Monday, June 17, 2024
Monday, June 17, 2024

Why NIDHI Company Cannot Operate Like NBFC in India?

by Vartika Kulshrestha
NBFC in India

The differentiation between Nidhi Companies and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) within the Indian financial landscape extends beyond mere naming conventions. It underscores substantial disparities in their regulatory structures, core missions, and operational paradigms. Nidhi Companies, registered under the aegis of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), prioritize fostering thrift and cultivating savings habits among their member base. In contrast, NBFC in India, overseen by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), are driven by profit motives, engaging in an extensive spectrum of financial operations and services. This article delves into the core reasons why Nidhi Companies cannot emulate the operational dynamics of NBFCs, exploring key distinctions in lending practices, capital requirements, risk management, and more.

Regulatory Framework of Nidhi Company and NBFC in India

Here’s the regulatory framework of Nidhi Company and NBFC for NBFC registration in India:

Nidhi Companies:

  • Regulatory Authority: Nidhi Companies are primarily regulated by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) in India. This regulatory body is responsible for overseeing the operations of Nidhi Companies, ensuring they adhere to the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013.
  • Objective Focus: The regulatory framework for Nidhi Companies is designed to promote the culture of thrift and savings among their members. This emphasis on financial discipline and mutual benefit guides the regulatory requirements placed upon Nidhi Companies.
  • Membership Criteria: To maintain a community-oriented approach, Nidhi Companies often have strict membership criteria. Members typically belong to the same locality, community, or group, fostering a sense of trust and mutual cooperation among members.
  • Regulatory Oversight: While Nidhi Companies are subject to regulatory oversight by the MCA, the regulatory requirements are relatively less stringent compared to those imposed on NBFCs by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). This lighter touch reflects the nonprofit and community-centric nature of Nidhi Companies.


  • Regulatory Authority: NBFC in India are subject to rigorous regulation by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), a powerful financial regulatory authority. The RBI’s authority extends to various aspects of NBFC operations, ensuring their compliance with extensive guidelines.
  • Profit-Oriented: NBFC in India operate as profit-oriented financial institutions. They engage in a wide spectrum of financial activities, including lending, investment, and asset management, often serving as intermediaries between borrowers and lenders.
  • Diverse Membership: Unlike Nidhi Companies, NBFCs do not require a common bond among their customers. They attract a more diverse customer base, including individuals, businesses, and organizations, aiming to maximize their profitability by offering a wide range of financial services.
  • Comprehensive Regulations: The RBI sets comprehensive regulations covering capital adequacy, risk management, asset classification, provisioning norms, liquidity requirements, and corporate governance for NBFCs. This ensures the stability and integrity of the broader financial system.

Core Objectives

The core objectives of Nidhi Companies and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs):

Nidhi Companies:

The core objectives of Nidhi companies are:

  • Promote thrift and savings among members.
  • Operate on mutual benefit principles.
  • Provide affordable credit to members.
  • Serve a community-centric customer base.


The core objectives of NBFC in India are:

  • Maximize profits for shareholders and investors.
  • Offer diverse financial services.
  • Act as intermediaries in financial transactions.
  • Compete in the broader financial market for business opportunities.

Lending Activities

The lending activities between Nidhi Companies and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) are:

Nidhi Companies:

The lending activities of Nidhi companies are:

  • Member-Focused: Nidhi Companies primarily lend to their members, addressing specific needs like education or housing within their community.
  • Limited Scale: Their lending operations are localized and serve a smaller group.
  • Lower Interest Rates: Nidhi Companies offer loans with lower interest rates, prioritizing affordability over profit.


The lending activities of NBFCs are:

  • Diverse Portfolio: NBFC in India provides a wide range of loans, including personal, business, and vehicle loans, to diverse customer segments.
  • Profit-Driven: Profit maximization is their key goal, assessing risk and return profiles.
  • Riskier Lending: They often engage in riskier lending practices, catering to businesses and individuals with varying creditworthiness.
  • Competitive Rates: NBFCs offer competitive interest rates to attract a broader customer base and maximize lending opportunities.

Membership Criteria

The membership criteria for both Nidhi Companies and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs):

Nidhi Companies:

The membership criteria for Nidhi companies are:

  • Common Bond Requirement: Nidhi Companies typically require their members to share a common bond, such as residing in the same locality or belonging to the same community. This commonality fosters a sense of trust and mutual cooperation among members.
  • Limited Membership: Membership in Nidhi Companies is restricted to individuals who meet the common bond requirement. Outsiders or those not connected to the specific community or locality usually cannot become members.
  • Community-Centric: Nidhi Companies are community-centric entities, and their membership criteria reflect this focus. They aim to serve and benefit a specific group of individuals who come together for mutual financial support.


The membership criteria for NBFC in India are:

  • Diverse Customer Base: NBFC in India do not have stringent common bond requirements. They serve a broad clientele, encompassing individuals, enterprises, and institutions. Their primary objective is to appeal to a wide spectrum of customers, thereby optimizing their potential for business expansion.
  • Open Membership: Unlike Nidhi Companies, NBFCs have open membership criteria, meaning that individuals or entities from various backgrounds and locations can avail their financial services without needing to share a specific common bond.
  • Market Orientation: NBFCs operate in a competitive financial market and actively seek customers from different segments and geographical areas. Their objective is to expand their customer base and generate profits.

Capital Requirements

The capital requirements for Nidhi Companies and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs):

Nidhi Companies:

The capital requirements of Nidhi companies are:

  • Lower Capital Adequacy: Nidhi Companies have lower capital adequacy requirements, primarily aimed at supporting their mission of promoting thrift and savings among members within a specific community.
  • Community-Centric Capital: Capital in Nidhi Companies is often contributed by their members, reinforcing the community-centric approach and enabling affordable credit for members.


The capital requirements of NBFCS are:

  • Higher Capital Adequacy: NBFCs face more stringent capital adequacy requirements set by the RBI to ensure their financial stability and protect the interests of depositors and creditors.
  • Profit-Driven Capital: Capital is crucial for NBFC in India as it supports their profit-oriented financial activities, with diverse sources including equity, debt, and deposits.

Risk Management

The comparison of risk management practices between Nidhi Companies and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) is:

Nidhi Companies:

The risk management of nidhi companies are:

  • Simplified Risk Profile: Nidhi Companies have a simpler risk profile due to their focused community-centric operations, primarily managing credit risk.
  • Basic Risk Mitigation: Their risk management practices are less complex and focus on protecting members’ interests while promoting thrift.


The NBFCs’ risk management are:

  • Comprehensive Risk Management: NBFCs engage in complex financial activities, requiring advanced risk mitigation strategies that cover credit, market, operational, and liquidity risks.
  • Regulatory Oversight: The RBI closely monitors NBFCs’ risk management to ensure financial stability and compliance with regulations, including capital adequacy and asset classification.


In conclusion, the distinctions between Nidhi Companies and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) are rooted in their regulatory frameworks, core objectives, lending practices, membership criteria, capital requirements, risk management approaches, and more. Nidhi Companies are community-focused, emphasizing thrift, and affordability, while NBFCs are profit-driven, offering diverse financial services to a broader customer base. These differences reflect the unique roles these institutions play in India’s financial landscape. Nidhi Companies encourage financial discipline and mutual support within communities, while NBFC in India contribute to the broader financial market’s vibrancy, with both serving vital functions in the country’s diverse financial ecosystem.

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