Nirdhan Utthan Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha

 Largest Branch Network, The only MFI in Nepal Which has Covered 77 of 77 Districts of Nepal.

About Nirdhan Utthan

Nirdhan Utthan, “the laghubitta bitiya sanstha for upliftment of the poor” is a microfinance established in November 1998 under Company Act of Nepal 1997 (now Company Act 2006). Nepal Rastra Bank, the Central Bank of Nepal, granted a license in April 1999 to undertake banking activities under the Development Bank Act 1996. It started its formal operation from July 1999. Now, operated under Bank and Financial Institutions Act 2006, Nirdhan Utthan  provides microfinance services such as Loans, Deposits, Micro-insurance and Remittance services to low income families of Nepal. NULBSL follows group lending based on Grameen Bank, Bangladesh model as well as group lending based on NULBSL developed Self-Relaint Group model through a network of 178 branch offices spread over all 77 districts of Nepal.

Though, legally established as a company in 1998, the operation of NUBL is a continuation of microfinance services provided by an NGO called “NIRDHAN” which was providing microfinance services since March 1993. The story behind the establishment of “NIRDHAN” starts from 1986 when Late Dr. Harihar Dev Pant, then senior officer with the Central Bank of Nepal visited Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. This visit inspired him to launch microfinance program in Nepal resulting the birth of “NIRDHAN” or “People Without Money” in 1991. NIRDHAN began its microfinance operations in March 1993.

NIRDHAN, as an NGO had a limited recourses and capacity to satisfy unmet demand of poor people in different part of the country. This resulted the establishment of NUBL as a Company where NIRDHAN NGO became a lead promoter of the bank. In July 1999, NIRDHAN transferred all microfinance operations to NUBL. Strategic reasons for promoting NUBL are:

  • Banks are supervised and regulated by the Central Bank, which will enforce banking standards;
  • A bank can have access to different sources of funding enabling it to satisfy financial need of low income households;
  • The bank can lend to a wider range of clients, including group graduates interested to receive individual loans. Further, a bank can accept collateral for potentially larger and diverse loan products.


Vision, Mission & Goal


The vision of Nirdhan Utthan is to be a MFI with a social conscience that enables poor to contribute equally to a prosperous, self-reliant rural society through self-employment and social awareness, and help to reduce poverty in Nepal.


The mission of Nirdhan Utthan  is to extend financial services and social awareness to the poor in under-served and un-served areas of Nepal in a sustainable manner.


The primary goals of Nirdhan Utthan are to:

  • Reach a maximum number of poor households with potential and financial viability by adopting proven delivery mechanism.
  • Develop a well-managed institution with high staff morality.
  • Enhance women’s “self-respect” through social awareness, proper use & on-time repayments of loans, regular savings and provision of related micro-finance services.

Operation Area

NUBL, being a national level microfinance institution, can operate all over the country. As of mid- February 2018, it has covered all 77 districts of Nepal through 178 branch offices. Out of 3,915 Village Development Committees (VDCs), it has reached 1,842 VDCs/Municipalities spread over plain Trai, Hill & Mountain regions of Nepal.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors (BoD) of Nirdhan Utthan comprises seven members, one representing individual promoters, three representing institutional promoters, two representing general public and one independent director. The BoD meets at least 12 times a year and takes policy decisions to pursue the objectives of the bank. The Chairperson of the Board is elected by the board members among themselves. The BoD is responsible to the general meeting of shareholders who meet generally once a year in Annual General Meeting (AGM). The composition of BoD is as follows:


Chairperson, Representing Nirdhan NGO

Mr. Ganesh Bahadur Thapa



Mr. Top Bahadur Rayamajhi

Director, Representing, General Public

Mr. Rajendra Bahadur Malla

Director, Representing Nabil Bank.

Mr. Girish Kohli

Director, Representing Everest Bank Ltd.


Mr. Devendra Bahadur Raut

Director, Representing Promotor

Ms Samrita Tiwari

Director, Representing General Public

Mr. Ram Bhakta Thapa

Director, Independent Director

Management Team

The bank is headed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who works as Executive Chief of the bank. The CEO sets vision and strategies and reviews operations carefully. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) supervises the departmental activities and works in closely with Assistant General Manager. The bank has eight departments at its Central Office, which includes: Human Resources Management Department,  General Administration Department, Operation Department, Internal Audit Department, Planning, Monitoring and Research Department, Accounts and Fund Management Department, Training and Development Department, and Information and Technology Department. The executives are as follows:


Executive Level

Mr. Janardan Dev Pant

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Raj Narayan Das

Assistant General Manager

Target Clients

Nirdhan Utthan recruits new clients who fit the following targeting criteria for its group based financial services:

  • Own less than 0.25 hectares of irrigated land or less than 0.5 hectares of un-irrigated land per five-person family.
  • House must not have cement walls or concrete ceiling (pucca house).
  • Permanent resident of bank’s working area.
  • No family members employed in the formal sector

Strategic Alliances

Nirdhan Utthan has established strategic alliances with the following international and national organizations:

  • Grameen Trust, Bangladesh
  • Credit & Saving for Hard-core Poor in Asia & Pacific (CASHPOR), a Philippines based Network
  • Save The Children Federation-USA working closely with Nirdhan/NULBSL since July 1997
  • PLAN International began working with Nirdhan/NULBSL in October 1998. The partnership continues in capacity building and outreach expansion areas Centre for Micro-Finance (CMF), Nepal
  • The Micro-finance Association of Nepal (MIFAN)
  • The Rural Micro-Finance Development Centre (RMDC), a wholesale lending institution promoted by the Asian Development Bank
  • Nirdhan Utthan Bank contributes to the Micro Banking Bulletin and participant in The MIX (microfinance information exchange)
  • The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) began to work in April 2001 to strengthen internal capacity and systems of Nirdhan Utthan Bank
  • The International Labor Organization (ILO) and NULBSL had worked jointly for providing microfinance services to ex-Kamaiyas (bonded labor) in Banke and Dang districts
  • Mercy Corps and Nirdhan Utthan  had worked together for “Access to finance in the remote eastern hills of Nepal” and “Global food crisis response project in farwestern part of Nepal”
  • UNDP/UNCDF supported Enhancing Access to Financial Services Project (EAFSP) implemented by Nepal Rastra Bank (Central Bank) to enhance financial services in hilly and remote terrain area
  • USAID supported Nepal Economics Agriculture and Tade Activities (NEAT) project
  • Good Return/World Education Project


Currently, Nirdhan Utthan  is working together with following national and international organizations:

  • The World Bank Supported AGRIFIN project
  • KIVA
  • International Finance Cooperation (IFC)
  • Whole Planet Foundation (WPF)
  • The Department for International Development (DFID) funded Sustainable Access to Finance And Livelihoods (SAFAL) Project of MERCY-CORPS
  • The Department for International Development (DFID) funded Sustainable Access to Finance And Livelihoods (SAFAL) Project of Blue Berry Hill Charitable Trust (BHCT)/Sambridh Pahad.

Equity & Funding

The authorized capital and issued capital of Nirdhan Utthan  is Rs. 1.00 billion. As of January, 2016 the paid-up capital is Rs. 500 million. The distribution of shares is as follows:

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The NIRDHAN, Himalayan Bank Limited, Nabil Bank Limited, Everest Bank Limited, Grameen Trust Bangladesh and private sector individuals are promoters of the bank.

The source of fund of Nirdhan Utthan is shareholder’s equity, client saving and deposit and borrowing from commercial banks and financial institutions.

Nirdhan Brochure

Download our latest Brochure here.

Current Nirdhan Brochure (English)