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MFI veterans Akula, Gurumani srart new stints in non-MFI sectors

Akula recently joined as director, AgSri, Gurumani starts financial services firm for start-up SMEs

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Once engaged in an open spat over managing SKS, one of the biggest of microfinance companies in the country, two of it top executives, Vikram Akula and , seems to have quit the MFI sector for good.

Vikram Akula, the founder of SKS, who was once proclaimed as of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine, has recently joined as a director AgSri, an agriculture consultancy firm, founded by Biksham Gujja. Notably, Gujja has pioneered techniques like  introducing  concepts like the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI) and other field-based approaches in the agriculture and water sectors.

Gurumani, who had joined SKS, after an illustrious career in the banking sector, has started a financial services firm for start-up SMEs.

According to the Linkedin profile of Gurumani, he has founded the financial services company for SMEs in January 2012. A banking and financial sector veteran with 22 years’ experience, Gurumani had quit Barclays to join SKS in 2008. 

It was believed, Gurumani was brought into SKS to give it a corporate identity, after private-equity investors Sequoia Capital, Vinod Khosla, Small Industries Development Bank of India, Bajaj Allianz, Yatish Trading, Kismet Capital, Sandstone Capital, Silicon Valley Bank Unitus and Catamaran Management Services (started by Infosys Chairman N R Narayana Murthy) put money in the company.

However, post IPO, differences over ways of managing the company, led a clash between Akula and Gurumani,  which resulted in the exit of Gurumani.  However, a little more than a year after Gurumani was sacked, Akula met almost the same fate, and was shown the door by shareholders, who were vexed over mounting losses of the company.

Gurmunai and Akula could not be contacted for comments on their respective ventures.

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