Among DID partners in the Proxfin international network there are individuals who, in the spirit of Alphonse Desjardins, display outstanding drive and creativity in their efforts to increase access to financial services for their communities.

Outstanding Partners 2013

Loku Bandara Abeysinghe Director of international relations at SANASA Insurance Company Ltd. (Sri Lanka)

Loku Bandara Abeysinghe

Providing optimum insurance coverage for farmers is the priority set by Loku Bandara Abeysinghe. Working since 2010 with the international division of SANASA Insurance Company (SICL), the insurance component of the Sri Lankan SANASA cooperative group, he achieved recognition with his team by setting up an innovative weather index-based crop insurance plan.

Easy to implement, the insurance product protects farmer assets without compromising SICL viability. Mr. Abeysinghe has been dynamic and warm-hearted in organizing numerous visits to farmers to raise awareness about the benefits of this type of insurance coverage. This effort was a key factor in the success of the initiative.

In August 2013, thanks to the efforts made by Loku Bandara Abeysinghe and his team, SANASA Insurance Company was the recipient of the annual first prize awarded by the National Agribusiness Council of Sri Lanka in the services category. The index-based crop insurance product was an essential aspect in the recognition of the insurance firm’s contribution to rural community development.

Mr. Abeysinghe will soon take part in a fellowship program with Desjardins Group allowing him to exchange views with numerous experts inside this major financial cooperative group, which ranks at the top in Canada and fifth worldwide.

Maïga Aminata Santara Loan Officer with the Nyèsigiso network (Mali)

Maïga Aminata Santara

Within the Nyèsigiso network in Mali, Maïga Aminata Santara is a role model when it comes to credit management operations. The exceptional quality of the loan portfolio she manages is a shining example. Her portfolio-at-risk (1-day PAR) has been under one percent since 2009. Several times over the last semester of 2013 she was designated best loan officer of the month based on the quality and the volume of her portfolio.

She is also the recipient of the 2013 Credit Specialist Award established by Nyèsigiso to encourage, support and acknowledge positive attitudes and best practices among employees and especially their team spirit, effectiveness, efficiency and the quality of service delivered to members of the institution.

Maïga Aminata Santara began her career at Nyèsigiso as a facilitator working in the Credit with Education program.

Ranjith Hettiarachchi CEO of the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU), Thailand

Ranjith Hettiarachchi

Ranjith Hettiarachchi has devoted his professional career to the development of the financial cooperative sector. After working as General Manager/CEO of the Federation of Thrift and Credit Cooperative Societies Ltd. (SANASA) in Sri Lanka, he took the helm of the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU) in 1994 as CEO.

His remarkable leadership and vision have enabled the ACCU to become a sustainable, innovative and effective regional actor. Under the guidance of Ranjith Hettiarachchi, the ACCU has developed and deployed 21 new business solutions in its affiliated cooperative networks, thereby contributing to the standardization and optimization of operations in Asian financial cooperatives. The funds available to the ACCU for its core activities and development projects have increased by 575%, from US $368,122 in 1995 to US $2.5 million today.

A staunch advocate of financial literacy and responsible lending, during his career Ranjith Hettiarachchi has designed and introduced numerous innovative financial products and services that have enabled the Asian financial cooperatives to increase their outreach and better meet the needs of low-income clienteles. He has also developed a number of training programs targeting various aspects of managing a financial cooperative or network of financial cooperatives. A proponent of continuous improvement, he piloted the adoption of modern management technologies in order to help the financial cooperatives meet the new challenges they face and ensure their growth despite rapid change in the financial system. He is also an active promoter of the federated network model, which he considers to be a vehicle for integration and effectiveness.

Sergej Pakhomov Executive Officer of the Credit Union Association of Kuzbass (regional association affiliated with the Russian Credit Union League - RCUL), Russia

Sergej Pakhomov

Active in the Credit Union Association of Kuzbass in Siberia since 1997, Sergej Pakhomov was named Executive Officer in 1999. The efforts that he has devoted to the development of this regional association affiliated with the Russian Credit Union League (RCUL) have earned it a reputation as one of the best organized in the country.

An ardent promoter of the values of cooperation and solidarity, Sergej Pakhomov is recognized as one of the organizers of the financial cooperative movement in the region. It was thanks to his commitment that most of the financial cooperatives in Kuzbass were created. In addition, he has applied his skills and sense of initiative to improving operations and work organization in the cooperatives. These contributions have earned him the highest award bestowed by the RCUL, of which he is also a board member, that of Veteran of the League.

More recently, following the introduction of self-regulation in Russia and the creation of self-regulatory organizations, his colleagues elected him Chairman of the committee in charge of controlling these organizations in the financial cooperative sector, an indication of their esteem. Finally, since 2012 Sergej Pakhomov has actively contributed to the design and deployment of a distance training program for specialists in the financial cooperatives.