Mentor of Indian Microfinance : Sitaram Rao passes away

Sitaram Rao 277x300 Mentor of Indian Microfinance : Sitaram Rao passes away

Sitaram Rao (Dec 21, 1957-July 10, 2009)

A trained chartered accountant, he had held several senior advisory positions with finance, microfinance and international marketing companies including Equitas, the DCL Group (India),  Muscat Finance Company (Sultanate of Oman), Laila Group (India), and Paradigm InfoTech (USA).  He had also served as a visiting faculty member at Management Development Institute (Delhi),  Industrial Finance Corporation of India, Computer Maintenance Corporation, and the State Bank of India. He firmly believed that one of the effective ways to enhance the effectiveness of microfinance is to focus on value addition for microfinance borrowers through health, education and other services. He was a strong force behind of SKS’s evolution. Dr. Vikram Akula, Chairman of SKS Microfinance, once said: “I am thankful to Sitaram Rao, my friend and guide, who has been with us throughout our journey. Without his support, SKS could not have established its strong presence in the sector.” SKS grew five times under his mentorship and expanded from Andhra Pradesh to Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.

On hearing Sitaram Rao’s sudden demise, Grameen Koota MD Suresh K. Krishna, has expressed his deep grief and shock. “We have lost our mentor and our guide,” he said. Sitaram Rao was committed to the values and principles of microfinance and worked to promote the movement until  the last minute.

Malcolm Harper, renowned author and microfinance consultant, was taken by surprise when the news reached him. “Indeed, very sad news.  Certainly he is someone who was always full of ideas. A great loss,” he told MF Focus. Sitaram Rao will be remembered for his great contribution to microfinance,
being a guiding and motivational person for many young leaders of microfinance in India.

He received several awards like Microfinance Accelerator Award from Unitus, Excellence Award from Grameen Foundation, MIX GAAP Financial Transparency Award, ABN AMRO Planet Finance Award for Process Planning, Stockholm Challenge finalist and CGAP Pro-poor Innovation award. The community of Microfinance sector was grief-stricken on hearing the news of his demise, as it lost a devoted and longstanding campaigner for microfinance movement in India, a great man deeply committed and compassionate to the poor.

He was also involved in Microfinance Focus, a monthly magazine, and served as member of its advisory board. In his visit to the magazine office in Bangalore exactly a week before his unfortunate death, he reviewed the magazine’s new venture in providing news and other information online and making  the website more vibrant and dynamic.

He was also a board member and treasurer of SADHAN, apex institution for MFIs in India, and chaired  its ethics committee. Sitaram Rao was associated with Access business development services as director,  CARE India, Unitus (India), Centre for British Teachers (India), Grameen Foundation, Washington, US, Microsave India,  Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, International Labour Organisation, AP Rural Livelihood Programme,  MIX-IFAD, DFID, Ankuram Sanghamam Poram Co-op Society, Roshan Vikas Co-op Society.

Vikash Kumar, editor-in-chief of Microfinance Focus, a close disciple of Sitaram Rao, expressed his deep sorrow.  “His demise is an irreplaceable loss for us and our condolences go to his aged parents and his ailing brother,  about whom Sitaram Rao was worried till the last moment,” recollected Vikash Kumar. His brother suffered brain haemorrhage three months ago and is recovering slowly. “Sitaram Rao will always be remembered for his great contribution to microfinance, being a guiding and motivational person for many young leaders of microfinance in India,” he added.
If you wish to express your sympathy to the family of Sitaram Rao and the community of microfinance sector in India, you can pass your condolence note to us at with your full name,  email id, organization and address.



img 1367 Mentor of Indian Microfinance : Sitaram Rao passes away

Sitaram Rao ,in Sa-Dhan Natioanl Conference 2009

picture1 Mentor of Indian Microfinance : Sitaram Rao passes away

Sitaram in Microfinance Focus Board meeting

IMG 4283 Mentor of Indian Microfinance : Sitaram Rao passes away

Sitaram with Suresh (Grameen Koota) and Graham (Micro Save)

© 2009 – 2010, Microfinance News. All rights reserved. 2008-09

147 Comments on “Mentor of Indian Microfinance : Sitaram Rao passes away”

  • Jeevan J Arakal wrote on 11 July, 2009, 3:20

    Dear Sir,

    It was a blessing to have known you

  • Vasudev wrote on 11 July, 2009, 3:25

    Sitaram Sir, the Guru for the Microfinance in India. He was always committed for what he believed, always. A great loss to the global microfinance industry.


  • admin wrote on 11 July, 2009, 3:30

    This is sudden, sad news. Sitaram Rao has touched many lives as an active supporter of microfinance, building on his accountancy skills to make a difference for development, through the numerous organisations he was associated with, as well as always concerned to guide individual young people in a constructive direction. Apart from the organisations you mention, Sitaram is/was on the Board of M-CRIL, contributing to the rating issues, in fact in touch with us just yesterday. We will all miss his ready smile and flow of ideas. And wish sincere condolences to his family

    Frances Sinha, EDA Rural System

  • admin wrote on 11 July, 2009, 3:31

    This indeed is a very shocking news. I could not believe you, when you called up last night. He has always been the force behind newer generation like ours – always encouraging, backing us up and introducing us to the whole world. It’s a great loss at all levels – personal, institutional and sectoral…Let’s pray to god to give us the power to carry forward his work in microfinance and spread his philosophy of helping out fellow people in need…

    Ashish Gupta, Jeevika Livelihoods

  • Sesha Sai O wrote on 11 July, 2009, 3:36

    A man with vision who has been a mentor for many in the Industry. Truly he can be remembered as ” Father of Indian Microfinance Industry”.
    Though I had few opportunities to meet him, I can not forget him in lifetime

  • Raghavan wrote on 11 July, 2009, 4:45

    I was shocked to listen to the sudden demise of Shri SitamRao.I have personally lost a guide on whom I would always depend.He wanted to do so much to the underprevilaged.We will carry on his mission. Few minutes of talk with him would charge you with immense positive energy.It will take long time to sink that he is no more.God has taken away a good soul too soon.

  • Nitin Agarwal wrote on 11 July, 2009, 6:13

    A very lively person, Sitaram will always stay alive in the vivid memories of microfinance practitioners. it was a pleasure engaging in a discussion with him over contemporary issues concerning microfinance.

    Nitin Agarwal, Microfinance Practioner

  • Siddharth wrote on 11 July, 2009, 6:17

    We all the ex-SKSian will remember him as the most charming, educating and (entertaining) man. We have indeed lost the most vocal (independent) voice, hope all his good work will be carried on by someone.
    We all will miss u sir…

    Siddharth Misra
    Sanchetna Financial

  • Diksha wrote on 11 July, 2009, 6:52

    A very enthusiastic and down to earth person. I met him last year in a microfinance seminar at our college campus.
    Sir we will miss u……

  • Varsha wrote on 11 July, 2009, 8:16

    I still cant believe it.It came as a shocker to me. During my tenure with SKS, I remember we in HR used to desperately wait for him to come and share all his experiences. He had so many things in his basket, even then he would spend enough time with us and everyone else in the office. He had the uncanny ability to connect to anyone both professionally and personally and probably that’s one of the reasons why everyone could feel that vacuum all the more. I personally feel that I have lost one of the most significant person in my life.

    May your soul rest in peace. We all will miss you sir.

  • Prabhakara.S wrote on 11 July, 2009, 9:50

    I was shocked to hear the news of sudden demise of Mr. Sitaram Rao. I was associated with him for the last 2 years after joining Sa-Dhan’s Standards Team. Though he was not actively involved with Sa-Dhan in the recent time, i found him a good motivator and also highly knowlegeable person during my association with him. Earlier he was associated with Sa-Dhan as a standards sub-group head. He was also one of active members of study group constituted by ICAI for developing accounting guidelines for MFIs. He has contributed lot to the microfinance sector. We all miss his smile and new ideas whever meet him. I personally lost a significant person in my life. I extend me sincere condolences to his family.

    Prabhakara.S., Sa-Dhan, New Delhi

  • Anuj wrote on 11 July, 2009, 10:20

    This is truly a very unexpected and shocking news.

    With deepest condolences to the family and friends, who are many we all


  • admin wrote on 11 July, 2009, 10:34

    We are sorry to hear the news of the demise of Mr.Sitaram Rao, who has been a mentor to us and to our organization. His contributions to the sector is a remarkable one.

    On this sad moment, we convey our condolences to his bereaved family members.

    COO / Hand in Hand, Kancheepuram.

  • admin wrote on 11 July, 2009, 10:35

    It is tragic and sad that one of the finest and most humble professionals is no more. He had involved in several important initiatives and had a lot more to contribute to the sector. I have considerably benefited from his insights over the last two years in many ways. His influence behind Microfinance India conference and the State of the Sector report had been powerful. We will all miss his passion and dedication.

    May his soul rest in peace.


  • admin wrote on 11 July, 2009, 10:35

    It is shocking to know of the sudden demise of Mr. Sitaram Rao who easily can be said a doyen of Microfinance in India. Though I have heard much of him during the past 6 years, I really came into his personal contact only during the past year but the experience of his acquaintance has been forthright and immensely valuable.

    While the sector has lost a visionary, I have lost a personal friend and a great comforter. It is a Sad day indeed. His demise has created an irreparable loss personally to me and to the Microfinance sector. It is impossible to see another personality of his stature and the void created by his absence cannot be easily filled.

    While I pass my and my colleagues’ sincere condolences to the bereaved family members, I pray to the Almighty to bless his soul.

    (I am sure that his relentlessness would prompt him to watch the growth of the sector from the heavens too).

    Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy
    Managing Director
    Hand in Hand Micro Finance Limited
    Chennai, Tamil Nadu, INDIA

  • admin wrote on 11 July, 2009, 10:36

    We, the Mimo Finance family, extend our heartfelt condolences on the bereavement caused by the untimely death of Mr. Sitaram Rao. For us, he was a guardian. His guidance & mentorship helped us to move forward on our mission. We pray for his soul to rest in peace.

    With Regards,

    for Mimo Finance Family,

    Rahul Kumar
    Chief Finance Officer

  • admin wrote on 11 July, 2009, 10:37

    Sitaram Rao was a guiding light to the microfinance community. He will be remembered for his dedication, passion & invalueable contribution to the microfinance sector. May his soul rest in peace.

    Vaibhav Agarwal
    National Credit Manager | Micro-Banking | ICICI Bank
    Mumbai | India

  • admin wrote on 11 July, 2009, 10:41

    Mr. Rao was a true friend to many. He did so many things so well — always seeking nothing in return. He played a leadership role of unforgettable importance, at a critical time, in the growth of SKS and the microfinance industry in India. He is a great example to all. And I will miss this good man who was full of integrity and love.


    Mike Murray
    Co-founder and former Chairman, Unitus
    Seattle, Washington

  • admin wrote on 11 July, 2009, 10:58

    It is indeed a very sad news. Mr Sitaram Rao was a wonderful human being and it is a great loss to mf Industry. We pray that God should give courage to his family to cope up with this irreparable loss.

    Kalpana Shankar
    on Behalf of
    HiH Staff

  • admin wrote on 11 July, 2009, 10:59

    For Sitaram Rao’s family and friends: I am truly sorry for your should know that Sitaram Rao’s dedication to the the field of development was a source of inspiration to many of his younger colleagues.

    Rewa Misra

  • admin wrote on 11 July, 2009, 11:19

    I have known and worked with Mr Rao in very limited stints, while with EDA and also the microFinance India platforms 2006 & 2007. However, the limited interactions was enough to indicate a long standing commitment, understanding and clarity for the way ahead for the livelihoods and microFinance sectors. Professional qualities apart, he was a jovial person who could constantly keep his company live, was youthful way below his age, endearing himself to all and alike and helping us the ‘freshers’ reach out to him (shedding inhibitions). His passing away is difficult to believe. We have lost someone with humility, integrity and sincerity. May all of join in praying that his soul rest in peace !


    Biplav Chatterjee
    KPMG India
    DLF Cyber City,

  • D N Rao wrote on 11 July, 2009, 12:03

    I am yet to come to terms with the fact that the person I met in the hopsital around this time yesterday is no more. He has been one of my personal mentors and associated deeply with our skill building work. I have known him for for many years and I dare say, we have lost a human being in the increasingly beastly world of micro finance.

  • admin wrote on 11 July, 2009, 13:23

    Our condolences to beraved family, relatives, friends and microfinance community. We shall cherish Mr. Sitaram Rao’s ideas, vision and commitment to microfinance movement.

    A. Xavier Raj,

    Socio-economic Environment Development Centre (SEDC), Synovate Ltd.
    Chennai – 600040, INDIA

  • admin wrote on 11 July, 2009, 14:13

    My heartfelt condolences on the death of our friend Sitaram

    He was one example of a chartered accountant who got involved heart & soul in microfinance. His simplicity was one thing that i used to admire despite his professional background. in fact he was like most of us- a good grass roots professional. The microfinance sector is going to miss him a lot.

    May his soul rest in peace.

    Uday Shankar

  • Niranjan Sheelavant wrote on 11 July, 2009, 14:15

    We deeply grieve unfortunate passing away of our well wisher and mentor Mr. Sitaram Rao. He made immense contribution to Indian microfinance sector and he was an asset to the entire microfinance fraternity. Truly a very sad news for all of us.

  • Dr. Vikash wrote on 11 July, 2009, 14:32

    I was shell-shocked when i came to know this. I had been lucky to know a person of that stature and dignity. His charismatic personality and endearing nature were his hallmarks. No pretentions at all and magnanimous to the core.Truly a trail-blazer and inspiration for everyone.The void created by his demise cannot be fulfilled but yes his dreams can be.

    This is high time when we take up the baton and make microfinance a more effective means of social transformation by emulating his principles.

    Deep regards

    Dr. Vikash kumar
    SGS India Pvt. Ltd.

  • A. JOHN MORIS & CO wrote on 11 July, 2009, 14:33

    Such a simple and noble person, Sitaram Rao’s sudden demise is a shock to everyone in the MIcro Finance Community. We pray to GOD for his family members to get confidence & condinue his yemen service to the poor & under previledged people. May his soul rest in peace.

  • Bhalchander Vishwanath wrote on 11 July, 2009, 20:27

    This is really sad news. My deepest condolences to Mr. Sitaram Rao’s family, friends and well wishers. He leaves behind an unfinished agenda which all of us have to carry forward.

    I was introduced to Sitaram Rao in early 2008. To me he will always be remembered as the first person from the microfinance sector who came forward to help in a concrete manner.His actions spoke louder than his words. I also vividly remember the lunch we shared at IIT Madras in December 2008, he was always to trying to help and guide. He was a great champion of the poor and the void due to his absence will be hard to fill.
    May his soul rest in peace.


  • P M Amir Sultan wrote on 11 July, 2009, 22:14

    A great person and a great friend! Through his simple and loving approach, he has ignited innumerable minds with motivation and ideas to do things in the development sector. I am one of these drawn by his guidance to work in Skill Development for the BPL Youth.

    It appears when the Calling came, he just went very simply in a few moments!

  • admin wrote on 12 July, 2009, 0:03

    This is indeed a very sad news. Sitaram has been a very good friend of mine i wish his soul rests in peace. I feel shocked with the news.

    Namrata Sharma


  • admin wrote on 12 July, 2009, 0:09

    It was a shock to learn about the demise of Sitaram Rao. His contribution to microfinance and development sector is immense. His departure is really untimely when Indian Microfinance is going through difficult times.

    Please accept my heartfelt condolences.

    Regards with sadness,

    B.L.Parthasarathy, Group Vice President
    Head | Consulting Services Division

  • Sarat Chandra Das wrote on 12 July, 2009, 1:10

    I could never imagine that his visit to Grameen Sahara six months back would be his last visit. Only few days back I talked to him over telephone and he promised me to visit Grameen Sahara again in his next visit to Assam. I am in his contactn since 2005 and his simplicity- despite having an excellent & high profile career-was his greatest strength. Though I am far away(Assam) from physically I was so close to him, to his thinking, to his innovative ideas I just can’t believe that he is no more. It is so shocking for me i just can’t express. I shall always miss him his guidance and his sweet smile to remove all tensions…………….. My colleagues condole with grieve for his sudden demise.

    May his Soul rest in Peace!!

    !!!!!!!!!Sir, if you can see us from the heavenly above please guide us if we tend to do any mistake as you did before!!!!!!!!!!

    Saratt Chandra Das
    & Grameen Sahara family
    Grameen Sahara

  • M D Ramesh Murthy wrote on 12 July, 2009, 2:59

    I am based in Dubai and am a personal friend of my guru Sitaram Rao. I just heard that he passed away. I am in a state of shock. I was scheduled to meet him, as always, in August, when I take my annual break.

    I have told my father to get in touch with Sitaram Rao’s parents.

    I cnnot believe this, or come to terms with this news.

  • LB Prakash wrote on 12 July, 2009, 4:34

    It was shocking to hear the untimely demise of Seetaram Rao garu. Words would not do justice to describe his work with the poor and microfinance. Seetaram garu has been a gudining light not just to SKS but to many organisations and individuals.

    RIP Seetaram garu.

    LB Prakash

  • Vipin wrote on 12 July, 2009, 9:49

    We will miss you sir.

  • Vishwanath Divya wrote on 12 July, 2009, 13:01

    I’m speechless. I don’t know how to react. I have talked to him some time back and he was sounding as chuckled as he used to sound while I worked closely with him for two and a half year at SKS.
    A man who taught me abc of Microfinance. He shown me the brighter side of the domain. Made me realize the importance of the work of so many people working in this field that would bring a revolution to a common man’s life.
    He may have seen the smiling curve setting on the face of the poor man for whom he worked so hard. But he deserved a complete smile on their faces.
    I’m indebted and will remain so forever for all your mentorship. Please do keep guiding us…. Inspiring us. You’ll always remain alive in our heart.
    We, the microfinance professionals and all others in this world who have been touched upon by the great work done by you, would like to thank you for your coming down to this world. You came, you did and you went. We wish you come back again.

    Vishwanath Divya
    Rural & Social Business
    IDBI Fortis Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

  • Farah Ahmed wrote on 12 July, 2009, 19:38

    Sitaram Rao! One of my dearest mentors and guiding light of not only every single MFI/ NGO in India but every individual he gave time for.An inspiration for all individuals to remember for life, who always had the burning desire to do more and more for the poor .The best part about him was his sincerity, dedication and passion for the sector .
    I, in my close contact with him while working for Sa-dhan and ACCESS never felt the seniority he possessed.His admiration lies in his humbleness and grateful heart of being a simple man with plenty of wisdom which he believed in sharing.This heartbreaking news has shocked me to the extent of deeply loosening a valuable mentor who meant so much to me.May his soul rest in peace and ‘we’ the younger generation be able to keep him proud with all the knowledge and idea’s he has empowered us with ,that yet need to be carried forward !

    May god bless him ! I will truly miss you Sitaram rao ji !

    Farah Ahmed
    Institute of Development Studies
    University of Sussex
    Brighton ,UK

  • vasudevan pn (equitas) wrote on 13 July, 2009, 0:11

    My Dear Sita, you were my guiding light right from the time i came into micro finacne industry around 2 years back. you have been giving us at equitas and me personally, constant support and guidance in all our activities and if today, we are doing many initiatives besides financing, the entire thing is because of you and the way you kept giving us ideas and the way you kept pushing us into action on these ideas.

    My Dear Friend, i know there are thousands who are missing you but i will miss you like i have never missed anyone else in my life … my truest Friend!

    p n vasudevan
    equitas micro finance, chennai

  • S.Bhaskar wrote on 13 July, 2009, 0:51

    Shri. Sitaram Rao touched every individual irrespective of his status in life and always had time and enouraging words for every one.His deep involvement and concern for every MFI irrespective of its position in the industry has made him one of the most sought after persons in the industry.We all will miss him a lot.

  • Madhusudhan Lagisetty wrote on 13 July, 2009, 1:08

    I am shocked to hear about his sudden demise. He believed in leveraging technology for the MFI sector and wanted other services like insurance to be bundled along with MF. This is how I was fortunate to be associated with him for a short while which enabled me to know him and see him work from close quarters. My sincere condolences to the bereaved family at this time.

    Madhusudhan Lagisetty,

  • Priyadarshini Vadrevou wrote on 13 July, 2009, 1:27

    They say ‘good people go soon’ and it’s been proven again. The news has made me sad and angry. Sad because I was so looking forward to learning more from the great man and angry because there is no justice in this world. I consider it my good fortune that I got an opportunity to interact with him and to discover that we were related. May his soul rest in peace.

    Priyadarshini Vadrevou
    SKS Microfinance

  • Mallikarjuna.Iytha wrote on 13 July, 2009, 1:53

    Iam totally shocked to hear this news.Knowing Sita Rama Raoji for more than 4 years and what a personality he was. His creative thinking is limit less. His commitment for the sector is commendable. He was very keen to seen Livelihood promotion through Financial Inclusion. He was instrumental in encouraging us to start an MFI from Vidharbha. Personally iam a fan of Sita Rama Raoji. I pray almighty to spread his vision and wisdom to various corners of the country.May his soul rest in peace. Our heart felt condolences to his family members. With prayful regards. Mallikarjuna, Executive Director, Fair Trade Forum-India.

  • CA Zujar Latifjiwala wrote on 13 July, 2009, 2:22

    A man with vision who has been a mentor for many in the Industry. Truly he can be remembered as ” Father of Indian Microfinance Industry”.
    Though I had few opportunities to meet him, I can not forget him in lifetime

  • Sampada Trust wrote on 13 July, 2009, 2:27

    It was a shock to learn about the demise of Sitaram Rao. His contribution to microfinance and development sector is immense. His departure is really untimely and the loss is irreplaceble.

    May his soul rest in Peace. may God give strength to his family to bear this loss

    Please conveuy our heartfelt condolences to all the family members

  • Dr. Ramesh Bellamkonda, BSS, Bangalore wrote on 13 July, 2009, 2:41

    We in BSS, are deeply saddened at the demise of Sitaram Rao. He was a wonderful man who gave so much to so many in this microfinance sector and related aspects. Sitaram may be dead in body, but his spirit lives on. May his soul rest in peace and may God give the strength to cope with his loss, to all his near and dear.

    Dr. Ramesh Bellamkonda & Abhay Kanjikar

  • Ashmita wrote on 13 July, 2009, 2:43

    It is a tremendous loss for all who’ve known Seetaram uncle. We’ve known his family for quite a long time and were shocked when we heard the news. Couldn’t believe that such a thing could happen to a great person!!

    Uncle helped me choose my stream of specialization at B school, and not just that but encouraged me a lot with my creative writing and my blog. His loss is deeply felt!! May his soul rest in peace.

  • Srikant Das wrote on 13 July, 2009, 2:54

    I am deeply hurt by the news. The sad and untimely death of Mr. Rao is a great loss to the micro finance sector in the country. My deepest condolences to Mr. Sitaram Rao’s family, friends and well wishers.

    Srikant Das
    SIDBI, Bhubaneswar

  • Animesh Anand wrote on 13 July, 2009, 4:56

    Lost a mentor and a guide. Sir, will miss you a lot. Still feel as if you’ll walk up again through those doors and show us the ever shining guidance light. Can never forget you sir. Both as a professional guide from my initial days at SKS till now and also as a personal mentor to whom I could look up to for suggestions on anything and everything.


  • Usha Nair wrote on 13 July, 2009, 4:58

    Sitaram Rao was a living encyclopaedia. Talk to him about any subject, he has an in-depth knowledge of anything on this earth. He was one of the wonderful persons I’ve ever come across…a guide, mentor, inspirational friend, motivator and humble person….no airs at all!! Sir, its hard to find a person like you on this earth. My deepest condolences to his family on the irreparable loss. May your soul rest in peace!!

  • Ramu GSV wrote on 13 July, 2009, 5:29

    Sitaram Rao will be cherished for his advisory and mentoring role for hundreds of people and organisations; He will be remembered for his simplicity and good humour; A rare gem.

  • srihari adurty wrote on 13 July, 2009, 5:34

    Its too hard to believe & imagine loosing such a wonderful person. I wonder if sector would get such gifts again from god and nature. As a person meeting you at any conference or seminar was a fun and today at your condolence meet i wished to god if such a thing happens again but alas sir you never turned up.

  • Mohd. Bilal wrote on 13 July, 2009, 6:48

    I’ve only heard his name and attributes since i joined SKS in Feb 2009. After his sudden demise, my colleague/friend Manish called me up and we went to Sitaram’s Sir house on 12th morning. There were lot of people from SKS (Top to Down) were gathered.
    The most notably strange thing for me was his house- a very simple and small house, which was not painted since many months/ years, having a small lawn by the side. By and large people with such an apparent reputation doesn’t have this kind of Down to Earth living.

    I salute this Harmonic and Ideal personality.

    Mohd Bilal

  • Bhagya wrote on 13 July, 2009, 7:08

    It is a sudden shocking news everyone & we can’t digest it now

    As he was great personality, but never shows his influence to any one but uses to be friendly every one

    We can say that SKS have missed a young “HERO” (as he keeps saying that he is sweet 18 yrs)

    May your soul rest in peace!!

  • Preethi Akula wrote on 13 July, 2009, 8:14

    We miss you sir….

  • R.N.Pramod Kumar.(Ex. Employee of SKS) wrote on 13 July, 2009, 8:47

     
     
     We really Miss you sir 
     

  • Vara Prasad Chaganti wrote on 13 July, 2009, 9:29

    Sir, you are one of the most wonderful persons i have ever met.

    May your soul rest in peace!!

  • Vilas wrote on 13 July, 2009, 9:45

    I remember i have never seen a person like Mr. Sitaram Rao Sir.
    he was simple living, higher thinking in spirit. he spoke with everyone he meets without any differences of rich and poor,
    He was always smile and made other happy too.
    Really miss you Sir.


  • Vipin Sharma wrote on 13 July, 2009, 10:29

    A late night text message on Friday on Sita’s sudden demise came in as a huge shock. I had last spoken to him only a few hours earlier and he was quite cheerful and was hoping that the surgery on his arm would be done the next morning. It took a long long time for the traumatic and tragic truth to sink in.

    Sita was returning from a meeting of ACCESS when he met with the accident in Hyderabad. In the morning he called me and talked of the accident, and said how lucky he was as the accident could be far more serious. Two days later, ironically something much worse happened to him in the secure confines of a hospital.

    I had come to know Sita through our association in Sadhan sometime in 2004. Over the years, I had the good fortune of knowing him much better and when in March 2006, we established ACCESS, he was a founding member of the Board. Earlier this year, Sita was invited to Chair a new Co. – ASSIST, set up with the support of ACCESS. Sita’s participation in the ACCESS Board meetings was very enthusiastic; he had a huge ambition for ACCESS and was was keen for the organization to move into several new and innovative areas. In every meeting with a stakeholder, from every trip he made; he saw opportunities for ACCESS. Sita’s views and wisdom influenced the growth of ACCESS in many ways. His simple ways, his passion for the sector endeared him to all staff at ACCESS. While Sita will be missed by all of us at ACCESS, for me personally, I have lost a friend, philosopher and a guide. I valued his perspectives very much. But most importantly, Sita was a tall leader of the Sector, which has lost one of its most committed comrades. Particularly in the current context of the way in which the sector is growing and evolving, Sita’s views and principles around “responsible finance” have a huge new value. The sector has lost its lone crusader.

    My deepest condolences on the death of an unsung hero.


  • Trinath Rao wrote on 13 July, 2009, 10:42

    We miss you Sir.

  • Rajsekhar wrote on 13 July, 2009, 13:45

    Mr. Seetaram rao is a almighty deputed person to the people who are in need of basic things like food, shelter, jobs etc…

    unforgettable and imaculous personality. May be millions would have saved with food security as he used to tell always that his next focus is food security.

    i pray lord to take care of his family and give him wonderful life in heaven. Every one of sks or any other organisations he extended his valuable service should adopt atleast one good quality of mr rao and justify for human life.


    glowstar international ltd.

  • Narendra wrote on 13 July, 2009, 15:55


    I thought I will work with you and shall contribute my learning to the sector.

    Please help me wherever you are.

    Thank you so much


  • Ravi Shankar Chaudhary wrote on 14 July, 2009, 1:03

    Quite unbelievable…I am still hearing his words which he was talking the last week. I often saw him imparting paternal advice to the new generation people in the organization for molding their career. We will always miss you sir.

  • Mahavir Prasad wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:22

    One of the most charismatic personality I ever met. Sudden demise of Rao sir will definitely unacceptable by many of us who directly or indirectly got inspired by his vision. It is indeed an irreparable loss to the Microfinance sector.

    May his soul rest in peace!!!!!!

    Deep regards,
    Mahavir Prasad
    Market Pulse Knowledge Network (P) Ltd

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:39

    In Celebration of the Life of Sitaram Rao

    By Vikram Akula

    Thank you all for being here today to honor Sitaram. Although Sitaram has passed away, I know for certain that we will never lose him. I know he is smiling and watching over us today and that he will watch over us every day, just as he did when he was alive.
    I first met Sitaram in 2000 in our small two room office in Kachiguda. I admit when I first met him, he didn’t strike me as that remarkable… another banker who wanted to try to do something for the poor, I thought to myself.
    But then I took Sitaram to the field and I saw him light up with excitement as we walked through the villages in Narayankhed and as he watched our field staff and sat on the ground and talked with our members. He was so thrilled about what we were doing… and he had such genuine respect for the field. He used to call our field staff my “teachers.” How amazing. A man of such accomplishment and experience calling field staff “my teachers.” In fact, his father said that while most people put up pictures of gods and goddesses in their homes, Sitaram had pictures of our field staff.
    The other striking thing about Sitaram was his focus on our members. From the moment I met him, everything he did, every action he took, was about how to improve the lives of the poor….. He was a living testament to Gandhi-ji’s teachings. Gandhi-ji said, “Think of the poorest person you have ever seen and ask if your next action will be of any use to him or her.” Sitaram lived that credo…and as SKS transformed to an NBFC, Sitaram served as our conscience, helping us keep the focus on our members, on the social aspects of our work. Did a new product help the members? Was it good for them? Did this process make it easier for them?
    Of course, he did this not only for SKS but also for the sector. He traveled the length of breadth of this country to help the smallest MFI in the most remote region. Today, there are people remembering him everywhere from villages in Assam to the slums of Hyderabad to the coasts of Kerala.
    And he did not stop at the borders of India, either. In the last few years, he traveled to Afghanistan and Thailand and he even wanted to go to Africa to help small MFIs there as well. That was one of his last wishes.
    He also didn’t stop at the borders of microfinance. He was brimming with ideas of how we could do more—food security, watersheds, education, vocational training. And he was ready to help anybody who wanted to do such work. It didn’t matter who you were—NGO or NBFC, large or small, experienced or new—if you needed help, he would be there. And he would often help even at the expense of his own health. We told him to slow down, but that’s just who he was. He couldn’t stop helping others. Even in his hospital room the last few days before he passed away, he was meeting with a parade of people from the development sector.
    For me, the most personal example of his helping was when I had to leave SKS to return to the US for family reasons in 2004. I interviewed tons of people for the role of CEO but just didn’t find someone I could hand over SKS to. Sitaram realized this and, though he always stated that he did not want to take on such responsibilities, he stepped forward and said don’t worry Vikram, I will do this for you until you get back. He then gave me a hug and said go to the US, I will be here. And when he said that, I knew I could leave in peace–that SKS would be in good hands. And it was.
    When I came back for periodic visits, our staff would comment about Sitaram’s gentle management style. It would take him an hour to get from the front of the office to the back where his cabin was….. because he would stop and talk with everyone along the way—from the watchman to the CFO. Not just some passing word, but genuine interest. How are you doing? What is going on? And of course, he had that wonderful smile, those witty jokes, and that gentle manner. He made us feel at ease and he made us happy.
    Sitaram-ji, you have brightened our lives with your smile and your grace. God bless you, Sitaram. We love you and we always will.

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:40

    Today I heard the news about Sitaram sir, It was very sad moment for me. I still remember those days when I was working with him in SKS. He always encourages me and shown me the right path for my career. When I was working in sks, he was CEO of SKS. He always behave like a friend not a CEO.

    He was a great person which I can’t forget in my life. For microfinance and children education sector he has great contribution. He dedicated his life to poor people and serve for them.

    Name- Vikas Kumar Singh

    Compamy- Prudential Fund Management pte Ltd, Singapore
    Contact- +65-81071440

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:41

    Dear all-
    I am very saddened to learn of the passing of Sitaram Rao, who offered me so many insights into microfinance in India, always brought thoughtful analysis to any discussion, and once recounted the Ramayana to me on a road trip to Bidar. The latter, as with anything told by Sitaram, was so engrossing that even the driver was distracted from the road at several points in the story. Truly a loss to the microfinance community and to humanity. Please express my condolences to his family, friends and former colleagues at SKS.
    Kind regards.
    Blaine Stephens, COO and Director of Analysis, MIX

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:42

    It is an extremely sad and unfortunate news to hear about the untimely and unfortunate passing away of Mr. Sitaram Rao. Mr. Rao has been one of the shining luminaries of the Indian microfinace sector and has been a key person who has helped the Indian microfinance sector attain a place of prominence globally. I have personally benefitted from his analytical and objective views on a number of things. Despite being at such important positions, he was such an easy person to approach and work with and I always admired his great sense of humility and magnamity. He also always encouraged people to think big and said that there is so much to be done that not thinking big will be a bigger crime than thinking big and falling short of the mark. The microfinance sector has become poorer today and the gap left by Mr. Rao’s departure will be difficult to fill.
    I will always remain personally indebted and grateful for all the encouragement and advise that I received from Mr. Sitaram Rao and I pass on my condolences to the family of Mr. Rao and to the fellow members of Indian microfinance sector and colleagues from all the institutions where Mr. Rao was personally involved as a mentor, advisor, board member, friend or just as a well wisher.

    This e-mail is sent by
    Prabhat Labh, CARE USA
    Senior Technical Advisor- ACCESS Africa
    C/O CARE International in Tanzania

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:44

    it shocked me because i spoked with my guru and motivator few hours before and my wife too met sir at hospital.

    he motivated me and guided me and always stood behind me with his suggestions, gidance, blessings.

    sitaramarao garu,

    “The Path of Duty is the Way to Glory” this is the mantra he taught me and when i joined as DGM for Aarogyasri project of Govt of AP he shown me the torch to serve the needy.

    its a personal loss to me because even though i never worked with you directly but you shared plenty of your hours for this kid.

    when i met him last time he guided me to work on Lighting Inclusion for Indian masses.

    Dear all,

    our duty is to follow his footsteps in serving the downtrodden at grassroots.

    GOD please dont take the good persons who are needed by the kids like me.

    MH Prasadu
    Deputy General Manager,
    Aarogyasri Project, Vizag
    Star Health & Allied Insurance services Ltd., AP

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:44

    The sad demise of S Rao is realy shocking. May his sole rest in peace. Mayalmighty give family members enough strength to bear this sudden great loss.
    Dr Panna Lal Professor MAMC New Delhi

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:45

    Shocked to hear. Pl convey my condolences.
    Kishore kumar
    Head_ investment banking
    HDFC Bank

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:46

    Mr. Sitaram Rao was a dear friend.
    Having worked with him during his tenor at Muscat Finance Co., came quite close to him.
    Spent a lot of quality time with him.
    Only a few months ago, found out his whereabouts and renewed contacts with him and was in constant touch with him since. This comes as a shock.
    “Greatness of Mr. Sitaram Rao was in his down to earth approach and his ability to laugh off any serious calamity, while sincerely and quietly trying to solve the problem. He believed any problem could be solved, if earnestly tried.- May gGod Almighty rest his soul in peace.”

    Shenoy U.K.
    Aluaffair Structural Glazing Pvt.Ltd.- Mumbai.

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:47

    It is unfortunate and unbelievable that Sri. Sitaram Rao, an eminent Micro Finance Specialist, guide, mentor of the Micro Finance Industry is no more with us now. It is a great loss to the Industry and his family. His philosophy and the path he has shown to the Micro finance Industry is unparallel and lives long. We pray God that his Soul rest in peace.

    We all at Sphere Partners (UK); GAIA Finance express our deep condolences to one and all in his family and Pray the Almighty to give the courage to them in such difficult times. We pray the Almighty to rest his soul in peace.

    GAIA Finance

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:48

    May I send my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family on the sad demise of Mr Sitaram Rao. The microfinance community has lost one of its staunchest supporters and the breach is not easy to bridge. May his soul rest in peace.

    Prof Bala
    Dr N Balasubramanian
    Chairman, IIMB Centre for Corporate Governance and Citizenship
    Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
    Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore 560076

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:48

    It is with immense sadness that I write these words.

    I would have never imagined as my day began this morning, that I will be writing a condolence message for my dear Friend, Guru, Guide, Philosopher, Sounding Board, Calming Influence, a Great Human Being, ….. I could go on and on.

    I met with Sitaram Rao in 1988-89 (I also met the current COO of SKS, M R Rao at the same time). We became thick friends and kept in touch through all these years. As was the usual practice, I was to meet both Sitaram Rao and M R Rao in August, when I took my annual break in India.

    I now know that this will not be.

    Sitaram Rao, I consider myself privileged and fortunate to have met and befriended you and the family. I can hear your voice as I write, I can hear the laughter, the humor and the knowledge that was imparted each and every time we spent together.

    I do hope that Uncle, Aunty, Ram, Shambu Prasad and Baby can bear this loss. My heartfelt condolences. I will of course be calling on at home when I reach Secunderabad in the 2nd week of August.

    Sitaram Rao, you may have left this physical world, but you will always be present in my heart, thoughts and memories, and no doubt, in the hearts of many thousands of human beings whose lives you have touched, and made better.

    I cannot write anymore.

    May you rest in peace.

    With love, affection and gratitude.

    Ramesh Murthy

    M. D. Ramesh Murthy
    Managing Director, Investment Banking
    Head – Project & Structured Finance
    CIBG, Mashreqbank psc
    PO Box 1250, Dubai, UAE

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:49

    Board of Directors/Advisory Committee and staff of Ankuram-Sangamam-Poram – a Dalitbahujan Coops Federation express condolence on the sudden demise of Mr.Sitaram Rao.

    Mr.Sitaram was a great friend of Dalits . He was always a great support to the several Dalit initiatives. We will carry forward the good spirit and commitment to the dalits in India.

    Chief Executive Officer
    Ankuram Sangamam Poram
    Plot No.142 &143, A.P. Text Book Colony,
    Transport Road, Karkhana,
    Secunderabad – 500 009
    Tel: +91-40-27894574 /Mobile:09866021077

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:49

    It is always a sad event to hear the untimely demise of someone who has advanced the cause of poverty alleviation. My deepest condolences to the family of Dr. Rao.

    Annie R. Alip
    Research Director
    CARD MRI, Philippines

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:50

    Dear Family Members of Mr Sitaram Rao

    It is with sadness to note of the passing away of Mr Sitaram Rao, the Mentor of Indian Microfinance.

    We on behalf of our Microfinance institution, Sewalanka Community Financial Services Ltd (Sewa Finance) wish to
    convey Our Deepest Sympathies to his family.

    Ms Renuka Rathnahewage
    Chief Executive Officer
    Sewalanka Community Financial Services Ltd
    216/1, Dehiwela Road

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:51

    It was really a shocking news to all of us about the sudden demises of Mr. Sitaram Rao. He was always like a Friend, Philosopher and Guide for the entire microfinance sector. As a microfinance practitioner, I can say it is a great loss to all of us. During my interactions with him, he always guided me and always encouraged to provide better, efficient and respectful services to the poor. He is always full of different ideas, I once told him “Sitaramji you are like a Idea Bank! ” He was one of the best resource in the sector and he always thought about the development of the sector. We will always miss you Sir!! But you will be always remembered in our heart.

    Kuldip Maity
    Managing Director & CEO
    Village Financial Services Pvt. Ltd. (VFSPL)

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:51

    It was shocking news for all of them in MF industry to know about the sad demise of Mr. Sitaram Rao. We all at Sampada deeply morn on it. His contribution in development of Sa Dhan and overall MF network as well as the role he played in developing MF industry as a whole is remarkable.
    God will give peace to the departed soul. Our deepest condolence to the bereaved family and May God give them strength to bear this irreplaceable loss

    Team Sampada

    AHMEDNAGAR. MS, India.

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:52

    I am really taken back by the sad news of passing away of Sita Ram Sir.
    I joined as a MT in Ujjivan . MTs are looked on by Ujjivan as future leaders and for this a “Leadership Series” was planned for us.

    Sita Ram sir was one of the distinguished speakers of the leadership series talk and beleive me his speech had a great impact on all of us.

    He said ” Come what may ! But don’t sacrifice your principles”. I am following that right from the day.

    Our CEO Mr.Ghosh respects him a lot and seeing both of them at a place was a nice surprise for all of us.

    I had a lot of querries fot Sita Ram sir that I was thinking to ask him in next series as he promised us that he shall once again grace us by his presence.

    I heard the news on Monday and don’t know but my soul was missing him from past few days. I don’t know why. But when I heard the news I am really taken back.

    It is said that if you bring happiness to one face then your life is fruitful. But sir has made not one but thousands of faces. Needless to say, soul of such a great man , who has made lives of many a people worth living, is a part of the lord himself.
    So,I shall only pray for his revival on earth for a noble cause.

    Kindly apologize for any wrong from my side. I don’t know what I have written, I just sat and my fingers typed it.

    Thank You

    Pushkal Gupta
    Management Trainee
    Ujjivan Financial Services Pvt. Ltd

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:53

    Sita was one of the most knowledgeable, analytical, helpful and humourous persons I met in the sector. He was one of the pillars of the sector. I was looking forward to spending much more time with him. My hearfelt condolences to his family, Prabhu Ghate

    Prabhu Ghate
    A7, Nizamuddin East, New Delhi -13

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:53

    This is very sad news, both on a personal level and for the industry. Sitaram was a major force in microfinance, both in leading SKS’ growth and in helping to guide the industry as a whole. His immense wisdom and boundless energy were on display as we recently shared a very early morning taxi to the airport and subsequent flight, during which time he regaled me with war stories from the early days at SKS, shared his vision about the future of microfinance, and seemed to know about half of the people in the airport, to whom he introduced me. He will be sorely missed.

    Justin Oliver
    Executive Director
    Centre for Micro Finance – IFMR

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:54

    It’s a very big shock to hear about the sad news of the unexpected departure of our most important pillar of the microfinance industry in India in particular and in the whole world in general. He passed away at the time we needed him the most for experience sharing especially in our newly born microfinance secteur, which is the engine of development.

    May his soul rest in peace and the loss be filled soon in his dearest family, in India and in the whole world!!!

    Diane J. BIZIMANA
    Service of Bank and Microfinance Suporvision
    Central Bank of BURUNDI

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:54

    Sitaram’s sir association will brighten the life of any living being in this world. Yeh who aadmi jinhe duniya ka gham tha magat khud ka nahin I am one of those whose life change 360 degrees just because they get a chance to work him. AAJ KAI LOGONKI KHUSHI SIRF UNSE MILNE KE VAJHE SE HAIN.

    May your soul rest in peace SARKAR. My sincere condolences to his bereaved family

    SKS Microfinance Pvt Ltd

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:55

    I express my heartfelt feelings. The sector last an able person and it is difficult to fill the vacuum.

    Dr Veerashekharappa
    Associate Professor
    Centr for Economc and Policy Studies

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:56

    I had associated with Mr.Sitaram rao as a team member of standard sub-group in sa-dhan and had the opportunity of sharing the room in Delhi with him during that tenure. He is a disciplined person with planned food habits.He listens to people and respects others opinions. His sudden demise is a personal loss to me and to my microfinance organisation.
    He will be remembered for his personal qualities of honesty, integrity and uprightness.

    Charly, Managing Director,
    New Life,


  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:56

    I am shocked to hear about the premature demise of a person, who was so full of life and love endowed with deep knowledge and vision, that its hard to believe that he is no more there to mentor us. Sitaram’s contribution in micro-finance and micro-livelihoods sector is seminal as he has made a significant difference through his numerous endeavours of innovative kinds, to thousands of poor lives impacted by many a social entrepreneurs, who have entered this sector under his able guidance and support. To me his departure is a great personal loss, as he was always there to provide me clear direction and all round support, whenever needed.

    Raj Jani
    Project Manager, JIYO!
    Asian Heritage Foundation

    New Delhi

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:57

    Vadlamannati Seetharama Rao , whom I knew since 2003, We met those days to discuss on SHG women & Microenterprise and explore ways to provide support for the WSHGs. and subsequently we used to meet in microfinance conferences and occassionally used to interact over phone on Microfinance / technologies etc.

    Indeed he was a great soul I can say. Today when I attended his memorial meeting at Marriots, listening to somany friends from MF industry expressing thier association with this man made me feel how a man’s passion could achieve so much. Many have brought out their views in the meeting and how he had helped somany organisation untiringly and without any issue over these years. His simplicity , openness and ever receptive nature to any one in the development sector shows and proves his real concern for the poor and how to contribute to the upliftment of the poor irrespective of where you are working or what aspect you are into.
    It is beyond doubt that how service to mankind can over ride all the materialistic achievements and bring glory to an individual is proved.

    I pay my deep condolences to the Ms. Indira Rao & family members for this great loss and pray to God that his soul may rest in peace. We cherish his contribution to the MF industry & Development Sector as a whole and continue his good work in which ever form we can…


    Raman V Machiraju,
    Vice President Marketing,
    Elitser IT Solutions India Pvt Ltd.

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:58

    I am shocked to hear the news about SitaramRao’s untimely demise.
    After I met him last year I was in frequent contact with him. He has such a positive influence on me that I am trying to return back to India. We planned to meet and spend time together in next month. I feel deeply deprived of his presence, and I lost a mentor. His soul and spirit is always with us. He is a champion of microfinance and hope his thoughts of helping rural poor through microfinance will bear the fruit in entirety.


  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:59

    Please accept the sincerest of condolences for the loss of Sitaram Rao, on behalf of Bob Christen, Director Financial Services for the Poor and the rest of the team.

    We appreciate his years of service and dedication to the microfinance industry and all he did to improve the lives of the people of India. He will be remembered as well regarded and a very good man.


    Bob Christen
    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 3:59

    Having worked with him during his tenor at Muscat Finance Co., came quite close to him.
    Spent a lot of quality time with him.
    Only a few months ago, found out his whereabouts and renewed contacts with him and was in
    constant touch with him since. This comes as a shock.
    “Greatness of Mr. Sitaram Rao was in his down to earth approach and his ability to laugh off
    any serious calamity, while sincerely and quietly trying to solve the problem. He believed
    any problem could be solved, if earnestly tried.- May gGod Almighty rest his soul in peace.”

    Shenoy U.K.
    Aluaffair Structural Glazing Pvt.Ltd.- Mumbai

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 4:00

    Dear Family members of Mr.Sitaram Rao,
    On behalf of South Indian Bank, I express heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members.
    May his soul rest in peace,

    Asst. General Manager
    South Indian Bank

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 4:24

    The news of Sita Ram’s passing away came as a bolt from the blue. He was to have been with us in Dhaka in the meeting of ICCO South Asia Regional Council from 10 July and cancelled the trip at the last minute because of his accident. I am deeply saddened.
    Please convey my deepest condolences to his parents and other family members. May he be in peace and may God grant his family the strength to bear with this most untimely loss.

    Deep Joshi

    Gurgaon 122001

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 4:26

    Sitaram Rao passes away.

    It is hard to believe that Sitaram Rao is no more. He was a source of inspiration for many of us. He worked for the” love of labor”
    He was concerned with the mission drift in some of the major MFI’s and had hope that community based micro finance institution could show a different path. He was writing a book on young leaders in the sector. Sitaram Rao would always say ‘Do the work where your heart lies.’
    We, at Chaitanya had the opportunity of having him with us for a few days last year. He was very happy interacting with the federation leaders and the Jankar.
    Sitaramji – we feel a vacuum in your absence, you were a knowledge leader and a great supporter and guide. We stand committed to take your spirit ahead.

    Dr.Sudha Kothari,Director, Chaitanya , Pune and Board member of Micro-save, FWWB and APMAS

  • Mrs. Aradhana Nanda wrote on 14 July, 2009, 6:03

    I could scarce believe my ears, when I was telephonically intimated by Jugal CMD (Mahashakti Foundation), that Sitaram Rao had passed away following a road accident and other complications developed thereof at Hyderabad. Jugal himself was in tears, and was talking in a choked voice. Our aquaintance with him was for probably one of the shortest span of time going down to nearly a year. My own personal interaction with him along with our board members Sri. J.K.Mund and Sri.Sanjeev Ku.Naik took place as late as on the 22nd of June 2009. Over the past one year we were in a quandry as how to invite him to a small town like Bhawanipatna lacking in commensurate urban facilties to accomodate a personality of his stature. But lo and behold!, he told us that six years before he had a premonotion that he would be paying a visit to Kalahandi. Our introduction with him and all issues pertaining to our MFI (Mahashakti Foundation), took us no more than an hour or so, and the rest of nearly six hours of interlocution with him was, utilised more in the form of a journey of personal discovery and greater bonding between us as though, great bonding did already exist. For a mind of his sweep of grasp over Microfinance and all that related to it, must have taken a jiffy to some of the entirety of our burden after which he embarked upon a philosophical and humanitarian discovery into the geographical, historical, sociological, and political background of Kalahandi and its peoples. It was literally astounding as much as a learning to have been exposed probably to such a rare and generous opening up of his heart and mind towards Kalahandi its people and our own humble initiative to do something for its wronged people. While as small an organisation as ours didnt even merit to receive his service, we were pleasantly surprised during our interaction with him that he was more eager to meet than our own apprehension of enlisting his service for us. All of the above is now a matter of past.
    We feel, we are the poorer for having lost such a noble and rare soul.
    Aradhana Nanda.
    Mahashakti Foundation, Kalahandi.

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 8:18

    Microfinance industry has lost a great personality Mr. Sitaram Rao. It was very shocking news to here and indigestion to me.

    Though I had few opportunities to meet him, I cannot forget him in my lifetime.

    My heartfelt condolences to his family members and may his soul rest in peace……..!!!

    Thanks & Regards,
    SKS Microfinance-Hyderabad

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 8:19

    Very sad to hear about the untimely death of Mr. Sita Ram
    It is a great loss to the microFinance sector
    May god grant eternal peace to his soul

    Jai Pal Singh
    Executive Director, CmF Jaipur

  • Pradeep Farias wrote on 14 July, 2009, 8:25

    Dear Rao Saab, I came to know about you after 19 years but it was too late. I got the sad news today and instantly I remembered the encouragement and guidance you provide to me in Muscat Finance. I am saddened by your loss. We never able to meet on this earth again. May your soul rest in peace.

    Pradeep Farias, ex. Muscat Finance/Melbourne/Australia

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 8:25

    I cannot claim to have known Sitaram very well, but I did know him well enough to be grieved at the loss of a person whom it was personally a pleasure to know, but also professionally very sincerely to respect.

    I have had the privilege of his acquaintance for perhaps ten years, first when I was Chairman of the Basix finance group, and more recently as a fellow-board member of M-Cril, the microfinance rating organisation. He had an extraordinarily fertile mind; he could see opportunities for innovation when the rest of us could only see obstacles, and he was one of the few people I have known who had a deep understanding of the modern formal finance world, combined with a genuine and no less deep understanding of microfinance and the needs of the poor.

    His interventions in board meetings were always sound and often brilliant, and the rest of us were sometimes far behind him. We had to pause before we could grasp the implications of what he was suggesting.

    I shall miss him deeply as a delightful person and as a committed, brilliant and devoted professional and his death is a great blow to the whole community.

    You and all his family can take pride, however, in the scale and depth of his contributions to microfinance and the alleviation of poverty, with SKS but also more widely. As is written on the small memorial to Sir Christopher Wren, the architect of St Paul’s Cathedral here in London, ‘si monumentum requiris, circumspice’, or, ‘if you need a memorial, look around you’. The enormous and still rapidly growing field of microfinance in India is Sitaram’s best memorial.

    Malcolm Harper

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 8:29

    Sitaram was amongst the most loved figures in the Indian and global microfinance fields. He also has had one of the biggest impacts in terms of poverty alleviation. Sitaram was always bubbling with enthusiasm and optimism. I have so many great memories of interactions with him over the past two years.

    I distinctly remember the first time I met him outside the Microfinance India Summit 2007. He was by far the most energetic person at the event. While I was a relative newcomer to the Indian microfinance scene, he treated me like a close friend from the first moment we met. I had looked forward to meeting Sitaram and wondered what great insights into making microfinance more effective he might share. Instead, he immediately launched into a juicy story of confrontation between two CEOs of top Indian MFI’s that he had just witnessed. His passion for the poor and microfinance was so all encompassing that he even enjoyed spreading the gossip in the sector….

    Sitaram is definitely missed as a mentor, guide, creative spirit and life force. The world is definitely a much better place as a result of his incredible efforts.

    Eric Savage
    Managing Director, Unitus Capital

  • admin wrote on 14 July, 2009, 11:11

    Honoring the memory of Sitaram Rao
    Vikram Akula

    Thank you for your words of condolence and your narrations of your memories of Sitaram Rao in the past few days. I haven’t responded to anyone individually as Sitaram’s sudden passing has been overwhelming. I feel like it gets harder each day.

    Yesterday, we had a memorial for Sitaram in Hyderabad. It was a beautiful ceremony, attended by hundreds. What was most striking is how many lives he touched. There were groups from across the country and heart-felt messages from around the world. There were MFIs of course, but also community-based groups, NGOs, research centers, women’s groups, environmental groups, bankers, business groups, and the list goes on. At 10 am, we observed a moment of silence and in places as far away as the hills of Uttarkhand to the coasts of Kerala, thousands of others observed a moment of silence as well. He was truly a great soul, a Mahatma.

    We will be putting the video of the ceremony on our website and we are compiling the myriad emails we have received and giving them to Sitaram’s family. We will also keep a link to these emails on our website. (My memorial comments are attached herein and pasted below; I’ve also included an excerpt from Microfinance Focus.) Once we get our link up, we will send this to you. I didn’t want to wait, however, to at least get an initial email out to the group. (I have also taken the liberty of not using bcc because I would like you to see whose emails I missed and circulate this note to your lists so that people are aware of what we are planning;

    Different groups are planning to honor Sitaram in different ways. Sadhan, for instance, announced it would dedicate its next report to him. We like the idea of different forms of honoring his memory. Sitaram would have loved that type of diversity! At SKS, we are planning to set up an endowment in Sitaram’s name through SKS NGO. We are not sure of exactly what activities to undertake since Sitaram had such varied interests. But we are thinking of possibly a virtual library or an initiative on food security or vocational education or a fellowship for working in tough regions, such as Assam—or perhaps all of these.

    Sitaram had actually been allocated some SKS shares and he had wanted to use the proceeds for these initiatives, so we will do what he wished and use those funds to seed the endowment.

    Those who want to contribute in his name can email the following people for information on making a donation – Teresa Khanna ( of SKS NGO (for India and international donations) or Kathy Skoby ( of SKS Foundation (for US or international donations). Both are copied here. All donations are tax-exempt.

  • Sudhir Arya wrote on 14 July, 2009, 14:08

    I was shocked to read the mail from our MD Mr. Shamit Ghosh about the demise of a great personality.I was one of the fortunate guy who spent good time with Mr.Rao.I cannot forgot his words on phone at mumbai airport”Yaar jo sabse fatty aadmi hoga wahi sitaram rao hoga” by this way i recognised him at airport.He was cheerful,with full of sense of humor & down to earth personality.

    To promote Plus services & livelihood was his next mission.
    Now we people should take an initiative for poverty eradication by using Sir’s directional path and he will show us right path from heaven.

    Deep Regards

    Sudhir Arya

    Management Associate
    Ujjivan Financial Services Pvt.Ltd.

  • Hanumanth rao.v wrote on 15 July, 2009, 6:33

    My life changed when I met him during February 1987 in DCL FINANCE, my first
    glance at him, while he was having lunch in his cabin, requested me to bear with him for five mints. Later on my life has seen an unprecedented change.

    In 1990 he was planning to take up an assignment in Muscat and on his farewell day, I cried inconsolably for close to two hrs like a child not accepting the separation of his father. I requested him to find a placement with him in Muscat, for which sir mentioned that as the only son to my parents he advised me to be happy in India.
    After his return to India, we were regularly in touch with each other and was the only driving force throughout my career till date. I was chasing him day in and out, perhaps irritating him before he left to Muscat about giving back something as GURU DAKSHINA (I am fool what can I offer to him) but as usual in a very caring way, he said would let me know shortly on his farewell day very privately, very touchy way sir said, “whenever time permits, please go to my house in sainkpuri and meet my mother”. Here I would like to mention that this is one of the rarest privileges I was blessed by sitaram sir as till date very few could experience the greatness of his family, I am fortunate to be associated with such simple, humane, and down to earth intellectual family one can ever come across.
    I can go on and on but I aptly feel few memorable things are to be treasured in ones heart.
    Another touching incident among many – I am fortunate to associate with sir was when he attended my marriage in 1989, in Khammam where he met my three sisters. After 20 yrs i.e. some time in March 2009, one day he rang up and enquired, whether I was free. I said “come on sir”, then immediately he said “don’t think I am mad fellow – but half an hour back I remembered your elder sister” ( who is mentally not matured) “is in my mind and that is the reason I called, wo kaisi hai? of course I know she is in very caring hands…”
    What to speak about this great gesture when my own relatives except handful enquire about her.

    We all in India know that “SHRI ADISHANKARACHARYA” is an incarnation of lord Shiva came to this earth (as per sasthras) to preach SANATANA DHARMA, and Shankara bhagavat padulu as he is known has traveled all the places from Kashmir to kanyakumari preaching essentially DHARMA and how one should lead ones life in a righteous way. By age of 32 he completed his task and went back to his origination.

    I HAVE NO DOUBT OUR SITARAM SIR, AN ACHARYA (Mentor) OF MICRO FINANCE traveled relentlessly nook and corner of INDIA ,practiced utmost dharma of being always physically available to the needy. He rendered the much needed
    service which many were deprived of, through his compassionate, caring and humane nature.
    He was the root cause and back bone for many institutions. He was SPECIAL CHOOSEN ONE CRAFTED BY GOD to be associated with us, to push us in our lives, preach and practice good values……ALL THIS WITHOUT ANY SIGN OF EXPECTING REWARD OR RECOGNITION FROM ANY ONE OF US.
    GOD finally decided enough of your contribution to this mankind. He would have said “it is long time since you left I and can only see both SITA &RAMA IN YOU ALONE…..PLEASE COME BACK”

    sitaram sir! 21st Dec will not be the same through my life, as you will not there to wish me personally and (we share the same birthday) you remember- when you said “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!”

    I feel you will always be my side and push me hard to continue my journey of life.
    yours “FRIENDSHIP MAN” (this is unique tag which sir bestowed upon me, I don’t remember any single telephonic conversation which ended without pulling my leg on my latest friendships)

  • admin wrote on 15 July, 2009, 8:09

    It was with a sense of shock that I read about the demise of Sitaram. I had met him only twice, once in Ahmedabad in 2005 and in Delhi in 2007. He had offered me very good advice on how Saath should go about its MFI work.

    What struck me about Sitaram was his humility and humbleness as well as his desire to be of assistance to anyone working for the cause of the underprivileged.

    My deepest condolences for your loss. May Sitaram’s soul rest in eternal peace.

    With deepest sympathies


    Saath – Creating Inclusive Cities

    Rajendra Joshi
    Managing Trustee

  • admin wrote on 15 July, 2009, 8:10

    We at the group of Village Welfare Society extremely sorry to learn the sudden demise of our great friend and philosopher Sitaram Rao and we wish to express our deepest sympathy on behalf of our organization.

    We always remember him as a wonderful friend of our organization. We knew him for over a period of six years, especially when both of us jointly started attending the Sa-Dhan Board meeting. We had then exchanged our different views in the interest of the local poor, using the micro finance concept as an effective tool to bring socio-economic sovereignty in the household.

    Until recently, he came to a closer relation with one of our organization called Village Financial Services Private Limited (VFSPL), an NBFC located in Kolkata. Meanwhile, he had attended in a few VFSPL Board Meetings as an invitee. His contributions had then strengthened our spirit in furtherance of small finance support to the poor families, located in other districts of West Bengal. On our request, he had given his full consent to become a Board Member of VFSPL, Kolkata.

    It would be difficult to measure the impact he has had on the many people’s lives he touched personally and professionally. He was a thoughtful and generous friend of this institution, and we are very grateful for his contributions in the growth of micro finance to act as a “Savior” for the poor families in our country.

    I, on the behalf of all the employees working in the Village Group of Organizations, express our deep grief at the passing away of our beloved friend Sitaram Rao. We pay respectful homage to him. We extend our deepest condolences to his family members.

    Ajit Kumar Maity
    Village Group of Organizations

  • admin wrote on 15 July, 2009, 8:13

    I learn with shock the untimely demise of Shri Rao who stood strong for the cause of Social Empowerment of the poor masses. His demise is not only a loss to his near and dear, it is a great blow to the Indian MFI sector. He has been a good friend of mine and used to share common views on issues and prospects of Indian MFIs.

    I join the Indian MFI community and the Members of the bereaved family and Pray God to bestow love and peace to the decesed Soul.


    R M Nair

  • Chandni Ohri wrote on 15 July, 2009, 22:31

    We at Grameen Foundation (GF) join our friends and colleagues from around the world, especially those in India, in mourning the unexpected passing of Sitaram Rao.

    Sitaram was much-loved and respected by many, including many of us at Grameen Foundation, and this loss has left us with tears in our eyes and very heavy hearts. Sitaram was an extraordinarily generous man – he gave freely – especially sharing his time, insights and advice. He was driven by a deep compassion for enabling the poorest people in India to transform their lives. He paired this passion with a business acumen and practicality that led to real results towards achieving his vision of a different world.

    Sitaram was always ready with a bit of advice, a lighthearted joke and huge doses of encouragement. We reached out to him in times of success and in times of failure – he was forever available to urge us to do more and help us find a way to do it. We have lost a mentor, a guide and a friend.

    Our hearts go out to his family, friends and to all of us who have been taught and inspired by him. He will be dearly missed, but there is no doubt that his spirit and example will live on in India and beyond.

  • Ranjani G.S wrote on 16 July, 2009, 1:42

    We miss you so much sir…

  • Rohit Shrivastava wrote on 16 July, 2009, 2:49

    I felt deeply sad at the sudden demise of Sitaram Sir. He had been struggling for the interest of the poor, downtrodden and the marginalised people all through his life.

    Discharging his duties at various important levels in different organisation, he strengthened and forged ahead Microfinance Institutes in India. In his demise, we have lost a mentor who was dedicated to the interest of the poor & dalit masses, and the loss is irreparable.

    In this hour of grief, I extend my heartfelt sympathies to his family. I also feel sad over the loss caused to Microfinance Institutes around the world, and pay homage to the departed soul on my personal behalf.

    Rohit Shrivastava
    SKS Microfinance

  • admin wrote on 16 July, 2009, 5:00

    I still get inspired with those days when you were with me at the time of my budding days of professional career in SKS; you have given me spark of thinking in new dimension, Liberty to materialize those thoughts with great enthusiasm filled by you in me. I’m fascinated with the way you used to approach the people and not just approach but also integrating each of them with the belief of every Human Being is special and having every capability in their skill set.

    As a person you are the one whom when met realize/regain the fullest of energy in ourself.

    I’m fortunate to be as a drop in the ocean like Guruji’s wisdom & knowledge (Guruji) and experience it’s Power.

    Guru garu, please be with me in all times and guide me towards the path what you’ve shown to us and with all the experiences you left to us.

    Thanks & Best Regards,
    Sridhar Kannuri,
    IM Officer – Applications – India,

    Pioneer – A DuPont Business

  • admin wrote on 16 July, 2009, 5:00

    Shri Sitaram Rao would always be present through the institutions he has nurtured and the people he has mentored in the Microfinance space.

    Warm Regards

    Arindom Datta
    Director and Head
    Rural & Development Banking / Advisory

    Rabo India Finance Limited

  • Jasmine wrote on 16 July, 2009, 5:15

    Sitaram sir has always been a mentor, guru and an inspiration in my life. He being such a busy a man had always found time to come and talk to us every time he visited the office and not just me but also met all the others too. And personally asked every one of their wellbeing, such was the down to earth nature of this great man. Truly an honest and friendly person in every sense of the word. I feel blessed and privileged to having come across a diamond in my life.

    May his soul rest in peace.

  • parshuram wrote on 16 July, 2009, 10:09

    In small proportions we just beauties see, a short measured life may perfect be.

    You came, you saw the miseries and conquered the heart of millions, Man is mortal but your deeds are immortal. We all will remember you through out. Parshuram

  • admin wrote on 17 July, 2009, 22:55

    Its really very sad to know the sudden demise of SKR, spearheading microfinance inittiative of icici bank, he was always open to new ideas.

    i remember sharing my exp with him on renewable energy and microfinance ….he was so excited about it and wanted to take it forward.

    we would miss an expert in this domain.

    Siddharth Mukherjee
    CEO of Maharishi Solar
    ex DGM – microfinance icici bank

  • admin wrote on 17 July, 2009, 22:55

    We are deeply shocked over the new of sad demise of Mr. Sitaram rao, who was a friend , phylosopher and guide to evolution of micro finance sector in India. We could not forget his recent meeting with Orissa mFIs at Bhubaneswar.

    May the almighty give all strenth to the bereaved family to withstand the shock.
    Kedareswar Choudhury
    Darabar Sahitya Sansad

  • admin wrote on 18 July, 2009, 4:01

    ” We extend our deep sympathy for the berieved family and pray for his soul to rest in peace.
    Shri Sita Ram Rao was our guiding light and an inspiration and has left a void which will not
    be filled again.Its a huge loss for us and the entire Society.”

    Pramod K. Paliwal
    Bajaj Nagar. Jaipur. 302 015
    Rajasthan. INDIA.

  • admin wrote on 18 July, 2009, 8:58

    I have had the privelege of interacting with Mr Sitaram Rao only once at a seminar. He immediately struck me as a visionary with a deep concern for the poor and the MFI industry. He will be a real loss to this sector.

    May I take this opportunity to convey my condolences to the family.

    In Sympathy


    COO of Janalakshmi Financial Services Pvt Ltd

  • admin wrote on 19 July, 2009, 8:32

    I have learnt with great sadness about the demise of Sitaram Rao. I worked with SKS in 2001-02, when it was still a small and fledgling MFI, and remember the stimulating and animated discussions that we used to have on how to ‘fast track’ the growth, while remaining true to the mission. Sitaram would always be remembered as a person whose heart was in the right place. Though he came from a commercial background, he was always concerned with the ‘social impact’ of microfinance. It is a great loss to the microfinance sector as it has lost a ‘thinking microfinancier’.

    Madhavan Ati
    Technical Advisor
    Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA)

  • Rajesh Badakh wrote on 20 July, 2009, 6:31

    We at SSK join our friends and colleagues from around the world, especially those in India, in mourning the unexpected passing of Sitaram Rao.

    Sitaram was much-loved and respected by many, including many of us at SSK, and this loss has left us with tears in our eyes and very heavy hearts. Sitaram was an extraordinarily generous man – he gave freely – especially sharing his time, insights and advice. He was driven by a deep compassion for enabling the poorest people in India to transform their lives. He paired this passion with a business acumen and practicality that led to real results towards achieving his vision of a different world.

    Our hearts go out to his family, friends and to all of us who have been taught and inspired by him. He will be dearly missed, but there is no doubt that his spirit and example will live on in India and beyond.

  • admin wrote on 21 July, 2009, 12:23

    The sudden demise of our Mentor Mr. Sitaram Rao has created such a big vaccum, which is impossible to fill. I was fortunate enough to meet him 2 months back in bangalore in a Leadership talk, it was unforgettable experience for me. He was an ocean of knowledge, the only tribute we can give him is by following his footsteps and by making Micro finance as the tool of changing the lives of millions of people in India. Our condolence is with his family members.

    May his great soul rest in peace.

    Binay Kr. Choudhary
    Ujjivan Financial Services Pvt. Ltd.

  • admin wrote on 21 July, 2009, 12:23

    I had been travelling and just saw this message. I am deeply shocked by this very sad news. My personal, sincere condolences to the family and many close friends and well wishers of Sitaram Rao.

    World Bank

  • Shyam Patro wrote on 21 July, 2009, 12:53

    This news had been really blocked me and kept me aloof from day to day life. I remember each and every meeting with him. Spent a good time with him during NDMA workshop in 2007 and in SKS office whenever he use to come there was a sense of agility and energy. A great leader and a huge source of inspiration, always kept encouraging with his praising words. Sir i really miss you!

  • admin wrote on 21 July, 2009, 18:16

    I am not able to believe that Mr Sitaram Rao is no more with us. For IIFM community, it is a very big loss. In fact Mr Rao had given us a moral boosting to stengthen Microfinance course in our MBA programme. We all are reallt shocked to learn his untimely death and pray to God to give stenth to his family to bear this loss.

    Prof. B.P.Pethiya
    Indian Institute of Forest Management

  • Mohan Uppaluri wrote on 21 July, 2009, 20:58

    Annaya I Miss You. You have given me very good support in my personal and professional career. I Miss you annaya.You are always with us.

  • John Alex wrote on 22 July, 2009, 11:19

    Dear Sitaram Rao Garu
    you were like a open book, always ready and gladly sharing any new innovative thoughts that you had or have come across, you would quickly follow it up with a short mail to kindle the mind to work towards fulfilling this new innitiative
    Exnora Environment Standard Organisation was one such idea you gave to us during your visit to Exnora International
    You had the poor and Mother nature always in mind whenever putting an idea across , we will miss you and your stream of ideas
    I am sure you will continue to send me those lovely ideas
    John Alex/Equitas
    General Secreatary,TN state
    Exnora International

  • Sudha Suresh wrote on 23 July, 2009, 12:35

    Mr. Sitaram Rao addressed us at a Leadership talk. His words were truly Inspiring!
    At my request, he addressed our team specially, urging us to achieve greater goals and excellence in our areas.The spark of fire he lit in all of us will carry his inspiration forward!

    My personal, sincere condolences to the family and to all whose lives have been touched by Sitaram Rao.

    Sudha Suresh
    Ujjivan Financial Services Private Limited

  • Jugal Kishore Pattnayak wrote on 23 July, 2009, 14:02

    We are astonished at the sad demise of Mr. Sitaram Rao, a mile stone of Indian Micro Finance sector.

    On behalf of our institution MAHASHAKTI FOUNDATION , we tribute our Deep Condolence to the family members of Mr. Sitaram Rao.

    Micro Finance sector of India lost a dynamic leader who contributed a lot to the world of Micro Finance. He was not a man but an Institution.

    May his Soul live in peace.

    With Regards,

    Jugal Kishore Pattnayak
    Managing Director
    Odisha , India

  • Anwar Hussain wrote on 24 July, 2009, 11:07

    There are few men in this world who work for a cause ,Sitaram Rao Ji was one of them,Light has gone out of Micro Finance sector in India

    Anwar Hussain

  • B. Malesu wrote on 24 July, 2009, 19:46

    We lost the global leader of Micro Finance.
    He was a very intelligent and nobal person and helped most of the people in this sector to serve poor.

    B. Malesu
    Senior Accountant
    FARR Kalahandi

  • Microfinance Focus wrote on 5 August, 2009, 14:57

    My deep regret for this unrepairable lose.May the departed soul rest in peace.may God give courage to the family members of deceesed Sitaram Rao.He willbe surving by us and all the beneficiers o Micro finance in India and his idea,thought as well as eforts wil hepland guide definitely to the Indian Micro Finance for ever.
    With deep condolence,
    Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action(CASA) Kolkata-700071

  • Sarat Chandra Das wrote on 6 August, 2009, 17:03


    Today on this 6th August 2009 we the under mentioned representative from various institutions met at NEDFi Head Office, Guwahati remember Late Sitaram Rao who used both his heart and head for the development of the microfinance and livelihood support services for the people of the NER especially Assam. He was an inspiring voice for all of us and was always show his concern for the sectoral development. His support to the small organizations was really helpful and inspiring and we will remember him as a man of simplicity and great posture. We pray the Almighty for his heavenly rest.

    We are happy to take a decision that from the first death anniversary this forum is going to instituting a Best micro-entrepreneurship award as Sitaram Rao memorial ME award, Assam.


    Sl. No. Name Organization Contact

    1. Mr. Abani Kalita Sipajhar Diamond Club 98641-23744
    2. Mr. Nani Kr. Saikia SATRA 9435185878
    3. Mr. Mantu Nath. Sharma Nightingale Charitable Society 9954758857
    4. Mr. Anil Kr. Pegu Center For Microfinance and Livelihood 9435014290
    5. Mr. Partha Sarathi Talukdar NEDFi 9854028213
    6. Mr. Dwipen Baishya Pancharatna 9864147415
    7. Mr. AK Sarma NEDFi 9854028203
    8. Mr. P. Rakesh Singh Shavi T & H Pvt Ltd 9706069121
    9. Mr. Hiren Kalita Ajagar Social Circle 9435725238
    10. Mr. Prabin Das -do- 9435314653
    11. Mr. Sarat Chandra Das Grameen Sahara 9864983524

  • Pravin Mankar wrote on 6 August, 2009, 20:31

    It was a shocking news when I got sms from a friend of mine. I still remember that day when my friend Rupaal introduced me during MF India summit at New Delhi with Mr.Sitaram Rao, the way he talked with and asked about the activities carrying out and my future initiatives was very encouraging…….I was touched..he gave me an hour to discuss with him…I can say that I feel like father encouraging his son to do better in life……..It’s hard to believe now…….May his Soul live in peace.

  • Rupaal Singh wrote on 7 August, 2009, 15:44

    Indeed….sir was a great aspirer…to many young professionals like me….

    This news came as a deep shock to me…as I had been fortunate to know sir from a close length….and I believe I would not have been associated with mF the way I have been….had it not been for his wisdom and guidance.

    An irrepairable loss indeed…my deepest condolonces and regards to his family.

  • Indira Rao wrote on 13 August, 2009, 18:22

    We, the family of Sitaram Rao wish to thank the innumerable friends, colleagues, associates and well wishers of our most beloved Sitaram. We have received visits, calls and messages of condolence from all parts of the country and indeed the world. While we are overwhelmed with gratitude at the expression of respect, love and admiration for Sitaram, we regret our inability to acknowledge individually. So,to each and everyone of you, friends, a heartfelt THANK YOU.

    Family of Sitaram Rao

  • Sanju Kumar wrote on 30 August, 2009, 12:21

    We at SAMRUDHI deeply grieve unfortunate passing away of our well wisher. It’s hard to believe .
    May his Soul live in peace.
    Sanju Kumar
    SAMRUDHI Micro Fin Society

  • Chandra Seethamraju wrote on 3 September, 2009, 0:53

    I have known Sitaram personally since the late 1980′s since we are related. This was when he was at DCL Finance way before he had started working in the Microfinance area. He was a successful Chartered Accountant and I was starting my career as one, so I looked up to him. The qualities that numerous people on this site have talked about were always present in him. He was very affable, down to earth and encouraged me and supported me a great deal when I decided to go to the USA. I remember on my first visit back from the US it was a short trip and I did not have much time. He was so down to earth and humble that he came down to see me personally at my home one morning. I now regret not having gotten an opportunity to meet him last year since he was traveling when I was in Hyderabad. I wish to convey my condolences to his family (parents, Ram, Indira and younger brother) and shall always remember him with fondness and gratitude.


    San Francisco

  • Samit Ghosh wrote on 17 October, 2009, 6:26

    We were fortunate to have Sitaram speak to our future & current leaders at Ujjivan in Bangalore at the Leadership Unplugged Talk Series a couple of months before he passed away. The insights he shared in his simple & unassuming way had a far reaching impact on us at Ujjivan. He challenged us to be the BEST in all aspects of the business not necessarily chase the low hanging goals of being the fastest growing or the biggest. He gave us examples of how when SKS was a small MFI, they worked and became the first MFI with a ISO rated audit process or the best in the industry in financial reporting. For all his insights he shared, we gave him a beautiful bouquet of flowers which he held closely and jumped into our Maruti van to rush back to the airport with his beatific smile. That is the last is my last interaction with him. I shared his infatuation with cricket and passion for microfinance & poverty alleviation. Being younger in age, I treated him like a younger brother but he was truly an Acharya, teacher to all of us. I am so pleased to remember him in the first Diwali morning after he passed away. May the light he lit, in the microfinance & livlihood worlds, continue to illuminate us for a long, long time.

  • Sunil Bhat wrote on 31 October, 2009, 0:41

    A truly great man. Irreparable loss for Indian micro finance.
    Deepest condolences.


  • Sridhar Kannuri wrote on 29 November, 2009, 0:07

    Most inspiring young personality who was not only a mentor for Microfinance industry but also for every individual whom he met. I’m fortunate to get an opportunity to work under him and his mentoring at SKS for more than 6yrs. Whenever I/we meet Sitaram Sir in our SKS office we never felt that we are talking to our CEO, but as the most inspiring/energitic personality who always keep up the fire of innovation in every individual everyday. He had time to every person who passes in front of him. SKS which has started its services in a remote location Narayankhed in Medak district of Andhra Pradesh is now spread across the country with a portfolio growth from Rs.2000000 portfolio to thousands of Crores is because of its commitment to Microfinance cause and with support of most consistent energitic Leader and Intellect Mr.Sitaram Rao. He has given a new dimension to Microfinance and the people associated with him.

    I wish the Microfinance industry remembers his contribution and commitment and drive towards the common cause of eliminating poverty in India and globally. You’re always with us guruji.

    A tribute to the Guru of Indian Microfinance.

  • Anuradha Pillai wrote on 5 March, 2010, 2:51

    I am so sorry and sad to hear of Sitaram’s passing. I was very fortunate to work with him at SKS from 2002 – 2004, and he was a very gentle, patient, intelligent and kind soul who was truly passionate about helping others. He was so nurturing and respectful of our ideas, even though we had one thousandth of his knowledge. We would be so lucky to have more like him.

    My sincere condolences to his family.

    Anuradha Pillai

  • Rishi Arora wrote on 5 March, 2010, 3:09

    Sitaram had a presence of kindness that I always was attracted to while at SKS. He gave me confidence in the viewpoints that we shared regarding social and financial development for the downtrodden. Sitaram never hesitated to take a time-out from his leadership responsibilities to explain development methodologies and his life experience in absolute humble fashion as man doing God’s work. His positive work and impact will continue onwards through the many people he has blessed and inspired.

    Rishi Arora

  • Rajesh Pattnaik wrote on 22 April, 2010, 19:52

    My sincere condolences to bereaved family. May God bless his soul.

  • Dinkar Rao wrote on 16 May, 2010, 21:56

    It is a great loss to poor as well as to micro finance institutions. Sincere condolences from me and BVT, Manipal

  • P.S.Murthy wrote on 14 July, 2010, 14:58

    Dear Friends,
    Unlike all of you, I have never met Shri Sitaram Rao.While accessing I came across the various messages from across the globe expressing their grief.I read many of them and had tears in my eyes.How I wish I had met him.I too could have been touched by him and his smile!
    May God rest his soul in peace.

  • Beenapani Sahoo wrote on 16 August, 2010, 13:14

    It is a great loss to micro finance sector.


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