Page 10 of 10
Five Star Branches !
I have never seen Grameen staff charged with so much enthusiasm and energy, than what I noticed after the introduction of GGS. You just can't stop them. They were all captivated by the idea of creating Grameen II. This is now done. Grameen II has brought tension-free microcredit. Grameen's repayment rate is now over 98 per cent. Staff energy level is at the peak. Every time you talk to them they appear as if they are having the biggest fun of their lives, working for Grameen.
One feature of GGS that really caught their imagination is the idea of creating Five Star branches. Each staff wants to create his/her own five star branch. Under GGS a branch earns a colour-coded star for one particular achievement. If a branch has 100 per cent repayment record it is awarded a star - a green star. Eligible staff of a star-winning branch can put on a badge displaying this star on his dress. If a branch earns profit, it is awarded a blue star. A branch having more in deposits than their outstanding loans, gets a violet star. If all the children of the borrowers are in school or completed at-least primary school, the branch gets a brown star. If all borrowers of a branch cross over the poverty line, the branch gets a red star. Each staff can earn his stars even when the branch is yet to receive any star, by simply fulfilling the same conditions for the centres for which he is responsible.
A Grameen staff proudly displays his stars on formal occasions. Looking at the colours of the stars one can easily figure out the area of his accomplishments. Those who got one star, are working hard to get the second star. Those who do not have any star at all, are working very hard to get to their first star. It has generated a burst of energy all around. They are not doing it for any monetary benefit, they are doing it in the spirit of competition - to be ahead of their peers, to create a record for his branch, or area, or zone, to make a personal contribution in changing the economic and social condition of the poor families he is working for, and, above all, to prove their worth to themselves. It is fun to watch them. Observing this phenomenon, one cannot but wonder how one environment makes people despair and sit idle, and then by changing the frame conditions one can transform the same people into matchless performers.
Now looking back I feel that it was lucky for us that Grameen was faced with a crisis. This crisis led us to create Grameen II, which has the built-in capacity to handle crises and disasters in a much better way than ever before. Under normal conditions, GGS is not only a powerful and efficient system, capable of providing custom-made financial services to support the economic and social upliftment of each individual borrower family, but also it frees micro-credit from the usual stresses and strains.
Welcome Grameen Bank II.
Congratulations to the Grameen staff who created it.