The bank was set up by women, exclusively for women.


The Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank was set up in 1997 after Kantabai, a welder who worked and lived with her family on the footpath in Mhaswad, rural Maharashtra, approached our founder, Chetna Sinha. She narrated a harrowing account of being rejected by several banks when she tried to open an account. Kantabai simply wanted a safe space to save some money so she could buy tarpaulin sheets to protect her home in the monsoons. Chetna decided to set up a bank for women like Kantabai. 1335 women pooled their savings (7.8 lakhs) and set up the first bank for and by rural women in India. It remains a member-driven and member-owned bank.


(Figures as of 31st March 2018)

Total Amount deposited

97 crores

No. of Account holders


Number of branches


Total working capital

111 crores+

Number of members


Value of loans given

500 crores+

Loan Repayment Rate


While the Bank was initially conceived of as a safe space for rural women to save their money, we have grown and evolved over time. Our focus has remained on supporting women to control their finances and grow their incomes. We were one of the first banks that provided doorstep banking services, electronic passbooks, micro-enterprise loans and insurance schemes. We regularly develop and pioneer affordable loan products for women. We also work closely with the Mann Deshi Foundation to support women’s businesses grow and flourish. Entrepreneurs who come to the Bank for working capital loans are referred to the Business Schools run by the Foundation for additional business support and training. Likewise, graduates from the Business schools are provided loans by the Bank to set up and expand their enterprises.

At present we are dedicated to empowering women to understand, access and become comfortable with cashless banking. We are gearing up to provide agent-based real-time digital banking services at convenient locations that will ensure that women entrepreneurs benefit from the latest technology.


Mann Deshi wins International Innovation Award

Mann Deshi wins International Innovation Award

Mann Deshi came first among 128 applicants from 38 countries for serving low-income communities with market-based strategies.

Global Economic Summit, 2017

‘Nari Shakti’ award for Supporting Women’s Entrepreneurship

Mann Deshi CEO Rekha Kulkarni was awarded for at the 6th Global Economic Summit 2017 of the All India Association of Industries (AIAI) and World Trade Centre (WTC) Mumbai.


Mann Deshi Bank won the “Best Eco-Tech Award”

The Indian Bank Association honoured Mann Deshi Bank with the “Best Eco-tech” bank award.

Federation of Cooperative Banks (Maharashtra), 2014

Mann Deshi won the “Best Women’s Bank Award”

Chief Manager of Reserve Bank Mrs. Surekha Marandi presented the award to Mann Deshi Bank for using new technologies to reach poor underserved women.