Savita Shankar, PhD


Savita Shankar, Ph.D.

Stephen Zuellig Graduate School of Development Management, AIM
Non-resident Fellow


Professor Shankar's primary area of interest lies in financial inclusion and microfinance issues. Her previous research involved analysis of microfinance institutions in India with respect to transaction costs, financial inclusion, financial literacy and improvement in livelihoods. Among her focus areas are development of micro-pensions and appropriate public policy including regulation for the microfinance sector.  
Academic Appointments
Before joining the core faculty of CDM, Professor Shankar was pursuing her doctoral degree at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP), National University of Singapore where she was a recipient of the NUS Research Scholarship. In her final year, she also developed and taught an elective course on Microfinance at LKYSPP. Prior to her PhD studies, she was an Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Financial Management and Research in Chennai, India.
Non-academic Work Experience 
  ICICI Bank 2000-2003
  Corporate Banking/ Stress Asset Management  
  Chennai, India  
  Export Import Bank of India 1993-2000
  Direct Lending Programs  
  Chennai, India  


Short-term Appointments  

Habitat for Humanity International, Cambodia (February –September 2012)
Study team leader for an Asian Development Bank (ADB) financed action research project to develop a “Sanitation Microfinance Program” in Cambodia
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore (October 2012- October 2013)
Collaborative Research and Advisory Services on Public Sector Management Project from the Asian Development Bank
Professor Shankar earned her bachelors degree (Economic Honors) from the University of Delhi in 1991 and her MBA Major in Finance from the Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi in 1993. She obtained her PhD in Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore in 2011.
Selected Publications
Professor Shankar's work has been published in various peer-reviewed journals. Below is a list of some of her published works.
  • The Contextualist Turn and Schematics of Institutional fit: Theory and a Case Study from Southern India”  Policy Sciences (Forthcoming) with Raul Lejano (Click here to download  file). 
  • Matching Finance with Client Needs: Some pointers from a field study”, chapter in edited volume, “The Development Promise of Indian Microfinance: Hopes and Challenges”  (Forthcoming, to be published by Routledge).
  • Micropensions in India: Issues and Challenges” International Social Security Review Vol. 64 (2), April, 2011 With Mukul Asher
  • “Microfinance Sector Which way now?” Administrative Staff College of India Journal, 40(2), March, 2011 with Mukul Asher (Click here to download file). 
  • Regulating Microfinance: A Suggested Framework”  Economic and Political Weekly Vol. 45, No.1. January 2, 2010 With Mukul Asher.
  • “The Microfinance Bill”  Yojna (Publication of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India), January, 2008 With Mukul Asher
  • “Transaction Costs in Group Microcredit in India” Management Decision, August 2007. 

Conference Presentations 

  • June 2012: “Analysis of the role of Microfinance Institutions in Promoting Financial Inclusion in India”. International Conference on Financial Perspectives, Steyr, Austria
  • June 2010 : “The Microfinance Sector in India: Contrasting the Self Help Group Bank Linkage Model and the Grameen Bank Model”. Asian Conference on the Social Sciences, Osaka, Japan.
  • August 2009: “India’s Microfinance Sector: Key Regulatory Issues and Challenges”. 4th Annual Conference on Public Policy and Management. IIM Bangalore, India.
  • August 2008: “Microfinance Regulations – New Policy Options”. Panel discussion at Asia Microfinance Forum, Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • December 2006: “Transaction costs in group microcredit in India”. Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management, Queensland, Australia.
  • January 2006: “Literature review on transaction costs in group microcredit”. Winter conference at the Institute for Financial Management and Research, Chennai, India.