Software Launch

Kudumbashree Goes Digital, Unveils “Shreshta”

Thiruvananthapuram: Minister for Local Self Government K.T. Jaleel launched “Shreshta,” an NHG Work Management & Rating Software for Kudumbashree, here today.

Conceived by students of executive post graduate programme at IIM Kozhikode, “Project Shreshta” aims to enhance the performance of Kudumbashree by enabling easier procurement of funds.

The team of students digitised the financial data of various neighbourhood groups (NHGs) and presented them with an efficient credit rating software.

They developed a work management and rating software for Kudumbashree as part of their Social Development Project under the guidance of Prof. Mohammed Shahid Abdulla Information Technology and Systems Area, IIM Kozhikode, and Dr. Rahul Krishnan, Thematic Anchor, Livelihoods, Kudumbashree.

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 (SectorqubeTechnolabs Pvt Ltd).

Speaking at the launch, Minister Jaleel said that  “Shreshta” 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,” he remarked. “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, “The project will help us in digitalization of the manual records of the working documents of NHGs. This will lead to an error-free environment and the rating solution developed will be an effective mechanism in evaluating NHG performance.”

Kudumbashree is a community-based organization of neighbourhood groups. It has been recognized as an effective strategy for the empowerment of women in rural as well as urban areas.

As per NABARD’s guidelines, there are 16 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 nine parameters, on the basis of which suitable credit rating can be given to the NHGs.   The rating is quite similar to CIBIL score which is given to individuals for credit worthiness.

This scoring mechanism will help in two ways–  Kudumbashree can disburse more funds to units which have a better rating and these credit ratings can be used as an endorsement by the NHGs to seek faster disbursements from banks.

This rating is essential because digital access to funds for the 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.