and strategies which provided values to stakeholders.
Dr Shahid Perwez, Senior Vice President and Head, Research & Evaluations
Ph.D. Sociology and Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh, UK.

Key skills: Development and academic research, particularly ethnography, rural sociology and anthropology; Quantitative field research (with CAPI); Research planning, training and field team management; Data analysis management and reporting (assisted by a team of analysts and researchers from M-CRIL, along with an empanelled field researchers spread globally); Trained to implement the QuIP (Qualitative Impact Protocol - developed by University of Bath). Countries of work experience: India, South-east Asia (Myanmar, Indonesia and Philippines) and the UK.

Over 15 years of research and teaching in the UK (Universities of Bath, Durham, Warwick and Edinburgh) and in India (University of Pune and Jamia Millia Islamia) spanning work on women, (girl) children and the disadvantaged communities. Have national and international publications on a variety of subjects ranging from gender, caste, and religion to health, social mobilisation and other development issues..
Nitin Madan, Head - Training & Country Manager – Cambodia
M.A., Poverty and Development, Institute of Development Studies (University of Sussex, UK). MBA from Symbiosis International University, Pune

Key skills in training, technical assistance and institutional assessments for responsible financial inclusion and social performance management (SPM), including business planning, governance, operations, HR. Certified by the Smart Campaign as a Lead Assessor on the Client Protection Principles, and by CERISE as Auditor on Social Performance Indicators. (SPI-4). Manages M-CRIL's programme on client protection and SPM assessments. Over 13 years' experience in Asia and Africa, including as Chief Operating Officer with an MFI.
Tirupathaiah Namani, Country Manager, Myanmar
Post Graduate, Commerce and Social Work, Osmania University, Hyderabad.

Key skills in ratings, Institutional assessments, portfolio audit, financial analysis and business planning. al and portfolio audit, tool & product development, due diligence, research and evaluation. 15 years' work experience in Asia and Africa.
Gaurav Prateek, Vice President
Post graduate in forestry management from the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal.

Key skills in livelihoods and value chain assessments and evaluation, including institutional analysis and market research. Leads the M-CRIL Centre for Inclusive Business & Sustainability (CIBS), for innovative corporate social responsibility programming for corporates and others. More than 18 years' experience, including working with the government, private sector and international NGOs world-wide.
Rakhi Gupta, Finance Manager
Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)

Key Skills: 16 years of comprehensive experience in the fields of finance, accounts, audits and compliance assurances. Worked with various corporates, non-corporates and development sector organisations covering Educational Institutions, Training Centres, Hospitals and other Charitable Organisations. Provided core consultancy to NGOs on registration under various laws, accounting, policies & procedures, audit and compliances for their smooth functioning.

M-CRIL’s Rating Committee

The folllowing applies to M-CRIL ratings and Client Protection Certifications.

  • All rating reports are referred to members of an independent Rating Committee that takes the final decision on the rating grade assigned.
  • M-CRIL’s Rating Committee consists of independent experts and/or senior management of M-CRIL who have not been associated with the mission.
  • Independent experts have extensive background in financial inclusion and different development fields, relevant to the different types of rating undertaken by M-CRIL. They are usually drawn from the members of the M-CRIL Board.
  • The draft rating report is referred to two persons from the Committee acting as a ‘sub-Committee’ for the specific report; recusal is applied wherever a member of the committee has a relationship with the rated institution;
  • The rated institution’s responses to the comments of the rating team are presented to the sub-Committee along with the draft report; the sub-Committee for a particular report discusses the findings with the rating team, taking into account the rated institution’s response;
  • It is only after discussion with the rating team (and, if necessary after seeking further clarification from the rated institution), that the Rating sub-Committee decides the final grade to be assigned.

Conflict of Interest policy for technical services

In response to the needs of the sector, M-CRIL offers both rating and technical assistance services to MFIs. Technical assistance includes support on streamlining operations, risk management, social performance management and client protection. A potential conflict of interest arises when a rating identifies technical assistance needs, or technical assistance leads to rating or certification, and both services are supplied by the same agency.1

In keeping with M-CRIL's pioneering role in facilitating the deployment of best practices in the microfinance sector, we have highlighted our approach to the issue of conflict of interest. M-CRIL has had a very strict approach to conflict of interest policy from its very first day of operations in 1998. Structural safeguards have been built into our operations from the start to protect the quality of our service and to maintain our reputation. This highlights M-CRIL's commitment to transparency in conducting its business.

M-CRIL's policy to address potential conflict of interest has three pillars: the time gap between services (technical and rating), personnel involved and oversight by an independent committee.2

  1. In case of an MFI being provided technical services, M-CRIL will not rate that MFI for a period of one year from the date of completion of the TA assignment. For example, if the TA project ended on 30 June 2016, M-CRIL will not take up a rating before 30 June 2017.
  2. Even at this stage, if M-CRIL takes up a rating assignment, the professionals in the rating team will be different from those who provided technical services.
  3. In addition, if an MFI provided TA is rated (more than one year after the end of the TA) M-CRIL will (for another two years) disclose in its rating report the professional fee received for the TA as well as the nature of the service provided.
  4. All M-CRIL ratings are, in any case, reviewed by an independent Rating Committee
  5. These conditions apply in the same way to the provision of technical services after a rating.

Addendum 3

M-CRIL is licensed to conduct certifications of MFIs on the client protection principles developed by the Smart Campaign. In accordance with the licensing agreement with the Smart Campaign, the same provisions above on TA and the review committee apply to Client protection, with the following difference, that "if M-CRIL provides technical assistance to an MFI in the area of client protection or Smart Campaign Certification, M-CRIL cannot certify that MFI for a period of two years thereafter and vice versa and that Company personnel involved in any consultation/management services for an MFI cannot be involved in a Smart Campaign Certification for such MFI for a period of two years."

1Technical assistancemay start with an assessment, which does not involve a conflict of interest, but is an integral component of the TA to provide a gap analysis.
2The following text was approved by the Board at its meeting on 7 August 2010, with minor revisions approved at its meeting on 9 December 2016.
3Approved by the Board, 16 March 2017

Our History

A vision to achieve sustainability through risk advisory

Started in 1998, M-CRIL came into being in response to the need for an agency that would bring about a standardised assessment of financial performance and highlight the importance of governance and management in running sustainable business models of MFIs. It also responded to the need for MFIs to incorporate systems and processes appropriate to the overall objective of providing financial services to a large number of poor and vulnerable families. M-CRIL plays a key role in the development finance space across its operational area.

The foundation of M-CRIL was laid by EDA Rural Systems Pvt Ltd, M-CRIL’s parent organization which had undertaken value chain analyses, livelihoods assessments, monitoring and evaluation of microenterprise and microfinance programmes for over 15 years throughout Asia. EDA was instrumental in working with microfinance funders (including development banks) and identifying the need for an agency like M-CRIL.

M-CRIL since its inception has played a pivotal role in the provision of financial services to the poor. With time M-CRIL has diversified itself to a complete knowledge and data center for the microfinance sector. Its regular interest in financial research and assessments helped to evolve its other current service products like Social Rating, portfolio audit, rating of affordable private schools, sector analysis and assessment, financial research and data management. M-CRIL has also undertaken a number of assignments focused on sector advocacy and is a member of national and international networks.



Consultative Group to Assist the Poor - CGAP
Grameen Foundation
International Finance Corporation – IFC
MEDA (Canada, US)
Oxford Policy Management, UK - OPM
The Rating Initiative, Luxembourg
Smart Campaign, Accion
Social Performance Task Force – SPTF
Bath Social and Development Research, UK
- Home to Quip


Microfinance Institutions Network (India) – MFIN
Small Industries Development Bank of India - SIDBI


Fangzhun Advisory Services (Shanghai)


Global– international organisations, agencies, funds

Accion International
Boulder Institute of Microfinance
Consultative Group to Assist the Poor – CGAP
Department for International Development – DFID/UK AID
Economist Intelligence Unit – Global Microscope
Food & Agriculture Organisation - FAO
Ford Foundation
ING Bank, Billion to Gain
International Finance Corporation – IFC
International Labour Organisation – ILO
Microcredit Summit Campaign – Results
Opportunity International (Australia)
Swiss Development Cooperation - SDC
UN Capital Development Fund - UNCDF
Women's World Banking
The World Bank

South Asia

  • Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation
  • Ministry of Trade Investment & Industry
  • National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development - NABARD
  • National Dairy Development Board - NDDB
  • National Housing Bank, India
  • Reserve Bank of India
  • Small Farmers Agricultural Business Consortium - SFAC
  • Small Industries Development Bank of India - SIDBI
  • The Aga Khan Economic Planning Board for India - AKEPB
  • Norwegian Microfinance Initiative (NMI)
  • Bellwether fund
  • Caspian Advisors
  • DiaVikas Capital
  • Grey Ghost Capital
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Dastkar
  • Dastkar Andhra
  • Ananya Finance for Inclusive Growth
  • Friends of Women's World Banking - FWWB

MFIs including: Arohan Financial Services, Cashpor, Disha Microfin, ESAF, Equitas, Fusion Microfinance, Grameen Koota Financial Services, Satin Creditcare, Sonata, Shakti Mahila Sangh, Ujjivan, Utkarsh

  • DFID/Business Finance for the Poor-Bangladesh
  • SDC/Sonali Bank
  • BRAC

MFIs – including: Ashrai MFI, BEES, BURO Bangladesh, CARE Bangladesh, Credit & Development Foundation (CDF), RDRS, Sajida Foundation, Shakti Foundation


  • Nepal Rastra Bank (The central bank of Nepal), NMB Bank,Rural Microfinance Development Centre(RMDC)
  • SamriddhaPahad
  • Swiss Development Cooperation – Swiss Capacity Building Facility (SCBF)
  • Association for Craft Producers

MFIs including: NirdhanUtthan Bank Limited, Paschimanchal Gramin Bikas Bank, SwabalambanBikas Bank Ltd, Chhimek Bikas Bank Ltd, Deprosc Development Bank, NERUDE Laghubitta Bikas Bank Ltd, Rural Reconstruction Nepal, VYCCU Savings & Credit Cooperative Ltd, Jeevan Bikas Samaj, Neighbourhood Society Service Centre, FORWARD, Nepal Rural Development Society Centre, Centre for Self Help Development, National Educational and Social Development Organisation


Sri Lanka
  • Pakistan Microfinance Network(PMN)
  • Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund(PPAF)
  • First Microfinance Bank
  • Tameer Microfinance  Bank,
  • Urban Poverty Alleviation Programme (UPAP) of NRSP

      Damen MFI, Kashf Foundation, Jinnah Welfare Society, Mojaz Foundation, RCDS, TRDP

  • GIZ Sri Lanka
  • Bimputh Finance PLC
  • SANASA Development Bank
  • Prosperous

SE and E Asia



  • ILO
  • PACT Global Microfinance Fund
  • Myanmar Microfinance Association

MFIs – including:  LOLC Myanmar, Chin MFI (GRET), ASA Myanmar, Dawn MFI,  Alliance, Proximity MFI, Vision Fund Myanmar

  • National Bank of Cambodia
  • Cambodia Microfinance Association - CMA

MFIs – including: AMK, Amret, CBIRD, CREDIT, Hathakaksekar, InteanPoalroathRongroeurng -  IPR, LOLC Micro Credit Ltd (earlier TPC), Maxima, Prasac, Samic/CHC, Sathapana, Vision Fund Cambodia

  • 10 Micro credit companies in Inner Mongolia
  • Heilongjiang and Yunan

Hui Ying Jing Fu – HYJF (internet lending platform)

  • World Bank and Government of Indonesia’s PNPM Mandiri programme
  • Hivos
  • PT Bank Dagang Bali
  • PT BPR Delta Artha
  • PT BPR Duta PakuanMandiri
  • PT BPR Gunung Kawi

MFIs – including: Ganesha Microfinance Foundation (PT Mitra Bisnis Keluarga Ventura), Yayasan Pokmas Mandiri, Yayasan Mitra Usaha, Bina Swadaya, BPR Chandra Muktiartha, BPR Danagung Bakti, BPR Danagung Ramulti, BPR Nusamba Banguntapan, BPR Shinta Putra

  • CARD Bank
  • Cooperative Rural Bank of Bulacan, Inc, Taytay
  • SaKauswagan Inc.
  • Cooperative Rural Bank of Bulacan, Inc

MFIs – including: Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Agricultural and Rural Development of Catanduanes, Inc., Baba's Foundation Incorporated, Taytay Sa Kauswagan Inc., ASA International/CMI

  • Moris Rasik
  • Tuba Rai Metin (now KIF)
  • Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU)
  • Belgian Technical Agency
  • Capital Aid Fund For Employment of The Poor - CEP

Central Asia & CEE

  • Kompanion Bank, Bai Tushum
  • Bank Constanta

MFIs: Georgian Rural Development Fund, Small Business Development Fund, Crystal Fund, FinAgro, JSC Lazika Capital

  • Microfinance Bank of Azerbaijan

MFIs: AgroInvest, Amin, Komak, Ashikhli, Nurana, Hindarkh, Caucasus Credit, Viator Microcredit LLC

MFIs: Kazakhstan Community Loan Fund, Fund For Financial Support of Agriculture, OrtaNesie

  • Bank Eskhata, Hamyori

MFIs:  Sakhalin Small Enterprise Development  Foundation, Management Company Micro Finance Centre


  • African Microfinance Transparency Forum - AMT
  • BRAC international
  • Stromme Foundation
  • National Bank of Ethiopia
  • Amhara Credit and Savings Institution
Ghana Kenya
  • afb Ghana Plc, Women’s World Banking, Sinapi Aba
  • Kenya Women Finance Trust - KWFT
Malawi Morocco
  • Foundation Banque Populaire, Al Amana Microfinance
Nigeria Rwanda
  • Self-Reliance Economic Advancement Programme - SEAP
  • Centre Financier aux Entrepreneurs - CFE
South Africa Tanzania
  • Women's Development Businesses - WDB
  • Small Enterprise Foundation - SEF
  • NET1 UEPS Technologies Inc.
    Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA)
Uganda Zambia
  • Pride Microfinance, Pearl Microfinance
  • Izwe loans,