Chapter: 02

2. Overview of the Organization

2.1. Brief history

The origin of Grameen Bank can be traced back to 1976 when Professor Muhammad Yunus, Head of the Rural Economics Program at the University of Chittagong, launched an action research project to examine the possibility of designing a credit delivery system to provide banking services targeted at the rural poor. The Grameen Bank Project came into operation with the following objectives:

Extend banking facilities to poor men and women;
Eliminate the exploitation of the poor by money lenders;
Create opportunities for self-employment for the vast multitude of unemployed people in rural Bangladesh.

Bring the disadvantaged, mostly the women from the poorest households, within the fold of an organizational format which they can understand and manage by themselves; and Reverse the age-old vicious circle of "low income, low saving & low investment", into virtuous circle of "low income, injection of credit, investment, more income, more savings, more investment, more income".

The action research demonstrated its strength in Jobra (a village adjacent to Chittagong University) and some of the neighboring villages during 1976-1979. With the sponsorship of the central bank of the country and support of the nationalized commercial banks, the project was extended to Tangail district (a district north of Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh) in 1979. With the success in Tangail, the project was extended to several other districts in the country. In October 1983, the Grameen Bank Project was transformed into an independent bank by government legislation. Today Grameen Bank is owned by the rural poor whom it serves. Borrowers of the Bank own 90% of its shares, while the remaining 10% is owned by the government.

2.2. Nature of the organization
Grameen Bank is micro-credit lending organization. It is an independent and separate bank under Bangladesh Bank. Although Grameen Bank authority claims it is not a fully bank or NGO. It is different in characteristics. Actually it is different from other banks and acts like NGO.

2.3. Number of employees
Grameen Bank is a bank with 2565 branches and covering 81,371 villages of 86,000 villages in Bangladesh. Numbers of Grameen Bank staffs is now 22,750. Among them 3,350 are female staffs.

2.4. Head of the organization
Managing Director is the head of the organization. Currently Mr. Mohammad Shahjahan is Acting Managing Director. Then board of directors will appoint a new M.D. Dr. Yunus might be the honorary chairman of the bank. Chairman has no power in decision making procedure.

2.5. Human Resource
Currently Grameen Bank has no Human Resource department. Administration and training department look after human resource, employment, recruitment and training.

2.5.1. Recruitment:
Administration department publishes circular in national newspapers for recruitment. Grameen Bank recruits staffs in two posts both officers and center managers. For officers, qualification is minimum graduate from any university and HSC for center managers.

2.5.2. Training:
Basic training is about similar in time and course. Grameen Bank new staffs first join in training institute before signing final employment document. New recruit are trained in training institute and branch office four months training in three phases. At the ending of every phase there is exam combining written, oral and presentation. If they pass the phase successfully then they are promoted to next phase. In any one fails to qualify the phases? exam than s/he will be ineligible to be promoted. After successfully overcoming three phases trainee will be eligible to sign final document to be staff of Grameen Bank. If any one fails in first oar second phase, he will get regular salary as contracted as a trainee.

2.5.3. Gender Policy
Grameen Bank started working to bring economic freedom for the women who are most vulnerable in society. Grameen Bank In human resource management and recruitment system it has no especial gender policy. Any eligible candidate whether male or female will be allowed to apply in Grameen Bank.

3. Organizational Structure

3.1. Main office:

Grameen Bank head office is situated in Dhaka. Grameen Bank is run by the decisions taken in the meeting of board of directors. Grameen Bank is headed by a managing director who is assisted by a deputy managing directors, five general managers supported by 9 deputy general managers for twelve departments of Grameen Bank. And currently there are four special program officers under four deputy general mangers.

3.1.1. Board of Directors:
Grameen Bank is a registered bank of Bangladesh Bank. It has been working as bank since 1983 so it is following the rules and restrictions of Bangladesh Bank. Board of Directors is the main decision making body in Grameen Bank. This body is composed of 13 members including three members from Bangladesh government and Bangladesh Bank and others from Grameen Bank. Managing directors is member of Grameen Bank board of Directors due to the power of the post but he/she has no voting power.

3.1.2. Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director
Mohammad Shahjahan, a deputy managing director of Grameen Bank, took over as the acting managing director of the institution.

3.1.3. General Managers and Deputy General Managers
There are twelve departments in Grameen Bank and these are led by five General Manager and Nine Deputy General managers.
01. Audit department
02. Managing Directors Secretariat
03. Grameen Bank Secretariat
04. Services Departments
05. Administration Department
06. Co-ordination & operation Department (west)
07. Training department
08. Establishment Department
09. International Program Department
10. Co-ordination and Operation Department (East)
11. Monitoring and evaluation Department
12. Account and Finance department

3.2. Organization Organogram:
Grameen Bank is working in pyramid shape oranogram. Top of the pyramid stays its Head office and at the bottom the members who are the owner of the bank. The diagram will clear hierarchy.

3.3. Mission and vision
The Grameen Bank Project came into operation with the following objectives:
Extend banking facilities to poor men and women;
Eliminate the exploitation of the poor by money lenders;
Create unemployed people in rural Bangladesh;
Bring the disadvantaged, mostly the women from the poorest households, within the fold of an organizational format which they can understand and manage by themselves; and
Reverse the age-old vicious circle of "low income, low saving & low investment", into virtuous circle of "low income, injection of credit, opportunities for self-employment for the vast multitude of investment, more income, more savings, more investment, more income".

Grameen Bank in Bangladesh aims to create a poverty-free society. The mission and vision of Grameen Bank is to gift human society a poverty free society and empowering poorest of the poor rural women economically. And to building up confidence among the rural people especially women that they can do something if they get economic and psychological support from anywhere. Getting rid of poverty can help them to enter into other sector of society including politics. Thus making a just society is also final vision of Grameen Bank.

The major method or path the organization will walk to achieve its vision. Grameen Bank insists that financial credit is a human right, and works to create a poverty-free society by offering micro-loans to anyone, regardless of their current financial situation. Grameen Bank answers the question of "how" by offering credit as a human right. It's their primary path for achieving their aim, and all other objectives, goals, and plans are centered on this chosen path. Grameen Bank vision is also to expand its activities to poor countries of world. It has already started working various African countries and in USA. Separate organization, Grameen trust, has been Grameen Bank trust has been established to measure the prospects and prosperities of expanding Grameen Bank activities to the world community.