ACDI/VOCA-affiliated Microfinance Institution Celebrates Building Grand Opening
Bai-Tushum and Partners, an ACDI/VOCA-affiliated microfinance institution, recently celebrated the grand opening of their new office building in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. ACDI/VOCA established Bai-Tushum, which provides affordable microfinance services to farmers, businesses and households, in 2000 with funding from USDA, USAID and Swiss Caritas. In June 2012 Bai-Tushum’s outstanding portfolio was nearly $66 million USD extended to nearly 32,000 individuals, 42 percent of whom are women.
“Housewarming is always a holiday; so today we are pleased to invite our customers, partners and friends in our new home, where we provide a quality service,“ said Natalia Gallyamova, chair of the board of directors at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Bai Tushum and Partners is one of the leaders of the microfinance market. The company has always worked for the good of our country, carrying out its social mission and providing access to finance in the region. And today the company is still loyal to its social mission.”
New Headquarters, New Opportunities
It took Bai-Tushum three years to build the building, one of the largest office buildings in Bishkek. It is equipped with cash registers and electronic queuing system. ACDI/VOCA senior technical director, Nadia Namken and financial services technical expert, Elena Nelson were on hand to convey congratulations to Bai-Tushum for this milestone.
“My hat is off to these brave and hard working women who have built this great company,” said Nadia Namken, emphasizing that much of the senior management staff at Bai-Tushum is female. This is noteworthy given the country’s male-dominated financial services industry.
In front of the Bai-Tushum’s new building is a statue of a boy in traditional Kyrgyz clothes riding a horse, a symbol for a young company on the move and the promise it offers.
Bai-Tushum Applies for a Banking License
Gulnara Shamshieva, general manager of Bai-Tushum, also spoke at the event: “The opening of a new, modern building is a step in transforming our company to a bank and in improving the availability and quality of our service which we strive to provide at the highest level. The company currently serves more than 33,000 customers, and the opening of the building with spacious and modern offices is more proof that every year we become more accessible and more convenient for our customers.”
The next milestone: Bai-Tushum has submitted an application for a banking license to the National Bank of Kyrgyzstan and is expecting to hear back shortly.